There is no doubt that running with a buddy or in a group will make you a better runner, as the benefits of training in a group environment are huge! Of course, there are times when running alone is preferred, but running with others has tremendous benefits as well. Here are some for you to consider;
Running groups hold you accountable when that little voice in your head tries to convince you to stay indoors and cuddle up on the sofa! But when there are others out there counting on you, you are far more likely to make the effort and show up.
One of best ways to become a better runner is to do it more often. Having a regular, weekly, (or daily in some cases) running group will help ensure that you stick with your running not only on those glorious summer days, but also in the deepest darkest winter evenings when it’s even harder to get out there!
Running with a group is incredibly motivating because there is ALWAYS someone who can spur you along and encourage you to go for that PB! Learning new tips and tricks and seeing them work is a great motivator and people within a group can share their experiences and knowledge with you – it’s collective wisdom.
There is actually some psychological benefits to running with a group. Social Facilitation or audience effect is a social psychology term that means “an improvement in performance produced by the mere presence of others.” According to Cindra Kamphoff, Ph.D, when running with a group, “You get caught up in the pace, and you might not recognize how fast you’re going” she says. Your brain encourages you to keep up when you might have slowed down alone. So essentially Running with other people creates an excitement that helps you run faster than you thought you could on your own.
But, whilst running in a group offers all the above mentioned benefits – it’s also a sure fire way to make new friends!