6 Benefits of Trail Running in Groups
Written By: SportsShoes
While we all love the peace and tranquillity of the trails, trail running doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. In fact, running with a group can help motivate, encourage and generally enhance our trail running experience - which is why so many running clubs run popular weekly trail running sessions. Here are 6 great reasons to hit the trails with company.
1. SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT
One of the best things about running in a group? The support and encouragement you’ll receive from like-minded people. The running community is probably the most supportive out there, not to mention a great source of advice, knowledge and experience. Whether you’re having a crisis of confidence about that next race or you’re struggling to make it up that killer hill, you can guarantee your running group will be right behind you, pushing you to be the best runner you can be and helping you to achieve your goals.
It follows that when you’re lacking motivation, running in a group can give you the get-up-and-go to help you regain your running mojo. There’s nothing like seeing someone else having a great run to give us the impetus to lace up our running shoes, set a new goal or knuckle down to that training plan. What’s more, running alongside other people is a great way of pushing us to pick up our pace or keep going when the going gets tough.
3. STRUCTURE AND CONSISTENCY
When you run with a group, you’ll need to do some pre-planning – and planning is the key to consistency. That might mean that your weekly group trail run automatically becomes fixed as your weekly long run or hill session, and as a result helps structure and formalise your training – and most importantly keeps it consistent. That consistency ultimately leads to improved performance.
4. ACCOUNTABILITY AND COMMITMENT
When you’ve arranged to run in a group it becomes a fixed social occasion. Socialising our training makes us more likely to commit to it – if we duck out at the last minute, we aren’t only letting ourselves down – we’re letting down our running buddies too. Our running becomes accountable not only to us but others as well, which makes us more likely to stick at it.
5. NEW ROUTES
The pooled knowledge of a running group can give you access to some great running routes that you probably never even knew existed. We’re also more likely to try out new routes in areas we aren’t familiar with when we’ve got company – getting lost is a less scary prospect when we’re running alongside other people, not to mention less likely with a group of people navigating.
Finally, most importantly for trail runners, trail running in a group is simply safer. Trail running often means venturing off the beaten track in remote areas, onto uneven terrain and sometimes without a mobile reception. A twisted ankle or getting lost is a lot easier to deal with as a group - and put simply, mitigates the risks of running in lonely places.