Beginners and Beyond

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What's Your Experience With Group Runs? (Read 144 times)

Pinktastic


    I'm kinda thinking about maybe joining a local running group, but I'm just not sure.....    My schedule during the week is crazy so I doubt I would be doing more than 1-2 runs with them (most likely weekends).   I've tried to analyze why I'm interested in group runs, and I think it might be the accountability and to explore new running areas, but I don't really know.    From their website, the group has 2 basic routes - 8 mile loop and 12 mile loop.   For my long runs at this point, the 12 mile loop is too short, but both the 8 and the 12 loops together is too long.   I am not sure that the purpose of the long run would be met if I did the 12 with the group and then 45 minutes later I did the rest of the miles from home so that is concerning to me.   I can't decide what to do so I'm hoping y'all can provide some insight that will help me.   If you've ever done group runs (even if you don't do them now), please let me know what you think.   I understand that some people are more social and more likely to be interested in group runs and that no two people are the same, but I just know that your expertise will help me make a damn decision.

     

    What are your pros / cons to group running vs running solo?

    How do you handle long runs when the group run doesn't give you that LR mileage you need?

    Do people do more talking than running?

    Do people still listen to music / podcasts or whatever or is the expectation that people will run without headphones?

     

    Thank you in advance!

    But The Smile That I Sent Out Returned With You.

    Gustav1


    Fear is a Liar

      I am thinking about the group runs myself. There is a local running club and then there is also the LRS that do runs.

       

      My guess is every group will be different and the best advice is to try it and see. Some may be run and done, while others may be run, eat, drink, and be merry!

       

      You can also break off from the group and run more or less mileage!

       

      My thoughts are that you may be able to hook up with informative , like minded people ie tips and tricks of the trade, who knows a good running doc, etc.

      I'm so vegetarian I don't even eat animal crackers!

      Robert31320


      Running for TJ

        Other than races, I've never done a "group" run.

         

        Due to my schedule it would be hard for me to participate regularly.  I also like to have my music when I run, so I feel I'd be somewhat unsocial when running.  There is a local running group here that I briefly pondered joining.  I talked to a couple of people that joined as beginners a few months ago that said the group was extremely friendly but the majority were very advanced runners that went on their merry way when the runs started.  A few of the newer members dropped out after a short time due to this.

         

        So, I guess I said all that to say...........

         

        HEY, CAKE!  Smile

         

         

         

        ps.  I use posting here as a means of accountability.  This is my run group.

        You have to run through the valley if you want to get to the mountain top!

         

        Next goal:  Mad Marsh 50K (November 2014)


        "Journey" hater

          I run with a couple different groups from time to time. I've met some folks who I now consider to be good friends through them. Check it out as all groups will be different. I run 80% of my miles solo but I do enjoy doing some long runs with company.

           

          How do you handle long runs when the group run doesn't give you that LR mileage you need?    Get there early and do some miles before they start. If you ask there may be others in your same position. Not everyone is training for the same race at the same time.

           

          Do people do more talking than running?   Depends on the person. I've run with a few folks who are pretty quiet during the run. Others like to converse. I have to admit once in a while I like chatting while running because it helps keep my pace down when I need easy runs. A lot of times people will hang out after for a cup of coffee or whatever. Nice to exchange notes and thoughts on running, life, etc. during those bull sessions. It's the one time where all the people I'm talking with "get" the whole running thing and that can be nice.

           

          Do people still listen to music / podcasts or whatever or is the expectation that people will run without headphones?  Again, depends and I've seen both. I will say that I don't really understand showing up for a group run, plugging in your music and being in your own world. Why do a group run?

           

           

          MTA:  One misconception I seem to hear a lot is that people think group runs are just that - everybody is tied together to run as one huge group and that isn't the case. My experiences have been between 12-30 people showing up and then breaking into smaller groups based on pace. You shouldn't be forced into running at a pace that is uncomfortable for you.

          FSocks


          "Inspirational"

            What Fuzzy said.  I like it every once in a while to help keep my pace in check but 90% of my runs are by myself.  I've been known to add miles before the run or after based on what I need for the day.  I've also been known to do part of the run with the group and then break out on my own for either pace or tempo portions.

             

            And, no, I would never want to do all or even the majority of my runs as a group for several reasons:

            Too much time involved in driving, meeting up, chit chat, etc.

            Too restricting on schedule, length and tempo

            I like my alone time

            Runners can really be obnoxious with their incessant talk about running (I can barely stand myself at times)

             

            Try it, you might like it, or you might not.

            "I highly recommend running if you want to do marathons!"  The SL

            lilac_jive


            Jess runs for bacon

              Totally depends I think. I do a few, and here are my thoughts. The one I do Saturday mornings is my most favorite. We go on local trails and then get breakfast. Everyone is super happy and we have people in all paces. They are usually easy runs because we all chitchat with each other. If you need longer miles, usually people sync up on the FB page and say I'll be there at so-and-so for this many miles.

               

              I also run with the LRS. I usually have a good time at that too, but I'm usually in the back of the pack and I notice it. Bothers me sometimes.

               

              www.backuprunner.net

                My running group offers evening runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays and weekend runs (Saturday 3/5 and Sunday up to 10). I join them for their Saturday run.

                 

                1. The biggest pros for me are that I get to meet and socialize with other runners in my area and that I learn a lot about running from them. The biggest con is that my Saturday run is "restricted" to an easy 5 miles and that it takes up a good bit of the morning since we get breakfast afterwards.

                 

                2. I run my long runs solo and use the group run as an easy run. Depending on how long your long run is, you may be able to run a bit by yourself beforehand and meet up with the group at the start. You may end up with a few minutes pause between segments, though.

                 

                3. How much talking is done is really group/person specific. I never feel like the talking gets in the way of the running, though.

                 

                4. Again, I think this is group/person specific. I don't see many people in my group wearing headphones. If they do, they tend to run alone or wear them just in case the run gets too quiet.

                5k - 25:15 (11/18/12)

                10mi - 1:33:18 (3/2/14)

                HM - 2:06:12 (3/24/13)

                 

                Upcoming Races:

                4/12 - PVTC Easter Classic 5k

                5/4 - Frederick 5k

                5/5 - Frederick HM

                6/14 - 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut HM

                 

                Everything you need is already inside. [[Bill Bowerman]]

                yeoldefatguy


                Resident Nickelback Fan

                  I started trail running with a group last summer. Short runs in the 4-5 mile range. I enjoyed it. I was toward the back of the pack, but it gave me an outlet to talk shoes, training and other bs with other runners.

                  This...is my boomstick.


                  Miles to go

                    I run with the local running club when I can.  I enjoy getting to know the local runners in the area.  Plus they are often the same people I see at races or out and about when I'm running solo.

                     

                    I've found that the different runs during the week have very different feels to them.  I typically go to the Thursday eve. social run.  The pace is slower and closer to what I need on my easy days, plus there's beer and conversation afterwards.  Even in that group, there are people who come early and warm up a few miles before we start, and there are people who turn around sooner than everyone else because they're not wanting the full distance, and that's fine.  Then on the weekends, there is a "casual" running group and a more serious group that's training for a full.  So it's mostly about getting to know the expectations of that particular group and time and then seeing if it matches what you want.

                     

                    Because the Thurs eve run is the one that fits into my schedule, it is just one of my "easy" days and I do my LRs or runs where I need a particular pace on other days.  Although I do admit that when running with others I can slip down into tempo range much more easily than I do by myself.  And yes, plenty of talking while running, but I've never seen anyone listen to music.

                     

                    Disadvantages?  Hopefully not TMI, but if you need to stop for the bathroom it can be embarrassing.

                    PRs: 5K: 25:35 / 10K: 53:03 / 10mi: 1:26:15 / HM: 1:55:02

                    Upcoming: HM 4/13


                    Muddling through

                      I miss my group runs. I've not been able to meet and run with my club most of the winter. When I do run with them it's primarily the Saturday morning long run, which can be hard to get up for when I work untill 11PM or midnight, and the Wednesday evening track workouts. Running intervals with a group is a LOT easier for me than running them solo. Ditto for the long run when I'm running 10 miles or more. The Saturday LRs are also nice because water stops are set out ahead of time and there are refreshments at the end. Since many also adjourn to a local eatery for coffee and snacks after that, there's a good social aspect as well. There's a wide enough range of paces that hardly anyone runs alone except by choice. Depending on weather, local race schedules, and what the long distance group is doing, we may have anywhere from a dozen to 50-60 runners show up on Saturday. Track workouts draw about 30-40 runners so we divide into 4 groups based on pace. The Saturday standard route is about 6 miles but people do start early to get in a few more. The long distance group joins us every other week and usualy has options for anywhere from 8 to 20 miles as they are training for various marathons. The alternate weeks they meet at other venues for variety in their runs. So lots of options, lots of paces, and socializing if desired.

                       

                      ETA: There are more informal groups runs almost every day of the week, some early mornings and some early evenings.

                      2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race


                      Mmmmm...beer

                        I'll let you know tomorrow, going for my first group run in the morning. Smile  One of the local clubs holds several group runs throughout the week, you post up before hand what mileage and pace you're looking to run, so people can match up.  Then they meet for coffee and breakfast afterwards.  They run on some trails that I've been wanting to check out, so I figured I'd give it a try, there's 28 people showing up for tomorrow's run, including one of the fastest guys in the area...I won't be trying to run with him. lol

                        -Dave

                         

                        2014 Goals | sub-19 5k | sub-1:26 HM | BQ done!

                        LRB


                        Dreamer

                          What Fuzzy said.  I like it every once in a while to help keep my pace in check but 90% of my runs are by myself.  I've been known to add miles before the run or after based on what I need for the day.  I've also been known to do part of the run with the group and then break out on my own for either pace or tempo portions.

                           

                          And, no, I would never want to do all or even the majority of my runs as a group for several reasons:

                          Too much time involved in driving, meeting up, chit chat, etc.

                          Too restricting on schedule, length and tempo

                          I like my alone time

                          Runners can really be obnoxious with their incessant talk about running (I can barely stand myself at times)

                           

                          Try it, you might like it, or you might not.

                          Yep.  While I enjoy the first couple of miles of catching up with what everyone in the group is doing, I look forward to the time of the run when I branch off by myself.

                           

                          Other times I am so focused on the task at hand that I will just run it at a different time then the group is meeting up.  The group I run with has people who run all paces, so you are always likely to find at least one of the dozen or more who are running the same pace.

                           

                          We run at different locations, which are either out and back or a 6 mile loop.  So the person you are running with may turn at the 5 mile mark to do 10 total, or do only one loop of 6 miles.

                           

                          I have run up to 15 miles with my group, and 18 miles with another person.  Those runs were fine for the day and time that they came, but my preference for runs of double digit miles is to run alone, and in my own world.

                          "Training is not always fun, but it should always be rewarding."

                          MJ5


                          Chief Unicorn Officer

                            I'm a member of a local group and we have runs twice per week. I'm rather antisocial but I've been enjoying the group runs a lot.

                             

                             

                            What are your pros / cons to group running vs running solo? I like being able to run at my own pace, but often if I run with someone else at a group run I find I'm capable of comfortably running a little faster without much extra effort. You kind of push each other, it seems. 

                             

                            How do you handle long runs when the group run doesn't give you that LR mileage you need? I run TO the meeting site and home afterward (it adds 2.5 miles each way) or like Fuzzy said, I get there early and run the extra miles before the group arrives. I've done this every Sunday!

                             

                            Do people do more talking than running? Not in my group. We meet, if there are any new people we introduce ourselves, we describe the route, and we're off. As far as during the run, it depends on the person. One guy I run with is very talkative, but sometimes it's a nice distraction on a day I'm tired or struggling a little. 

                             

                            Do people still listen to music / podcasts or whatever or is the expectation that people will run without headphones? we have a bunch of people who wear headphones. Those people mostly seem to just go out by themselves, but one woman hangs hers around her neck or keeps one earbud in so she can participate in any conversation. 

                            Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54

                            FreeSoul87


                            Runs4Sanity

                              I started out in group runs, I loved it and the social part as I don't get out and socialize much. But through winter I've grown to love and enjoy my lone runs.

                              *Do It For Yourself, Do It Because They Said It Was Impossible, Do It Because They Said You Were Incapable*

                              PRs

                              5k - 24:40 (7:57 min/mile pace) 

                              10k - 54:39 (8:48 min/mile pace)

                              15k -1:24:04 (9:01 min/mile pace)

                              13.1 - 1:56:38 (8:54 min/mile pace) Sub 2 hours!!!

                               

                              RSX


                                I'm in 2 running clubs, 1 that have been in for a long time, and 1 in town when I moved. I recommend running clubs to just about everyone. They are fairly cheap so I don't feel like I have to do a lot with them. Any club should let you run with them before you join just to check them out. 90% of my runs are solo, and I would do more group ones if my schedule worked out. They can be social if you want them to be. The local club can have as many 25 running on a week night which fascinates me. I tend to start out faster in the beginning with 1 group, and hit a steady pace with some others. My tempo runs are with the group, as I tend to run slower alone. Running with a group also takes my mind off any aches or pains. If I feel like running more miles, there are usually others who want to do the same. I do notice some who run with headphones.

                                 

                                The weeknight runs may involve a bar after them, and maybe half pass. The weekend runs may involve breakfast at someone's home, but some leave right after instead.

                                 

                                1 nice thing about joining a club is that I know what pace my friends can do. During a race I may choose to run with 1 of them which helps a lot. My times tend to be faster when I run them with people I know.

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