How Running Groups Build Friendships
Posted on April 23 2019
Meeting friends as an adult can prove challenging. Common places throughout life to find friends have been at work, school, and church. But what happens when none of these places are part of your routine, or if you find yourself unable to connect with the people you meet there?
Work happens daily, but you have a list of to-do’s that leave little room to discuss life or build bonds. School for many of us is a distant memory or is squeezed between the adult responsibilities with online classes and recertifications crammed in at lunch hour. A church isn’t a fit for all of us. Between wrestling with the kids or recovering from a night shift at work, it doesn’t give much room during the one or two hours you are there every week to build friendships.
Where can you go to meet friends? As we get older, our hobbies and community activities begin to shape our social lives. We gravitate to those with similar interests. As stay at home moms, we crave companionship with others who have children the same ages as our own. As working adults with multiple responsibilities, our free time is limited. So how do we find people with shared interests?
It’s time to run!
No matter how socially awkward you might feel, discovering someone who loves to run provides an instant bond. One great way to meet other runners is to hit the trails. Is there a public track where other mom’s go with their running strollers or one that offers beautiful local views? Organic friendships happen with those you share a trail or train for an upcoming marathon together.
Find an established group or start your own
Have you heard of www.MeetUp.com? This website allows you to search for local groups that are open to others in the community. Simply create an account and search for running groups nearby. Churches and local gyms like the YMCA often offer small groups that are centered around specific activities. Start with a mom’s walking group or jump full in with a group training for a local charity run. Call around and see if there is one that you can join. If there isn’t, ask if you can start one up or post your own MeetUp.
A running group provides more than a running buddy. When you do something you love with people who love it too, relationships are formed. Those friendships blossom as you work towards a common goal, motivate one another, talk about life as you run, and push each other towards goals and through tough times.
Consider creating common goals. Train for a marathon together and push one another to do better. Pose for the picture in matching t-shirts, socks, and gear. Make it an annual tradition and keep hitting the trail together regularly. The people with whom we run are the people with whom we do life. It’s not just the trails that get hard. We all hit hard times as we journey through life and having a community of people you see regularly will help you weather the toughest of times.
Running requires regularity, especially when training. It’s not a once a month gathering. The whole group could benefit greatly from meeting more than once a week. This means you are in each other’s lives on a regular basis forming bonds over a common interest.
Running groups build friendships naturally. If you don’t have a group go out and find one today or start your own. You won’t regret it. You’ll be a better runner for it, and possibly even a better person.