- The Newbie: Are you just getting started or coming back after a long break? Awesome! Look for a non-competitive group that offers guided training sessions. As a beginner, be sure to make your running goals approachable so you don’t burn out or get discouraged. Having a mentor and a team helps.
- The Competitor: Seeking serious training? Look for a group that will push you harder than you can push yourself alone. Consider a group that meets for regular speed workouts. You may benefit from joining a race team and seeking a coach who can help you reach your goals.
- The Trail Runner: Want to get away from city noise and pounding the pavement? Look for a local trail crew. Trail groups can help you navigate the woods, find the best overlooks and show you hidden spots you didn’t know existed.
- The Social Runner: Want something laid back and just for fun? Look for local pub runs or volunteer groups. Many towns have groups that meet for sunrise runs that end with breakfast. Some groups even keep things interesting with scavenger hunt runs.
- The Ultra Runner: Looking to increase your distance? The miles go by faster with friends and conversation. As the ultrarunning scene continues to grow, more groups are popping up that put in long hours and miles together.
Everyone is different, and you will likely fit into multiple running groups. Some won’t be the right fit, and that’s OK. Maybe you just want to have fun, and the racing team is way too serious. No worries—try a few groups to find one that’s right for you.
Once you know what you're looking for, seek out people and training plans to support your needs.