Running and Training in a group is undeniably more effective and more enjoyable than doing it alone. Moreover, finding and mingling with the right group of runners can greatly enhance your Running journey in the shortest space of time because it gives you a warm sense of belonging, and you can instantly tap into, as well as share a big pool of accumulated running experience, knowledge, and resources among the members.
With so many running groups available nowadays, it can be difficult to find a suitable running association, club or group who can cater for your basic and specific running needs and wants.
ARE YOU LIKEABLE
Moreover, how certain are you that you can get along with a group’s unique culture or with their member’s peculiar attitude, characteristics, and psyche? Equally important, how will you know that you will be accepted and liked by the other members? One hands-on way is to search online for a running group and participate in their scheduled activities and test them out first before joining them as a member.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
To help you shortlist the best-fit running group with minimum legwork, I have compiled hereafter my Best 16 search & excel tips.
16 Search & Excel Tips:
1. Identify and Prioritise your primary and secondary running missions which could be, for example, “To Learn Basic / Intermediate / Advanced Running Techniques”, “To Run Faster”, “To Run More Often”, “To Run & Keep Fit”, “To Make New Friends” or “To Complete A Full Marathon”.
2. Specify your chosen Running Distance:- Short /Middle /Long Distance, 10km /Half Marathon /Full Marathon /Ultramarathon or Any Distance.
3. Specify your chosen Running Terrain: – Road, Park, Trail or All Terrain.
4. Decide how much time you can spare for Running & Training (1 – 7 days/weeks), and Specify when you will be free to run (Day & Time).
5. Where is your preferred Running & Training venue?
6. What is your preferred language?
7. If you prefer a flexible training schedule with minimum commitment, then it’s best that you join a free running group such as the newly formed New Balance Run Club (NBRC).
8. If you like to get more involved in the administration or volunteer work related to running, it’s best that you join a legitimate running club which is registered with the Registrar of Society. My recommendation would be the Pacesetters Athletic Club which was formed in 1984 because they are very well organized, and their members include many of the most well-known and well-respected runners in town.
9. If you want to train seriously without forking out for a running coach, then I recommend that you join the Terence Poon Running Club (TPRC) who meets and train every weekend at Lake Gardens. There are even very specific Running groups like the Born to Run (BTR) who were created 6-years ago to cater for both barefoot and shoe runners.
Believe or not, there’s even a group who welcomes people who like to push a child stroller during runs, and is aptly named Malaysian Stroller Runners Community! Remember the more things that you have in common with the other members, the better you will all get along.
For the sake of social harmony, every member of any running group must treat each other fairly and civilly.
10. You must have an active Facebook account to keep updated on information about running groups and their respective activities.
11. Learn as much about your chosen Running Group as possible, including their history, philosophy, process, and ambitions.
12. Be a proud ambassador & promote your running group to the Running Community.
13. Be a proactive & helpful member and offer to help out in the organization of the group’s activities.
14. Be supportive to other members and share your useful knowledge & skills with the group.
15. Participate in as many of the group’s activities as possible.
16. Be a reliable member, and keep your promises to build trust among the members.
THE RIGHT CHEMISTRY
When you understand your true running desires, you will be able to recognize immediately the right running group for you, when you see a match.
Joining a running group is like being part of an extended family, and like any happy family, the members must develop and nurture their relationship to keep everyone running happy. For a runner, having a support crew whether it’s your immediate families, friends or a running group, will make your running accomplishments taste so much sweeter….
About the Author:
Gus Ghani is a HIIT Fitness Coach and Running Malaysia Magazine Columnist. You can follow him at www.gusghani.com or Instagram @gusghani.