I never really needed an extra push to run regularly, to train for races. From day one I directed myself and had no trouble getting outside for runs. I wanted to run, I knew what I could do, what I wanted to do, how I needed to do it. I had no problem running alone, did nearly all my training on my own, and missed few workouts.
I ran weekly fun runs in Chicago largely to meet other runners, compare notes on how others approached running, and get to do some runs with the protection of numbers. I joined a running group in Chicago with the same mindset, as well as having a consistent time every week to do a quality workout.
Once joining them weekly began to get on my nerves and feel like an obligation, and especially once the workouts/runs began to interfere with my own training plans… I stopped doing them. I’m not one to hold regrets, but I do feel I waited too long and let it get on my nerves before cutting the cord. Hindsight is 20/20, but looking back I should have had a more casual relationship with the weekly runs from the get-go. I let it interfere with my plans for too long before breaking them off.
Vegas has a lower-key running community, and there’s one weekly run I participate in near home. Right now, still in a personal offseason of sorts, it’s no big deal for me to do it every week since I have no training plan that conflicts. Once that changes, then I can be more judicious about when to go or not.
All this is to say that running with a group can be valuable, but you want to make sure you know what you want out of it. Here are a few tips from experience banging my head against the wall and projecting expectations onto a group instead of being smart about running with groups: