Running groups are a great way to add diversity to your workout routine, and a great way to build a solid foundation for more intense workouts. If you’re new to running groups, there are a few things you need to know before hitting the studio doors.
What are running groups?
A running group is a group of runners of similar pace that practice running together. These groups may be sponsored by a local running gear shop, be a race training group or class that you pay for, or might just be a group of friends looking to stay active.
Did you know that indoor and outdoor running groups are the fastest growing class genre on ClassPass right now? Fitness studios are importing treadmills and building bootcamp classes that involve cardio runs. A great example of this is Barry’s Bootcamp.
How to prepare for a running group
You’re probably asking yourself: do I need to do aerobic classes to work up to a running group? This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Just like any workout, there’s a starting point. Yes, there will be speed intervals and longer endurance rounds. However, it’s up to you to determine what’s difficult and easy for you.
Thinking that you’ll be left to your own devices? Not the case! While your class may have 20+ runners at the same time, you’ll be given guidance and encouragement by others in the group.
If you’re taking a structured running class, your instructor can modify the workout based on your ability level — from beginner to advanced. As a trainer who has taught at Barry’s Bootcamp, I know how intimidating it can be to face your fear of running on tempo. Speed parameters are carefully programmed by us trainers to allow advanced and beginner runners alike to challenge themselves. Don’t expect to start at the advanced level, find your sweet spot, and work gradually up the ranks. We’re not here to judge, we’re here to help you find your challenge point and master your running technique.
What to wear to a group run
Outfitting your feet for running is imperative for staying free of injuries, and will also make the group run less stressful. If your shoe is classified as a “training” shoe, leave it at home. You want a running specific shoe that matches your body’s mechanics.
If you’re headed to a hybrid workout like Barry’s Bootcamp, opt for a lighter running shoe like the Nike Flyknit or Newton Distance.
What to bring to a group run
Bring a bottle of water and a towel to wipe off your hard work a.k.a. sweat. Make sure to bring extra layers when it’s chilly or a hat to shield your face from the sun if you are attending an outdoor group run.
When to arrive at a running group event
Pro tip: get to the group run a few minutes early to introduce yourself to your instructor. They’ll be more than happy to help you build a starting point, and will know to give you some extra love during class if you need help or motivation!
What to expect from a running group
The best part about running groups is that you’ll get multiple types of runs in one group run. There are usually three to six runs ranging from four to eight minutes each. Your first run will be a warm-up run, that increases speed gradually. Your middle runs may range from hill runs, endurance runs or shorter tempo runs. Your final runs almost always include sprints, ranging from short bursts to longer 60-second sprints. As always, find a speed that works for your ability level, and keep coming back to push yourself!
What to do after your group run
Celebrate your accomplishments and calories burned with a big glass of water. Then, stretch and recover before you book another group run!