How to Start Your Own Running Group

Start Your Own Running Group 620 

The benefits of running with an organized group can be significant. It can boost your accountability factor, it gives you the opportunity to learn from more experienced runners and running with others is often times just more enjoyable. But what if there aren't any running groups in your area, or none that you feel comfortable in? Why not start your own?

You might be drawing a breath to say you're too busy to take on something like this, but starting your own running group can actually be quite simple. There are a few different ways you can go about it, and none of them require too much time or work on your part.

Get Social

Possibly the easiest way to start a running group is by putting the word out to your friends via email or social media. To establish the group, spend about ten minutes setting up a closed group page on Facebook. Be sure to choose a descriptive title for the group, such as "Downtown (City Name) Running Group for SLOW Runners." Then simply invite your runner friends to join the group and use the group page to keep members up to date on planned runs, weather cancellations, etc. Monitoring communication among group members is as easy as scrolling through your Facebook news feed. This type of running group creates a relaxed, "show up if you can" atmosphere befitting social media. 

Encourage members to invite their friends and extended network—via both social media and word of mouth—to foster organic group growth. 

Make it Official

If you want to attract a wider range of people across your local geographical area—or if you want a more organized framework for managing group communications—you can start your running group using meetup.com. This is a low-cost way to get the word out to a network of individuals in your area who have already indicated their interest in a specific activity—in this case, running. A basic plan costs $9.99 per month and allows your group to have up to four organizers and 50 members. To recoup this monthly cost, you can charge members a small dues fee or simply accept donations from them. (See the legal implications of this below.) 

This type of running group is likely to have more members from a more diverse social circle (not just the friends you already know), so it's a great way to meet new people.

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About the Author

Rashelle Brown is a Certified Personal Trainer and health coach who has been writing about health and fitness since 2010. Her work has appeared in IDEA Fitness Journal and on the popular health websites livestrong.com and eHow.com. She is a regular contributor for ACTIVE.com and nextavenue.org, and recently published her first book, Reboot Your Body: Unlocking the Genetic Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss (Turner Publishing). Learn more at wellcuratedife.com.

Rashelle Brown is a Certified Personal Trainer and health coach who has been writing about health and fitness since 2010. Her work has appeared in IDEA Fitness Journal and on the popular health websites livestrong.com and eHow.com. She is a regular contributor for ACTIVE.com and nextavenue.org, and recently published her first book, Reboot Your Body: Unlocking the Genetic Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss (Turner Publishing). Learn more at wellcuratedife.com.

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