It’s actually been documented that running with others allows people to run farther and faster with less perceived effort.

The novel, “The Loneliness of the Long-distance Runner” may have painted the sport as a solitary endeavor, but the truth is running is anything but solitary. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting in summer miles with your high-school cross-country team, or you’re new to the area and looking to find a social hub: you’ll find the answer in running. In fact, it may be one of the most social sports there is! Think about it—there are numerous running groups to choose from, the friendships you build from running are lifelong, you tend to bond very closely with your running buddies, and the list goes on…

Even into your career, the connections and networking you make through being a runner are far-reaching! Many of us have run with mayors, senators, governors congressmen and women and other community leaders. 

Aside from the many positive social aspects of it, there are plenty of reasons why being a social runner is a great thing. If you still have any doubts, here is a list of the many benefits of being a social runner:

Learn new stuff: You’d be amazed at the depth of conversations and sharing that take place during a group run. Maybe you’re running friends have discovered a new route, or perhaps you’ll get a new take on how to fuel properly for a long run. In this way, running with groups or friends tends to foster improvement.

Running friends make you accountable: You know that feeling on a weekend, when you finally catch a break, and get to sleep a little longer? And when you wake up, it’s already 80 degrees and humid. A long run? Maybe not. But wait a minute—you texted your best running buddy the night before that you’d meet him at Town Lake at 7:00 a.m. Before you know it, you’re out there having a great conversation as the miles fly by with your friend.

New trails, new horizons: Sometimes your running friends will take you out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s a hilly trail run, or maybe you’ll decide to explore a new section of greenbelt or try a track speed combo you’ve never dreamed up. Either way, that’s not a bad thing. It can literally change your outlook on your training.

Running friends. Ever notice that the majority of your friends are somehow involved in running? There’s a reason for that. The sport tends to attract people who have a lot in common: health, fitness, competitive spirit, and a thirst to improve. It’s no secret that your running friends are with you for the long haul, both literally and figuratively.

Social running helps you to stay motivated. It’s actually been documented that running with others allows people to run farther and faster with less perceived effort. This is due in a large part because human beings are naturally motivated by social connections. What’s more, running with others helps pull you out of a bad mood if you’re feeling down. And if you’re one of the faster runners in the group, you’ll enjoy the positive effects of helping others to run fast.

Below are a few of the groups in town. For a larger list, click here!

  • ARC Monday Night Runs: This group meets at Ready to Run every Monday at 6:30pm.
  • Trail Roots: Trail Roots supports the growing Austin trail-running community and provides focused and customized training for all levels of runners in Austin in a guided and safe environment.
  • “Meetup” Wednesday Social Runs: This Austin Runners Meetup Group supports runners of all levels to run together in a non-competitive atmosphere and to get to know each other through a variety of social activities.

Upcoming Races: Saturday, July 20, at 6:30 a.m., the Stars and Stripes Half Marathon (13.1M, 10K, 5K) at the Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre 1178 Kroesche Lane in New Braunfels. Sunday, July 21 at 7:00 a.m., the Marble Falls Triathlon (sprint triathlon) at the Lake Marble Falls Main Boat Ramp in Marble Falls.