Today I’m letting you in on THE thing that has kept me on path since day one and ultimately, gotten me where I am today, coaching a awesome community of runners.

It’s helped me and so many other runners that I’ve met over the years. I’m confident that every runner could benefit from having this one in their tool kit.

Here it is: Joining a running group.

There are a number of reasons why training with others will help bring out the best in you and get you to your goals. Here are a few that I find key to a runner’s success.

1. Accountability & motivation

One reason I run with a team is because when others are waiting for me, it gets me out the door. Sure I can get out there on my own, but it’s also nice to have that weekly accountability that I can count on.

It motivates me and makes it that much easier to put my shoes on and get out there.

When your running friends hold you accountable — you are much more likely to get to your goals, especially if you’re headed to that goal together.

2. Friendships & support

Ask any runner and they’ll probably agree that the friends you meet through running will often be your friends for life. They can also be great supporters of your running goals and even join you.

If you’re taking on running as a new healthy habit or plan to up your training load, it helps to have others in your circle who support it.  Find your peers and support each other. Don’t go it alone.

3. Fun

There are different groups out there and I suggest finding one that you find fun. It’s one more motivator and definitely good for keeping up the habit if you can mix fun and exercise.

And for those inevitable slumps, it is much more fun to be in a slump with friends than be in a slump alone.

4. Learning from others

A running group or a community often offers opportunities for learning from coaches, leaders, or like-minded runners who are a few if not several steps ahead of you.

Let them be your mentors.

Ask questions and get to know more about their experience and how they got to their goals. Most often, what they’ve learned along the way can help you out on your journey too.  And it’s so much easier and more fun than sifting through the numerous books and websites written for the many different populations of runners.

Learn from those like you.

5. Inspiration

Join a group and get inspired by the other runners in the group.

Often, you’ll see others accomplish their “impossible” big crazy goals.  And you’ll think: hey, I can do that too. Before you know it, your goals start to grow bigger in size and you’re inspired to do more.

You’ll also start inspiring those around you.

One of my favorite proverbs is: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Running solo is awesome (or can be) and there will be times when there’s a benefit to getting out there on your own.

But don’t miss out on the benefits of being part of a team as well, especially when working toward big, scary running goals. Surrounding yourself with other runners will elevate your potential and increase your chances of successfully getting to your goals.

That’s why I started House of Running.

I know runners are much more successful when we’re in it together. And that goes for me as well.

Would you agree? Do you train with a group? What benefits have you found when running with others? Let us know in the comments below.  We’d love to hear from you.