Membership to a running club or group often leads to big improvements in your performance. Learning tips from other members, being motivated to pick up the pace and committing to regular training sessions can all make a big difference to increasing your fitness.
While a solo run is a great way to clear the mind, doing it week in week out can get tedious. Injecting some social runs into your training and running with a group is enjoyable, social and a welcome distraction. Watch the training sessions whizz by when you don’t have to think about the route you’re taking or when you should turn back, sometimes it’s nice to just follow the leader.
3. Healthy competition
Running with a group can provide a great benchmark for how you are performing. Getting feedback from other runners on how you ran, discussing how you felt on parts of the run or seeing who is heading out fast and trying to match them are all fantastic positives.
Most running groups are local, so joining up is a great way to discover some new routes in your area. Advice on managing injury, what fun runs to sign up for and ways to improve over different speeds/distances are all things you can learn from experienced runners in your group.
Some established Melbourne running groups
Melbourne Running Meetup – mostly Thursdays and Sundays
Open to all levels and abilities, this friendly group meets at a variety of inner city locations including the Tan, Albert Park, St Kilda beach and Princes Park. meetup.com/Melbourne-running
Love the Run –Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
From slow to fast runners, triathletes and social runners, Love the Run members are united by health, fitness and motivation. They meet at Olympic Park Oval, the Tan and Studley Park. lovetherun.com.au
Melbourne Midday Milers – weekdays at lunchtime
Turn up to the Pillars of Wisdom at the Tan at 12.30pm weekdays for a session with the MMMs. Monday, Wednesday and Fridays are more casual, with intense, speed and hill sessions run on Tuesday and Thursday sessions. middaymilers.org
Casey Cardinia Runners – two to three midweek runs and a weekend run
Connecting both road and trail runners in Melbourne’s south east, this group holds weekly runs starting from 6km and up. Upcoming runs are posted to their website. meetup.com/casey-cardinia-runners
Gunn Runners – Tuesday night
Turn up to the Limerick Arms Hotel on Clarendon Street, South Melbourne each Tuesday at 6.15pm for a timed lap of Albert Park. After the session, hand in your bib at the pub for a free drink and join members in a post-run meal. meetup.com/gunnrunners