Are you a runner who craves the support and camaraderie of a like-minded community? In this blog post, you’ll learn exactly how to start a running group in your local area, using the experience and expertise of Brian Schroy, founder of Soft Hour and a passionate runner himself. Brian used his love for running to create an inviting and supportive group for runners of all abilities. We’re going to outline in detail how he did it, helping you build your own running community that will keep you motivated and inspired for the long miles ahead.
Here are the steps to get Community support key to succeeding as an runner:
Identify your target audience and running goals.
Choose a consistent time, location, and day for group runs.
Spread the word through social media and local networks.
Create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for all runners.
1. Identify your target audience and running goals.
The importance of identifying your target audience and running goals when starting a running group in your community cannot be overstated. By doing so, you ensure that the group meets the specific needs of its members, which ultimately leads to a more enjoyable and fulfilling running experience for all involved. For runners, fostering a community of like-minded individuals who can share challenges, advice, and support is essential to success in their athletic endeavors.
2. Choose a consistent time, location, and day for group runs.
Consistency is crucial for several reasons, including the formation of a sense of routine and habit among members, building an easy-to-remember schedule that simplifies planning, and fostering a sense of discipline and commitment. Brian Schroy, founder of Soft Hour and a dedicated runner, has first-hand experience with the importance of consistency in a running community. Soft Hour is a weekly community run, where people come together to run at a conversational pace for an hour. By having a regular schedule and location for these group runs, runners can incorporate this valuable source of support into their training, making it more likely that they will stick with the challenging journey and continue to push towards their goals. Additionally, the consistency can make it easier for new runners to join and feel welcome at any stage, thus helping to grow the support network exponentially.
3. Spread the word through social media and local networks.
By utilizing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Strava, you can expand your reach, attract new members and keep existing members engaged. Sharing your group runs, accomplishments, and even struggles can help create a sense of camaraderie and inspire others to join. Additionally, connecting with local businesses, fitness centers, and community organizations to promote your group can help gather attention and attract potential members who may not have discovered you otherwise.
In the case of Brian Schroy, by consistently posting updates and interacting with followers, he has established a sense of familiarity and trust with the running community, both locals and newcomers alike. Brian also uses social media to keep his community informed of upcoming group runs, events, and other opportunities, sharing key details like timings and locations.
4. Create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for all runners.
Inclusivity ensures that everyone, regardless of their abilities, background, or experience level, feels comfortable joining the group and benefits from the camaraderie it offers. A welcoming atmosphere fosters connections that enable runners to share advice, offer encouragement, and hold one another accountable. It also helps to strengthen the running community, promoting a love of the sport and a sense of unity among its members.
Brian believes that removing technology and distractions allows for more meaningful conversations and genuine connections among runners, further cementing a sense of belonging in the group. This inclusive approach is particularly important for runners, who may face unique physical and mental challenges that require additional support from their fellow runners. Additionally, a welcoming and inclusive environment fosters personal growth by exposing runners to diverse perspectives, which can ultimately expand their understanding of the sport and improve their performance.