- There are people there who want to see you succeed
- There are people there who will stick with you on the run, and they don’t mind running slower or shorter
- There are people who will actually plan their run schedules to get in a few miles with you
- Saying, “Let’s slow down” is fine – and usually, if a hill is killing you, others want to slow down or even walk, too
- It may take you four or five times (or more) out with the group before you stop feeling self-conscious
So if this is you, don’t let your nerves hold you back from finding some great people to run with. If you can run a mile on your own, you can probably conquer two with a group. Based on my recent experience of coming back after baby #2 (an emergency C-section, which changed my recovery plan completely), finding some supportive running buddies is vital. I started slow – first walking, then running just a mile, then two … but I didn’t start feeling great about my improvement until I’d been logging miles regularly for about six weeks. It takes time for running to feel natural again.
I highly recommend the group runs from Portland Running Company for new runners, and posting on their Monday Night group run facebook page. Those on the Westside can also check out the Sunstone Running Club, which runs on Tuesday and Thursday nights in Beaverton. Foot Traffic running store also has weekly group runs, at all three of their locations.
Go Beyond Racing’s Todd Janssen, who puts on events including the Smith Rock Ascent and the Portland Trail Series, suggests the Trail Factor weekly runs. They meet up in Forest Park every Tuesday at 6:15 – rain or shine – and get a beer together afterwards.
Gresham Run Club (Team GRC) hosts two group runs each week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, from various locations around Gresham. Both runs start at 6:30p – Track on Mondays and road on Wednesdays.
In Vancouver, Run Oregon’s Marilyn Tycer suggests the Run, Grub, Chug group runs. Their facebook page (found here) is very active, and if you click on “Events” you can see a list of their planned runs.
This link includes all of our posts tagged “great group runs” and lists even more that you can check out. Be sure to look into the Red Lizard runs if you’re looking for a bit quicker pace.