Tips for Running with a Pace Group

A few months ago, I started running with my first running group. The group that I’m a part of has many different groups that are divided up according to your expected race finish time.

Because there are so many people in my expected finish time (4:30 – 5:00), there are several different groups that are training at my target pace. So far I’ve run with three of them. One of the groups is large (about 40 people), one is approximately 15 people, and the smallest group has 4 people. This is what I’ve learned from all of those groups.

1.  Show up on time

Pace groups leave right at their scheduled time, so show up 15 minutes early so you are warmed up and ready to run on time. If you’re late and the group has already left, chances you’ll catch up to them are slim.

2.  Run against traffic and always yield to traffic

You need to be able to see the traffic coming so you can react. Don’t expect cars to look out for you on the road. Cars and bikes have the right of way. Move out of the way for them or allow them to pass. Also, wait for walk signals at traffic lights. Oftentimes you’ll find that cars will stop for you, but don’t expect that they will.

You think you’re so smart.

3.  Tell someone else in the group or a group leader if your going to use the bathroom

Someone will wait for you so you don’t have to run alone. Oftentimes the running route is different depending on your distance, so you don’t want to be left behind and get lost.

4.  Leave your headphones at home

You might think you need them and some people in running groups do listen to music, but your run goes so much faster without it because you have people to talk to. Even if you don’t like to chat while you run, it’s fun to listen to everyone else’s conversation and it makes those long runs go by much faster. Also, no headphones means your more aware of what’s happening around you.

Harsh.

5.  Bring a light that makes you visible in the dark

A lot of pace groups start long runs early in the morning and not all areas will be lit. Make sure to bring a headlamp, glow stick, or another type of light that makes you visible to others. I have run directly at someone on the sidewalk before and not seen them until it was too late.

Why? Why are bunnies so rude?

Also, anything that helps light your path is beneficial. Tripping on a curb at mile 5 of 10 is never fun when you have to limp a few miles back to your car. Plus, you don’t want to risk injury. You’re already doing that by running high mileage anyway.

6.  Learn the route

This isn’t always possible if your group changes the route often, but you want to pay attention to street signs and landmarks. I got completely lost from my running group when the faster runners were in front of me and the slower runners stopped for someone going to the restroom. I had no idea where I was. Luckily I found a random runner and decided to follow him, which lead me back to my group.

Do you have any tips I forgot about?

Oh, and thanks to Michelle for inspiring this post. Smile

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Comments

  1. Brandi says

    These are all great tips. I run with a running group too and I’ve ditched music all together because of them!

    Also bring your own supplies or plant water/gatorade/food/fuel ahead of time. There is nothing more annoying than having to share your fuel with someone who “forgot” they would need something on a 20 mile run.

    And if you’re a boy, don’t be creepy. Because that’s just not cool!

    • Eat: Watch: Run says

      I didn’t think of that! My running group has water stops out for us every 2 miles or so – so we always have water and gatorade. Never thought that a running group might not have that.

  2. Michelle says

    Thanks for the shout out – and great tips! I really can’t of anything else except for bring tissues/TP just in case :) Lesson learned the hard way!

  3. Victoria says

    I love this post!

    We sure are spoiled by our water stops, aren’t we? I hate when I run by myself and no one has a gatorade cooler in their driveway. Rude. Don’t they know I’m thirsty?

  4. Army Amy says

    I’ve never run with a group before. Do you feel like they stick to the actual pace, or does the group sometimes go too fast or too slow? I think that’s my only apprehension about running with other people.*

    • Eat: Watch: Run says

      Yeah, that’s actually hard. At first I thought the larger group was too slow. Then I went with the medium group and thought they were too fast. The small group was perfect. haha, sounds like the little bears. :-) Although, I found a few people in the large pace group last week that ran at a perfect pace for me. It’s pretty much all about finding your pace running buddy in the group.

    • Eat: Watch: Run says

      We have a local running store that has something called Marathonfest and they have marathon and half marathon training. The requirement for joining is being able to run 30 minutes straight without stopping, so if you can do that…you could join one now! I would Google running groups + [your city] and see what they have. :-)

  5. Stefanie says

    I love that your running group is so organized. A few of my running buddies and I have made our own running group, but it’s pretty sporadic, and we don’t have pace groups.

    Glad you are back today! :)

  6. Danielle Spellman @ Squirrel Snackin' says

    I’d be interested in running with a group, but not sure how I’d find one in my area!

  7. Carolina @ Peas in a Blog says

    I second the TP suggestion, comes in handy just in case you’ve gotta go during long runs!

    Right now I’m running by myself, I’ve never really ran with a group. On longer runs I ask running buds to join here & there but it’s typically just two of us. I’d be interested to see if I like running with people, I’m not much of a talker when I run.

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