How To Overcome Your Fear of Joining A Running Group

Do you fear joining a running group? Then you have come to the right place.

Joining a running group is a good idea, but what if you’re worried about logging the miles in the company of a bunch of strangers?

The experience can be less than ideal when you actually have those fears.  In fact, for some runners, beginners, and elite alike, the idea of logging the miles in a group of strangers can be scary.

But running groups exist and exist for a reason. And they can be a lot of fun.

Once you summon up the courage to join, you’ll reap the benefits yourself.

In today’s article, I’ll share with you some of my favorite ways of dealing with running group anxiety. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll have enough confidence to schedule your first group run.

Benefits Of Joining A Running Group

Although most runners get started alone, there are some amazing benefits to joining a running group.

These include:

  • Providing friendly competition
  • Accountability to show up for runs
  • Structured running routines
  • Exploring new routes
  • Making new friends of a similar mindset
  • Celebrating achievement together
  • Training for tough races together
  • Inspiring each other to be better
  • Discounts on races and gear
  • Learning more about the sport of running
  • Safety for early morning and/or night runs
  • And so much more.

How To Overcome Your Fear of Group Training?

Without further ado, here are the tips you need.

  • Know Your Pace

Your Fitness level is the main factor when choosing a running group.

In most cases, you’ll get asked about your current running pace, especially for distances such as the 5K, 10K, and half marathon. That’s why you need to know your running paces in advance before you show on the doorstep of any running group.

Choose the wrong group for your fitness level, and all of your fears of running in a group will become a reality.

Don’t worry if you don’t already know your current running paces. My article here should help.

  • Focus on Your run

When you’re logging the miles, you shouldn’t be looking over your shoulder to check if the rest of the group is analyzing every step you take.

Instead, focus on yourself and regularly remind yourself how great you’re doing. Need a distraction? Consider immersing yourself in music to take your mind off what others might be thinking of you.

  • Commit to it

Commit to yourself, not just give group training a try, but maybe at least three to five times. The more you do it, the better.

Scheduling a group run once in a blue moon will keep you feeling awkward and uncomfortable, but if you do a couple per week, your brain will get more comfortable, and you’ll be building the habit much faster.

  • Ask A Friend to Join

Don’t know anyone in the running group? Then invite a friend you know and trust.

When you’ve company, you’ll feel more secure and confident. Even if you feel out of place, having a familiar face with you can help encourage you to keep going.

  • Assume The Best

Your mindset also matters. Sometimes things will go south if we expect them to do so—and vice versa. That’s why heading out for a run with a positive attitude is always a good idea.

  • Forget About Others

You might feel like everyone in the group is rolling their eyes at your, but they’re busy doing their own thing.

They’re either checking their pace, assessing their technique, lost in their thoughts, or dealing with their own insecurities.

I hate to break it to you, but you’re not that important.

What’s more?

Everyone in the group has been where you are right now and know exactly how you’re feeling. Some may even offer a few hints if you ask them for advice.

  • Embrace The Fear

The best way to deal with your fears is to feel them and do the right thing anyway.  You shouldn’t lose sleep over making mistakes. Once you’ve completed two-three group runs, you’ll start to get the hang of it.

  • Start Your Own Running Group

Can’t find any running group in your region?

Then consider starting and organizing your own group runs. When you have your own group, you’ll get to state the rules of conduct. You’re, after all, the leader.

Unlike other group classes—I think CrossFit—running is pretty straightforward. You just lace up and hit the road running.

Finding Running Groups

Don’t know where to find a running group? Look in the following place

  • Local Stores – most local sports and running stores at least one weekly group run. Ask around
  • com – The best online place to hunt for finding running groups in your area.
  • Com – In online forums, such as, you’ll find plenty of experienced runners answering questions about every burning running question you might have. Running groups in your area is no exception.


There you have it! Today’s post should assuage any fears you have concerning joining a running group. I hope the guidelines shared here can set you on the right path. The rest is just details, as the saying goes.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

David D.