Why Women Runners Need Each Other
Updated: Jun 15
Women runners transform by the power of community. We are more likely than men to make running a lifelong habit because somewhere along the way, running becomes more than just an end goal. And more often than not, a running community or run club plays a huge role in our love for the sport.
Take a moment to think about it.
How did you get into running; were friends a part of the equation at the early stages for you, or did you seek out a running group or club?
Have you formed new friendships through running? Do you have your crew of "running friends"?
Are connections with other women who run important to you?
While we all have our own story and our personal journey, it’s common to first get into running with a simple, measurable goal. You want to complete a half marathon. You would like to lose a few pounds. You want to improve your heart health. Or maybe life, family and career took you on an extended break from exercise, and getting into running is your way of rediscovering your old self.
So you start running. It’s good. You make some progress. Maybe you could see yourself sticking with this for a while.
Then you meet new running friends, join a group run or a casual running club, maybe sign up for a race with your girlfriends – and it all changes. Soon there's nothing casual about it. You’re IN it, for the long haul.
That’s because it’s no longer just about stress release and improving your physical health, but it becomes about social support. Connection. Acceptance. Fun. Things you didn’t even realize you were craving!
Community-based running benefits our physical health and emotional well-being in spades. Below are five ways that women, in particular, can benefit from having a running group to lean on.
Busy women discover that a long run is a great way to enjoy some much-needed time to catch up with friends (as a plus, it keeps your pace conversational!). It feels great to connect and chat while getting in a workout. In our busy lives it’s basically highly efficient multi-tasking! And it’s common for women to sign up for fun runs or travel away to destination races together with girlfriends.
2. Empathy and encouragement.
We all have bad days, and some of the most significant breakthroughs can come from hearing we’re not alone when low motivation or busy schedules strike. In women’s running groups, sharing that you skipped a run or had a bad training week is met with genuine compassion and support, not judgment. We’ve all been there, and it can feel encouraging to hear that others face challenges too.
3. Safer training.
Running buddies can help each other keep a healthy pace, remind one another of smart training techniques, and have power in numbers on challenging trails, remote areas, or early morning and late evening runs. Community members can also make self-care days more fun with group recovery routines, such as stretch sessions and spa trips.
4. Healthy competition.
With a trusted group, competition feels safe and fun. Truly, you’re competing just with yourself, but even when women compete against each other, we’re in it together, as a community. Just think: how much more fun is it to run a tough workout with a group? How much harder do you push yourself?
Shared achievements help drive ambition and help us push past perceived limitations, knowing we’ll be cheered on along the way. And even when you’re not together physically, it will often feel like enough to get out the door for a run because we know our teammates did.
5. Lifelong connection.
When we link up with like-minded women who share a passion for an active lifestyle and challenging themselves through sport, we feel more empowered to become the best versions of ourselves. And when we find others that encourage us to do that, we discover friends for life.
We at Elements Running Education have witnessed how the power of community unfolds firsthand. From accountability and support to heightened interest in long-term health, women runners tend to flourish with teammates at their sides. Learn more about the benefits of our women’s running community here.