Lace Up: Group Runs in Washington

Running is an easy, no-equipment-needed way to break a sweat, but for some people it can be a lonely activity. If you’re the type who needs a pal to get you motivated, try a group run.

Lots of local running and fitness stores organize free group runs throughout the week. Most of these rain-or-shine affairs are three to six miles long and can accommodate runners of all skill levels. Shops will even provide space to store personal items while you run. Here are some good ones to try.

City Sports
The 19th Street outpost of this chain holds group runs on Tuesday at 6:30 PM. Choose between two running-level groups for the three-to-five-mile run. More information—including a downloadable waiver that you must bring to your first run—is here.

Fleet Feet
This Adams Morgan store offers group runs every Sunday at 9 AM and a women-only run on Wednesday at 6 PM. The three-to-five-mile runs begin at the store on Columbia Road and take runners through Rock Creek Park. Details are here.

Georgetown Running Company
Runners meet Wednesdays at 7 PM and Saturdays at 9 AM outside the M Street store; runs are four to six miles. The Chevy Chase location offers track workouts (weather dependent) at 7 PM on Monday at American University’s outdoor track, located at 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest, as well as six-to-seven-mile runs on the Capital Crescent Trail Tuesday and Thursday at 7 PM. Go here for information on Chevy Chase runs and here for Georgetown.

Lululemon Athletica
Bethesda. Wednesday at 6:30 PM; meet at the store at 4856 Bethesda Avenue. Runners have two distance options—three or five miles—and cover some of the Capital Crescent Trail.
Logan Circle. Monday at 6:30 PM; meet at the store at 1461 P Street, Northwest. Runs are led by members of the Washington Running Club, and the group offers two options: a three-mile loop run or a training run, where you can go at any speed.
Clarendon. Saturday at 9 AM; meet at the store at 2847 Clarendon Boulevard. Runs are four to six miles.

Pacers
All of the area locations offer group runs throughout the week. Each run is a three-to-five-mile loop, with points to turn around if you’re feeling tired. All stores—including Silver Spring—host 7 PM runs Tuesday and Thursday. More information is here.
• Old Town Alexandria. Monday and Friday at 5 AM and Saturday at 7:30 AM; meet at the Starbucks at King and South Saint Asaph streets on weekdays and at the Pacers store on Saturdays.
• Arlington. Tuesday and Thursday at 5 AM; meet at Greenberry’s Coffee & Tea at 1737 Wilson Boulevard.
• Fairfax. Tuesday and Thursday at 5 AM and Saturday at 7 AM; meet at the Starbucks at 10344 Main Street on weekdays and at the Pacers store on Saturdays.
• Logan Circle. Wednesday at 5 AM; meet at the Starbucks at 1425 P Street, Northwest.
• Pentagon Row. Monday and Friday at 5:30 AM; meet at 1101 South Joyce Street in Arlington.

Potomac River Running Store
Group runs start at 6:30 PM at several area locations. Days vary: Arlington runs are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday (Thursday is women only); Ashburn is Tuesday; Rockville and Cleveland Park are Wednesday; and Reston is Thursday. Runs last no longer than 50 minutes.

Know of a group run we missed? Leave a comment and we’ll get it added to the list.

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