Social Facilitation and how to get your’s in OC (A.K.A. Group Runs Rock!)


Social Facilitation – or the Audience Effect : “the mere presence of other people will enhance the performance in speed and accuracy of well-practiced tasks, but will degrade the performance of less familiar tasks.”

If you ever noticed you could never run your race pace on your own during your training runs, blame it on the ‘Social Facilitation’ factor. We tend to perform better, and run bit faster when we run with people. I started to run with a group back in July, after months of trying to train on my own, going nowhere. It really has changed the way I train. The accountability, the motivation, and to be around like minded  endurance athletes has been exactly what I needed to get better with my training runs. In the recent weeks, I have started to run with few more groups here in Orange County, so I thought I would write about all my group runs in this blog. If you are like me, who is getting started with running, and looking for groups, training runs – I am hoping this blog will help you with that.

There are three group runs that I run with currently.

  1. South Coast Road Runners, on Monday and Thursday Evenings in Irvine
  2. Endurance House Group Run on Tuesday Evenings in Laguna Niguel
  3. Snail’s Pace Mission Viejo group run on Wednesday Evenings in Mission Viejo
  4. South Coast Road Runners and Snail’s Pace group – do a combined long run on Saturday mornings in one of the beach cities – Huntington,Newport or San Clemente.
  5. On and off, I go do the Road Runner Adventure Run on thursdays at Costa Mesa and/or Laguna Niguel. But this is more for fun, even tho I do end up running about 5 miles.


#1 South Coast Road Runners (Monday, Thursday, Saturday)

I found out about South Coast Road Runners through my Snail’s Pace Running group members. South Coast Road Runners have some seriously fast runners/Olympians. The group runs I have been on, has varied from about 20 members to 35 to 40 members. Starting this week, their Winter Route has started on Mondays, and they meet at Hick Canyon Park in Irvine ( by Culver and Irvine Blvd). On Thursdays, they meet at Heritage Park in Irvine (By walnut/culver).  They usually have  a 5 mile run and a 7 to 8mile run, with enough people in both groups. I really like how I can find people at varied paces, depending on how fast I want to run that day.  They are pretty good in coming up with routes, taking bathrooms and water stops in to account. You can show up and run with the group, but if you continue to participate in the runs, consider paying for a yearly member fee of $30, to help the team, and to take advantage of other club activities. I do like the fact that they have people of all age groups, and all speed, its super easy to find someone you can run with. Lot of them train for marathon so its easy to find long run partners with this group.



Days of the run:

  1. Monday 6:15 pm Hick Canyon Park, 3864 ViewPark Avenue, Irvine 92602
  2. Thursday 6:15 pm Heritage Park, 14301 Yale Ave, Irvine
  3. Saturday morning – long runs. location varies but usually in and around Newport/Huntington/San Clemente area. check their FB Page.

Miles: 4 to 8miles weekdays. Long runs on Saturday mornings.

Water: Bring your own. Running route, tend to have 2 to 3 water stops.


South Coast Road Runner – Monday Route – 5 mile

South Coast Road Runner – Thursday Route – 6 mile

#2 Endurance House (Tuesday)

Endurance House is a Sporting Good Store, and Triathletes go crazy for this store, mostly because Jeff who runs the store himself is a triathlete, and knows what he is talking about. Apart from having one of the coolest bathroom that you can ever see at a running store(with showers), the store hosts free group runs on Tuesday 6:15 pms at their Laguna Niguel location. I count about 40 to 60 people at each runs.  They have a 5k run and a 5 miler, and you will find good number of people in both. I think there are more 5k people than 5 milers. There were people of all ages, but for the 5 mile, I was mostly running on my own, as I couldn’t find someone at 8:30, but there were 8:00 pacers, and slower pacers, so I had people around me. The more I run with this group, I am sure I will be able to find someone at my pace.  The run courses are beautiful as they loop around the near by lake for 5k, or go to the Trail close by for 5 miles.  the 5 mile loop has good amount of hills, so pace yourself. I absolutely love the energy of this group, lot of triathletes! If you participate in 10 runs, you get a free technical t-shirt!

Site: (Their site is little flaky and not up to date, so follow their facebook page).


Days of the run:

  1. Tuesdays 6:15pm, 24012 Aliso Creek Rd Laguna Niguel, CA 9267

Miles: 5k or 5 miles.

Water: No water stops during the run, but they do have free water end of the run.


Endurance House – Tuesday – 5k Route
Endurance House – Tuesday – 5 mile Route

#3 Snail’s Pace Mission Viejo (Wednesday)

I wrote a lot about Snail’s Pace in my past post. (read here – Link) Their group run is on Wednesday nights at 6:15pm. They do a 5 mile, or 7 mile. Its an out back run, so you can do whatever you feel like. I have always been able to find someone to run with at my pace. People are very nice in this group and slow down to help you pace which I like. You can show up and run for free, but if you do find yourself run more and more, consider joining the group by paying $30 annual member fee.


Facebook: (Use their meetup page instead of fb or their site as meetup page seems more current usually)


Days of the run: 

  1. Wednesday 6:15 pm, 24451 Alicia Pkwy Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Miles: 5mile or 7 to 8miles

Water: There is one water stop you will cross twice. Also, they provide water at the end.

Snail’s Pace Mission Viejo – Wednesday – 5 mile Route


#Special Mention: Mom’s Run This Town Group

Special Mention: I try to blog my personal experience, and that is the reason I covered the 3 group runs I do. If you are a Mom, that likes running, check out Mom’s Run this Town group run. Our friend Michelle, does about 100 miles a month with this group from different cities, and she absolutely loves this group.

#Special Mention: Road Runner Adventure Run

I do Adventure runs for freebies. You get a chance to win prizes, shoes, free race entries, while trying to run about 5 miles(not speed as you run to random store locations). Road Runner stores at Costa Mesa (3rd Thursday) and Laguna Hills(4th Thursday)  host these Adventure runs on one Thursday a month until October. It starts around 6:30, but you get there early to do registration to get the tag for raffle points. Plan on being there for a while until 8 or so, as its pretty fun event. (Read more on my old blog)

Laguna Hills Adventure Run(4th Thursday) Facebook page:

Costa Mesa Adventure Run(3rd Thursday) Facebook page:



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