HI, I've been running for 1 year now after quitting the gym after realising how bad I was at running when I couldn't complete a 5k run without walking. I've made good progress with my running and will complete my first marathon in 8 weeks, hoping for 3:15-3:30, I've been doing 6 days running per week for this. When this is done I will concentrate on the shorter distances again and hope to go sub 20, 40 and 90 next year for 5k, 10k and half.

Anyway, my old gym has been taken over and will now become a 'klick gym' and prices are only a tenner a month. Now, I'm not overly fussed about joining the gym for the sake of it, but feel if it would help me with my running it would be worth doing seen as it is only a tenner a month.

Any ideas on the pros and cons of joining a gym for running? The main thing I'm worried about is having to reduce my running as I'm at the gym. i.e. I will only be able to run 4 nights a week if I'm at the gym 2 times aweek.



  • If you can do a 3:15-3:30 marathon save your tenner buy some weights work out at home.

    You have the discipline already. Yes you could run on the treadmills but why bother unless you need some high intensive  speed work, with highly controlled climate and resistance.

  • Also running on a tread mill is different to outside.

    I believe its about foot fall, though im not sure.

    I did though once make the mistake of taking a gym runner for her first run outside. She did the same pace she did in the gym very very slow.

    Couldnt run for weeks after.

  • Thanks for the replies. Maybe I didn't make it clear, I'm not intending on doing any running in the gym - I couldn't manage to do 1k in the gym when I used to go because I used to get bored on the treadmill.

    I was going to use the gym to do some cardio cross training using spinnning and elliptical trainer. Was also going to add some weights in to build on strength. Would this be beneficial to my running?

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I don't think there's an easy answer because whilst some people might say "the best exercise for running is running" - if you can make the time, I believe that x-training and core/strength training can definitely complement your running, possibly lower your risk of injury, and improve overall fitness.  Also don't completely discount the benefits of treadmill running.  The biomechanics are not exactly the same but it's still running and you're still getting your heart rate up.

    I think discipline comes into it as well.  When I was running 6 times a week I tried to kid myself I could get into a regular core/strength routine at home.  It just didn't happen!  Now I go to the gym as part of my weekly routine and do specific sessions on different days, either concentrating on cardio or strength exercises.  I rejoined the gym a few months ago, mainly for injury rehab, but I'll certainly keep up the habit when I'm back running.

    So time is an important consideration. Will 4x running + 2x gym sessions make you a faster runner than 6x running? Probably not, but it may make you fitter in other respects. Alternatively if you can keep up the same amount of running training and do some additional work in the gym, all well and good.

  • Every running book I've ever read recommends weight training to complement running. I keep my gym membership up for this, (and to soak in the jacuzzi sometimes).
  • I agree with PhilPub you would probably benefit your overall fitness by doing a bit more cross training. However you might need to cut down on your 6 running days in order to achieve this.
  • I have a gym membership but don't use it ANYWHERE near as much as I should. Infact, of all the folk I know who do have a membership (probably about 40 people) only two of them actually use it enough to justify the £30+ they cost, and one of them is a Personal Trainer so he probably get's it free anyway!

    However, in training up to this years Edinburgh Marathon, the gym was a life-saver with the winter we had. I love a mooch outside in the rain and wind, but the freak snow, ice, frost, etc, we all had meant you physically couldnt get outdoors for a run (unless you fancied a broken neck).

    If only these places did a 'You-Only-Pay-When-The-Weather-Outside-Is-Shoddy' scheme then we'd be laughing!

  • Swear by cross training for upper body and core and if there are classes, even better to shake up the routine. And let's not forget the stema room and sauna.

    As far as treadmills are concerned I avoid them like the plague, but a live saver in grim conditions!


  • I found spinning classes at the gym the most amazing way of keeping fit and adding strength to my legs and core on my non running days. I now do 2 one hour classes a week, followed by 30 mins upper body weights, combined with running 3-4 times per a week. I have less ankle,knee injuries now than when I just ran and my endurance has improved. ( anyone who has done a spinning class will understand why). So I say go for it- the gym can really help.
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    My gym only does 45 mins spin classes.  Would love to do an hour but I think I'd need two towels for mopping up.  image
  • Gym JoeyGym Joey ✭✭✭
    Hey up mate , i go to my local council run gym which is 15 quid pm . like you i run outside so i just use it for the showers realy which is good for me although they do have some circuit training classes which i might take part at the back end of the year  when the realy bad weather arrives. for a tenner what ya got to lose you can always cancel.
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