Running Club

After weeks of my boyfriend trying to convince me to pop down to our running club Handy Cross, last night I finally decided to go down and check it out for myself. I’m entered in the Reading ½ marathon on the 1st April and need knuckle down with my training. They now have a beginner’s evening on a Wednesday (I am by no means a beginner, I’ve been running on and off since 2009 and completed races up to 10 miles) but their interval sessions on a Tuesday were a little daunting for me.

I absolutely loved it.

The weather was horrible, wind and rain battering my face, I couldn’t feel my hands as I don’t (yet) have gloves, and the wind nearly blew me over on occasion. And the whole time we were waiting there for everyone to turn up, I didn’t feel miserable once. I looked around and smiled whilst I was watching everyone else in exactly the same situation, shivering and getting wet and trying not to get blown over by the wind, all different shapes and sizes and different level of abilities. The group was split in two and mine did a 5 ½ mile run. I knew I’d have to tackle Marlow hill, one of many monster hills in High Wycombe but it didn’t put me off because this time I was in a group and we were all in the same boat.

At the end whilst we were cooling down and stretching, I was just buzzing! And then I thought I never would have done this if I had to do it on my own – I would have taken one look at the weather and not moved from the sofa, followed by feeling guilty for doing no exercise.

I’m still buzzing now, and I think I surprised my boyfriend by not complaining once! I can’t wait to go again next Wednesday.

So for anyone who struggles with motivation now and then, find out where your local club is and give it a go, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! image


  • I agree - I love going to my club. Lots of encouragement and a great place for support. I'd never push myself hard enough for speedwork alone and I doubt I'd ever do hill reps! We do quite a few social runs too which are nice.

    Good luck for Reading RB
  • I am off tonight to try out my local running club (plymstock road runners) to see if I like it! I have also signed up for Reading Half Marathon and while out running on my own last week I decided I needed alittle motivation as I am struggling to get out in this weather and need to mix up my routes abit. I emailed the local group and it sounds just what I am looking for. Reading this, you have made me excited to go! I really hope I enjoy it as much as you do!!

    Good luck with Reading - I'll be the one looking like I am dying at the back!!! image

  • Hi Sarah,

    How did you get on down your local club? I really hope you enjoyed it.
    I find it incredibly hard to put my trainers on and run outside in winter on my own, and I can only tolerate so much treadmill work!

    Glad to have found another Reading entry! I read in this month's RW that Reading was voted number 1 for beginner friendly, as it's nearly all flat except for 1 or 2 slight hills. Hope your training goes well image
  • Hiya!

     Last night was amazing and just what I needed. It gave me the push I needed and given me back the "thirst" to go out more even in this weather. Cannot wait for next week!! (never thought I would be saying this!)

     We split in to 4 groups and I went with the slowest group and did 3.6 miles in around 40mins, my chap went out with the 2nd to fastest group and did 4.6miles. We both enjoyed our routes and I am sure my pace was faster - think thats cause I didn't want them to think I was a looser or start asking why I was evening trying to run with  them!! Even Mark said his pace was faster and he is pretty fast already. They were so lovely and two of them stayed with me and kept me going. They shared some of their knowledge for Reading and how to get ready and invited us for the bar meal which they hold the first thursday of each month - we couldn't go last night but will next month.

     I think I am still on a high from it I enjoyed it that much. Can't wait to get out running after work tomorrow image

    BRING ON READING!!!! image

  • I agree. I love my club.  I would have given up running almost before I started if I hadn't joined.  We are small, around 20 runners, we all like each other, run together on non club nights and socialise together.  This afternoon I have stood out in howling winds to watch two of our lads in the northern cross country.  The weather was awful, but I know they'd have done the same for me image.
  • Howdy RunnerBean1987, I'm from the same area, and have ducked in and out of Handy Cross here and there, and know some of their runners.

    Good club, and they'll look after you
  • The first running club which I tried was a bit of a wash out. I went to four of the training sessions advertised on their website but there was only someone there on one of them.

    I then came across a woman walking her dog wearing running gear and she recommended another nearby club, Datachet Dashers. They do specialist speed training (intervals, hills etc.) as well as having organised medium and semi organised long runs. Also importantly there is always someone there on their advertised training nights. Since joining them my running has improved and it has done wonders for my motivation. I much prefer running with others to running on my own.
  • Hiya Sarah, I'm so glad you enjoyed the club and had a good experience. I went along again to Handy Cross this Wednesday just gone and had a blast - did a 6 mile very hilly run which I thoroughly enjoyed - not sure that my legs would agree! image You push yourself so much harder than you would if you ran alone. And running can at times be quite lonely.

    I've been persuaded to go along next Tuesday and run with the main club, Tuesday nights are their interval sessions! Eeek!

    StevieG, I agree they're a really good bunch. Not sure if you know Mike Hollis? But he led the 6 miler I did and was the once who convinced me and one other girl to go along next Tuesday. So will see how I get along with that!
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