Joining a club

Hey all. I've been running for about a year now and am enjoying it and have improved and shed a load of weight.

For me, running is more of a personal thing and I prefer to go it alone. I tend to run without technology or too much excess gear and just run speed and distance based on feel- sometimes it's a fast HM and sometimes it's a crawl at 4k.

That said, I do like the enter the odd event just to see where I am in the grand scheme of things and I think I'd like to enter more and more events as the year goes by - and that's where joining a club would come in handy.

Obviously it's cheaper to enter as a UKA-affiliated club member, so that's an attraction, and though I like a solo plod I'm not antisocial, so it's a good way to bounce tips and advice off more experienced people. 

That said, as someone who works odd hours and prefers to run against himself, is there any point joining a club? I can't guarantee appearance at any training, and to be fair, I'm not fast enough to make any team event standard. 



  • depending on where you are there may be a parkrun near you (if you havent considered it already)

    you can turn up at as many or few weeks as you feel like, people will let you know about local events, and you can keep tabs on your PB.  image

  • I'm doing my first Park Run this weekend actually, looks like a good set-up. I think part of the issue is that I prefer slightly longer distances that invariably cost more to enter.
  • Ah well, plenty of events on here that you can enter, no need to join a club i reckon.

    I don't like clubs either, mainly bcos i don't want to be tied to something like that. I would rather run for myself (and the dog of course!) 

  • If saving on the unattached levy is your motivation, it would depend on how much the club membership cost, and how may races you do in a year.

    It's not likely a club would expect you to attend every session, you can go along as you please at my club.  Some members aren't seen from month to month! 

    Running with others is a good motivator, especially for blokes who tend to be competitive and don't want to be last back to the club image

  • 12-15 races a year should see me make the money back based on the prices quoted by some local clubs, which I intend to do.

    Motivation's not much of an issue.  I'm not hyper-competitive but I couldn't help but noticing that I beat some club runners last weekend who were in my age group.

  • sevendaughters wrote (see)
    Motivation's not much of an issue.  I'm not hyper-competitive but I couldn't help but noticing that I beat some club runners last weekend who were in my age group.

    That really, really, doesn't mean a thing.

    Many, many people in my age group (and older) beat me, and I beat other club runners and unattached runners.

  • No, it wasn't a brag, what I'm saying is that if I joined a club I wouldn't be embarrassing myself, but neither would I be cracking many pots or threatening the serious runners. Tough crowd.
  • I'm a bit of a solo runner, I don't do the whole running & chatting thing. That being said, I joined a club an they certainly made me faster - training better and actually doing some speed sessions certainly made a difference. image

    There are other benefits as well. We have club socials as well as training nights. At races, there are nearly always a proportion of the speedy whippets who hang around and cheer the rest in. I've finished to a loud cheer several times - that finds a sprint finish - no way I'm embarasing myself walking over the line with that lot yelling me on! We also tend to share transport to races, so makes getting to and from more sociable and shares costs. The club also pay entry on the local cross country league, so that's a set of races for nothing.

    even if you can't make every session it's a worthwhile thing to do.

  • Quite often, membership of a club can get you a discount at running shops as well. My club membership gets me 10% off at Up & Running, for example.
  • Some things I hadn't thought of there, thanks all.
  • plus you may get access to facilities - I joined my local club mainly coz they train at the local track on a Tues and Thurs.  Also gets me access to coaching advice.

    I opted not to pay the affilaition fee as I wont be doing a lot of races.

  • I don't think there are many clubs that expect members to turn up to each and every training session. They realise that people have busy lives and other commitments. My club has three training nights a week but the most I've ever been able to get along to is one. Nobody's ever made any comment about it. And I see different faces each time I turn up so obviously loads of other members are just the same as me!
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