Raising your running level before joining a club, worth it?

Massively considering joining a club for some extra training and guidance more than anything, but I want to know people and more specifically other runners views on training hard and then joining a club rather than just joining straight away. I believe that maybe if you go in with a higher initial level the club may take you more seriously?


  • Think it depends on what club you join. Ive always shyed away from joining a club as I thought they were elites, but having ran with a few club runners recently I realise that there are all standards, even at some of the better clubs.

    Some of the clubs are far better than others though, and some a lot more freindly.


    Good luckimage


  • Thanks Barry I will bare that in mind!
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    It's an interesting question.  I know when I joined a club it was specifically to get guidance on interval training, to take my racing performance to the next level, so it was an advantage for me to be at a certain level to train effectively with the right group. I ended up choosing my current club because it had a stronger road racing section than the next option.

    In your situation it may be useful to join at the earliest opportunity, depending on the club.  If you have a few potential clubs in mind it might be worth doing some homework on whether they have many runners at a similar level, either from the power of 10 website, local race results, or just getting in touch with the clubs directly and giving them an idea of your situation and ability.

  • Thanks phil some very helpful points there!
  • i think it would depend on the club..........but when you join if you listen and learn and improve then i think they would take you seriously whatever level you start at

  • Good point seron
  • I joined one at the stage where I was still seeing dramatic improvements in performance on a monthly basis.

    I'd say that most people end up with the impression that you're a stronger runner if you join at that stage, rather than when you're starting to plateau and fighting for every small improvement.
  • Yeah I suppose you're right there
  • Ronnie, I'm a recent convert to running club, only started going January seriously.

    Check a few clubs out, have a look at their website, information, Facebook page whatever. See what sort of things they list.

    If all about the fastest, then look elsewhere. If you see it's very inclusive then should work for you.

    Guess it depends where you are in terms of 5k / 10k terms now.

    I've had dramatic improvements too, and still getting them. Would I have gone faster last year, not sure.
  • Ive not really measured myself at a 5k or 10k event to be honest but would love to know my scores in both so I may look to do this now thanks!

  • Saw you had done 4:28 for a marathon on another thread? So no problems with endurance. Plus you are very young too,

    How about a half?

    McMillan estimates 27-28 for a 5k, 57-58 for a 10k for you,

    I think you'd be fine, picking the right club. You'll knock loads off these times once you do some speed work.
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    General rule of thumb

    Athletics club...be cautious on joining if you consider yourself slow

    Road running club, you'll be fine whatever your level

    Some people do have odd ideas about "club runners" though.

    I remember coming 9th in a race years back, not wearing my club vest, only to be told the front 8 were "proper runners" simply due to their running club vests. Meanwhile, a guy came last wearing a club vest...but presumably was a "proper runner" just due to that.

  • Thanks for them points stevie, taken on board

  • They'll soon take you seriously when you start beating them!

    Most clubs will let you run with them for a few weeks before you have to join, why not just try a few out in your local area? Failing that, do a localish race, and have a chat with people wearing local club vests & see what they are like and what the club does.

  • yeah good idea

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