Disillusioned with Running Club

I joined a running club in May this year, they meet up every Tuesday & Wednesday and go out for 1 hour, different routes, lovely runs, but they never do any training, intervals, Fartlek, hills, although they have access to a really good running track. When I first joined someone always ran with me, me being the slowest, taking it in turns to loop back, but there advertisement did say all standards, beginners etc. Now I'm starting to feel a nuisance because they either expect the other females (who are nowhere near as slow as me) or someone to volunteer who doesn't want a particularly hard run that night. What do the other clubs do, am I expecting too much.


  • Witchy

    No you are not excepting too much – if a club promotes itself as catering for all standards that is what they should do

    As far as session go have you tried suggesting a structured sessions – I normally find that before everyone goes out there is normally a bit of a discussion (sometimes heated) in where they should go – this is your time to step in and say “what about some hill reps …” or whatever.

    You also have another option – if things don’t improve then find another club that accommodates the things you are looking for – there are normally at least a couple of clubs in a given area, each having a slightly different approach

    Good luck

  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Wicked Witch, you're not a nuisance! And you certainly aren't expecting too much! I used to have a job where I worked all over the UK, and wherever I was based, always joined the local running club. I think I've been a member of six or more running clubs now and - not one of them has resented slower runners.

    Faster runners don't mind having a slower session - they might be recovering from injusry, have had a hard training session the previous day, be knackered, whatever. And most runners really want to help other runners. So stick with it. I bet no-one in the club thinks that you're a nuisance - they probably think you're a real hero.

    Second - are they actively recruiting new runners? I first joined a running club becuase someone put a notice on a noticeboard at work. This gave the slower runners in the club more people to run with straight away - and although people drop out/speed up, there ended up being a far larger core of runners who were happy to run at a more sedate place.

    As for track sessions/speedwork etc. ... at my last club, the track sessions were organised by one of the slower runners - she'd read up on it, went on a course, and organised the sessions really well (down to recording people's times each session etc. to monitor improvement). Most runners (even good ones) are ultimately very lazy and need someone to kick them into doing speedwork/tracks sessions.

    However, ultimately it's how you feel about the situation, and if you feel that this club isn't the 'right' one for you, it might be worth looking into other clubs in the area (if that's a possibility).

    Anyway, I've rambled on for long enough. Hope this helps.

  • Will, LizzyB as this was the first time I have actually run with a club, I was a bit green as to what training they would do on club nights, I shall know in future. Fortunately I shall be finishing my job here in a month or so, I work on oil and gas pipelines and don't know where I'll be until the next job comes around, but I shall look around next time at what is on offer.
  • This seems to be a common complaint about running clubs. Some are so small so as to make it difficult to pair people of similar abilities up, I have in the past done intervals running out and back from a lampost a distance away then jogging the recovery with the slower runner who assured me it wasn't off- putting and it was company. I find the attitude of not encouraging slower runners senseless. Derek, my triathlon training partner and medical miracle has started a slower runners group on a Thursday at our club,the point being that everyone is slow at some stage in their lives, after an injury lay-off, an earlier workout in the day or abig dinner. It is good to spend time running at different paces and with different people.
  • Monique, it's lovely to hear your opinion on this, given that you are at the other end of the experience.

    Wicked Witch, I share your frustration with being at the back of the pack. I don't run with a club, but it is bad enough at events (see Saffron Walden 10K report). Thinking that one through, I think I, for one, certainly can do a lot more in giving others the lead in how to react to Seriously Slow Runners.

    I look forward to running with your in a race someday.

  • Stickless it would be an honour to run with you.
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