Running club

I've been thinking for awhile now about joining one of the many local running clubs but never followed through, for a few reasons that include; I'm not a great people person and I'm really bad at small talk so the social aspect of it doesn't really interest me (maybe even scares me a little!). Although I can see the benefits to my long term running in a club, I'm currently training for a marathon and worry how club runs would/ could fit into my training (and foresee me training for events constantly in the near future as already thinking of my next challenge). I actually like running alone, I find it meditative not sure I want people ruining that. Its a running club! that would make me a club runner, they are fast and take running seriously, I just want the joy that running brings (and the medals from entering events image

What are your views on clubs? any pros or cons? have you tried clubs and left to do you own thing or joined a club and could never see yourself running alone ever again?


  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    Club runners are not necessarily fast or serious.  I was the fastest runner at my last club and I am not that fast. Depending on what club you choose they might have people who know things about training or they might not. You do not have to go to every (or indeed any) club run. You will get a £2 discount on all race entries and 10% off at Sweatshop. You will have access to league races and cross country, if you are interested in those things.

    As all your comments above are 'cons' rather than 'pros', why are you thinking about joining a club?

  • Ha ha fair point Literatin why? think its cos people tell me I should and I like the idea of the £2 discount, started entering a lot more events this year which I'd like to continue to do and I'd like to save money.

    As for the speed and serious thing I know this isn't true I often beat club runners and see them running around in tutus and such so know they are neither all fast or serious.

    The clubs I'm thinking of joining have been about for a while and do have members that know what they are on about so I could see myself learning a lot from them. There are pros I just didn't list them was wanting other people with club experience to add the pros that they have found. 

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    Lift sharing to races & information about local races by people who've done them. Being cheered on more in races because of your club vest.

  • Being a member of a club is what you make of it. My club has trail/road runs 3 times a week, and a track session once a week. People are free to pick and choose if they wish to join a run.  There is never any pressure to attend any meet ups.  Most clubs are friendly, and I'm sure operate along the same lines. But I can highly recommend the camaraderie of training in a group, especially for longer distances.  Sometimes the only thing getting me out of bed on a cold winter morning for a long run is knowing there are other people there as well, and they will encourage me all the way. I really can't think of any con's to joining a club.

  • djwolfdjwolf ✭✭✭

    Hi Andi,

    you may find that there are not many marathon runners in the club, so you may have to revise your training plans. The speed sessions  can really help , most of our runs are usually only about 7 miles. 

    You can always try before you buy they normally allow you to attend for a few weeks to see if it suits.

  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    I've only been a member of one club...  I was always a "lone" runner, enjoying my own company when running.

    Now I'm still a lone runner for 80% of the time but run with my club perhaps once a week... maybe slightly less often than that.

    I love the camaraderie - developed between massively different characters.  Some gregarious, some positively awkward, but all seem to be decent people and somehow get on really very well. You might be surprised how social it can be - because you can just join in a run with a group, and barely say a word, and it doesn't much matter because many people are concentrating on their running.... but when it does come to small talk, it is so easy because the environment is so focussed on running, you know for sure that there is always at least one subject that you can talk about, and know that you have something in common with the group.

  • NayanNayan ✭✭✭

    Im more of a self motivated lone runner. I dont have much time for the the social aspect of a club and will nevver be fast enough to compete properly  - races are just formal time trials for me.

    I'd still join up just for the coached speed sessions and technique drills. Unfortunately the timings tend not to work for me for reasons that are not interesting enough to share.

  • I have been having a similar dilemma, I have recently got back into running and have competed in a couple of half marathons and building up to a full marathon.

    I think that I could learn a lot and improve my time with the coaching, and the discounted entry fees are also a nice perk.

    I'm quite the solitary runner; I really enjoy running on my own and don't even listen to music on my runs.

    I work some crazy shifts so wouldn't be able to attend all the training sessions so it could work out well for me, having a mix of running with the club and on my own.
  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    It's worth considering Big_Avo. I started running as a 'guest' with the club my partner belongs to in their league races before joining them last year. Before that I'd really only run on my own or at work with a friend.

    For me the big benefit has been that I am doing more competitive running. There are league races once or twice a month from April through to October and the camaraderie is wonderful. Regardless of how good you are, how fast, where you finish, you're guaranteed to be cheered when you cross the line. 

    I can't attest to the training myself as I've only ever attended one session (due to work commitments) however my partner really enjoys the structure and the advice and thinks it's helped her tremendously. 

    I do run with a training group on a Sunday and that helps as well. Group running tends to keep you more honest in terms of pacing and effort. 
  • Thank you @Guarddog. I will definitely give it a go
  • Cheap too. Apart from the benefits mentioned you can do cross country and track races for your club that are free - when lots of the masses are paying silly prices for road races every other month. Plus there's road relays etc too.

    Track and xc are also great as you can try something different to the usual, plus the team bonding after (beer basically!)

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