Training Tips

Ten good reasons to join a running club

24-07-2014

Running may not be a team sport but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.

By joining a running club, you can become part of a group effort while also seeing your individual performances soar.

In the UK, there are hundreds of athletic and running clubs who are always open to new members.

Athletic clubs cater for sprinters, jumpers and throwers as well as middle to long distance runners and enter track competitions, as well as road and cross country races. They can be more expensive to join then just a running/jogging club which are generally aimed at long distance road runners.

See which clubs are available in your area and ask if you can join them for a training run. Most clubs will allow you to join in for a few sessions before deciding if you want to become a full member and will always offer a warm welcome.St Albans Striders

Here’s our top ten reasons for joining your local club:

1. Variation: By joining an organised group run, you can explore new routes you might not have discovered on your own – or that might not be safe for you to head out to alone. Clubs also often run interval sessions, such as mile reps with a timed recovery, that you might not have had the inclination to do on your own and which will make a change from your usual run.

2. Company: By chatting while you run and being encouraged along by the people around you, you’ll find the workout flies by.

3. Improvement: By running with others, you can try and push yourself harder by trying to keep up with someone else or running for longer than you might have done on your own. As a result, you’ll get fitter and faster.

4. Friendship: Joining a running club is a great way to meet new friends from all walks of life. While your non-running friends may quickly get bored of hearing about your latest race preparation or your satisfaction at getting a PB, like-minded people at your running cub will be more than happy to listen and compare notes.

5. Support: Running clubs are full of experienced runners and trained coaches who will be able to share their wisdom with you and help and encourage you to achieve your goals.

6. Cost: Running clubs usually charge an annual fee to join, which could be as little as £10. Otherwise they might offer a ‘pay as you run scheme’ where you pay a fee each time you attend a session. Overall the cost should be far less than gym membership. Some clubs also offer free entry to some races to members, while many road races offer a discounted entry fee to running club members.

7. Routine: It can be difficult to fit a run in when you have a hectic schedule. But as clubs meet at a set time each week to do a run or group session, it’s one run you can plan in your diary for the same time each week.

8. Team spirit: Racing in a club vest can bring you a great sense of pride and your team-mates will never fail to cheer you on. At some races, team prizes are available to give you extra incentive to push yourself to the finish line.

9. Discounts: Some specialist running stores offer discounts to running club members so it’s another way you can save some money. Individual clubs might also have different sponsors who offer freebies or discounts to members.

10. London Marathon places: Each year, the London Marathon offer a number of places to registered running clubs across the country. So if you’ve been unlucky in the ballot or unable to get a charity place, you could get lucky by obtaining an entry through your club.