Thoughts on Running Clubs?

I've promised some chums that I will go along to their running club tomorrow night. And now I'm panicking! The members I know are all lovely and I'm sure the other ones are too. Also, I know that they go out in different groups according to speed and that theoretically I should be fine in the slow group but I'm worried all the same. (1) What if they want to chat while running? I can't run and chat at the same time! (2) What if I'm having a "practice run" type day and have to try and keep going when my legs are heavy and I just want to slink off home? (3) What if the run involves a big hill and they have to wait for me while I have a walking break? (4) What is the etiquette regarding running with earphones in? I've got so used to music accompanying me. Etc!

Any thoughts, folks?

37 Replies

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  • Wow great questions and I will follow your post to hear the answers. The running clubs who have websites I've peeked at specify a minimum time and distance (sub-60 10K so they are not things I'll be eligible to join anytime soon!)

  • Oh blimey. No that wouldn't suit me either!

  • I just looked my local running club up. They encourage all levels of runners to join them & then say you have to be able to run 10k in 55m!

    I very much doubt I'll be joining them anytime soon!

  • Hello AnneDroid

    I am just going through the same doubts and worries as I have sort of agreed to try out a running club.

    I am OK on my own and would like to join others but don't know the etiquette or how I will manage. I have been running with two colleagues which has been a revelation. I did manage to talk surprisingly and went faster than I go alone.!

    I think you should give I a try and you never know there might be people who are slower than you! You don't have to go back if you don't like it.

    Good luck

  • Yes you're right. I only need to go once to try it!

  • I did belong to a large running club in Ipswich several years ago. Different groups went out at different paces and distances, so you decide where to place yourself. The golden rule of every running club is that nobody gets left behind, so someone will always run with you. And all runners know that beginner runners need to go slow and steady.

    My husband currently runs in a very small club, and there are no beginner runners at present. If I went, he tells me they'd use me as the base line and keep running back to me. Not sure that would make me feel great!

    I guess your friends have invited you because they think you'll enjoy it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! You don't have to go back if it's a disaster!

    Good luck!

  • Haha! No I'm not sure I'd love being the base line either. :)

    And I'll take your advice re the music!

  • The guy that leads our Monday night canicross group often literally runs twice as far as everyone else because he runs up and down the line (as it were) to accompany each little sub group of runners for a bit. We all stop or slow down for each other as necessary.

    I don't know how different it is when dogs are not involved...

  • PS ditch the music - it's a social occasion and people want to be friendly! ๐Ÿ˜

  • Great questions.. I am a lone runner... ( who would want to run with this loopy old snail).. :) ... so will be really interested in the replies :) any thing else, we don't know until we try it!.. ( Says she who is still trying to pluck up courage to do a Park run.. :) )

  • Well.... I'll do a deal with you Oldfloss . I will give the running club a try and you will give parkrun a try. That seems fair! :)

  • I have been really, really thinking of it.. I will need a week to get some more runs in though.. only just off the IC, so would like to get up to speed.. ( well not speed exactly! )

  • get to that parkrun Oldfloss !! :)

  • Give me a week...? x

  • yes ! come on stripey yellow snail up and at em!! :) you'll be great!

  • Oh bliss... I keep telling people how much they'll enjoy park run and I still haven't plucked up the courage to go myself either!

  • Ah, now, McFitty . Maybe if I did TWO weeks of running club the second week could represent the same deal with you! :)

  • Okay. Eeeeeek๐Ÿ˜•

  • Maybe we could meet half way somewhere and do one together!!!

    But is the world of running ready for us two, I ask myself! xxx

  • ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚possibly not!

    I'll have to improve my speed before that Floss, you'll be dragging me round behind you!

  • Not currently..the Grey Snail is back ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Now then, I will get very cross with you and Oldfloss if you don't go to'll love it, I promise, and you'll wonder why on earth you didn't go sooner...

    Now, pick a date, register and print off your barcode, tell us when you're going and we'll all come with you (virtually of course) ๐Ÿค—


  • Okay.. give me a week or two to get back to full strength... weather permitting and I will have a go...!

  • I'd run with you any day โ˜บ

  • Thank you x

  • I am having the same fears myself Anne. Ive been in touch with a club. Im told a leader runs front and one to the back so no one gets left behind. Several groups to choose from: 2 mile, 3 mile, 4 mile. I know i can run this distance but what if I take twice as long as everyone else? Do i turn up dressed to run, what if no one speaks to me, what if Im so much older than everyone else.......eeekkk.

    Im trying to get myself there but who knows???

  • So.... do you *want* to do this (even though you are nervous) or have you been talked into something?

    I'd say that having got you there, it is up to your friends to make sure you enjoy it and surely they wouldn't be friends if they'd suggested something you are genuinely not up to?

    I'm interested in your comment that you can't chat whilst running... I thought that was supposed to be how we pace ourselves, by making sure we could chat? (Although I can certainly understand preferring not to chat the whole time and I'd've thought people would understand if you don't want to do that)

    If there's a big hill, then teeny tiny steps...

    What's the worst that could happen? You don't like it and you don't go back, so it would only be the once (and you come here and tell us all about it)

  • I've been to a 'beginners' session at one of our local clubs, the club itself is very, very competative and has loads of gazelle/racing snake types. I was the slowest of the bunch, it was at night and dark, and I did get left behind, I didn't mind too much, but didn't know the area very well, if they had turned a corner I wouldn't have known what to do! ๐Ÿ˜‚

    It was fine until, when we actually got back to the sports centre/club house, the leaders had waited for me before they did the final stretches with everyone, one person (not one of the leaders) did not disguise their annoyance at having to wait for me.

    I haven't been back since, it didn't bother me really, I just think this particular club is too competative for me, that type of running is not what I am looking for, but you don't know until you go along and try,

    So, be brave, go along, nothing to lose by giving it a go......๐Ÿ˜„


  • Yikes! That sounds horrible!

  • It probably sounds worse than it was, the leaders were lovely, and one of them stayed with me most of the time - the others in the group were fine aswell - apart from that one at the end.

    It did make me laugh that it was advertised as the beginners night, and the leaders said I may prefer one of the other evenings! (Which had minimum speed requirements - faster than me)

    I'm glad I tried it though


  • That wasn't a very friendly running club - sorry to hear that. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

  • Thanks, it is known for being very competative, linked to the university, there are rules about wearing the club vest and there are expectations to compete - I'm sure it's great if that's what you want, I am glad I tried it though, there are other clubs, which I've been encouraged to try, which I've been assured are not like that, but so far, I haven't done so, maybe one day....


  • I have all of the above worries so will be interested to hear how it goes!!

  • Go for it Anne! you'll find that with practice you can chat a little while running even if its just an odd word, i think you'll surprise yourself with how well you'll do! and great that you are going with friends to support you! in my club there is always a back marker so no-one gets left behind and they offer a safe and supportive atmosphere. I've just started at another club aswell which is an affiliated one, but every one is still friendly and just there to help and encourage. I'd probably ditch the music and enjoy the company :)

  • You'll be grand! Any concerns just ask your friends. If you like it you can go back, if you don't, well it's one of your runs this week๐Ÿ˜€

  • Anne, my Sunday group come back and come in behind any slow runners lagging behind, you can manage a 5k constant running can't you? Don't worry about having to slow up on hills, let organiser know your a new runner.

    My local running club won't leave a runner behind either and also come back. What have you got to lose? Just have a trial run with your friends, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised..๐Ÿ˜Š

    And old floss WILL do a Parkrun when she's able! Won't you floss!? X ๐Ÿ˜

  • I love my running club. I run in the slowest group and if anyone is struggling they circle back I.e. The front runners loop back so you're not left stranded at the back whilst everyone else disappears into the distance.. it really helps to run with other people so I'd suggest you go along and be honest about your misgivings and if its a good club you'll be well supported.

    Failing that, upsticks and move to Dunstable and join Dunstable Road Runners!

    Good luck๐Ÿข๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฟ

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