Running groups

In November 2013, I walked into my local Sweatshop and saw a running group for all abilities.

I thought yay, so I took all the details and turned up at 9:30am on a Sunday morning and run a 5k course.

It was incredibly hard, but the young chap ran with me and encouraged me around the course and I did it, I was so proud.

I have since done a second one, but I found the course so difficult. I didn't get much recovery time during the run.

My questions to runners on this forum are should I continue? I haven't been for two weeks, simply because I find the group a tad unfriendly, the runners seem to be very serious, setting phones and watches before they set off and I have been "last" twice. I joined to make friends with people who enjoy running, but they seem a little cliquey and I don't feel encouraged by them.

I am still working through my C25k, but I thought I could get more running in to help me along my way.

Apart of me says, are you there for that or to get active? I shouldn't worry about the others in the group. The other says, maybe this group isn't for me. Maybe I should find another local group who are friendly. As being encouraged and saying hello to someone who is new makes a difference to me.

What do you guys think?


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20 Replies

  • If you have a sweatshop local you probably have a parkrun, and these really are for all abilities:

    They are very friendly, with lots of people hanging around to cheer the entire crowd home, followed by a coffee.

  • Thanks for your reply Matp.

    Parkrun? There is no park! It's a run on our local streets.

    I have to disagree, they are not in my opinion very friendly.

  • Hi Viktor,

    It doesn't sound like you did a parkrun - try clicking the link and searching for your town.

  • I'm not ready for a parkrun. I am yet to complete the C25k. Thanks for the link, will use after graduation. Viktor

  • Yea I agree with matp I just speak to person standing beside me at start of parkrun and they always chat back -very very friendly Also I finish last or nearly last and loads say ' well done' on way round and at end In fact another c25k graduate really kindly waited to say high in freezing cold at end of my first parkrun cos i was so nervous Very supportive You could ask on here if anyone else does run in your area Other folk on this forum suggest volunteering at parkrun as way of meeting fellow runners Personally I always go with my 'gut feeling' and I wouldn't go back anywhere I didn't feel was friendly - but that's just me Good luck in your running

  • Fitfor60, like you I'm going with my gut instinct. I will find another group that is for me.

  • Good let us know how you get on

  • I can vouch for park runs , did my first a week ago & everybody where really nice , I came last , they all cheered me on & waited . Give it a go viktor .

  • I think I need to finish the C25k before embarking on a parkrun.

    Thanks for the advice Rockette. Hope you're resting your injury.

  • I've heard this said before about Sweatshop running groups - definitely look for your local Parkrun, I think you'll find it a completely different experience X

  • Saruma, I appreciate your comments. I intend to search for a group that I am happy in and an experience I can look back on.

  • Your local council will probably have a local jogging group. I was told about ours so did a search on Google and found a group that runs from our local sports centre. I joined up and have run with them three times, and found them very kind and supportive. I think all local authorities have these schemes

  • You're absolutely right. My local authority has many, but sadly they are not walking distance, that's why I went along to Sweatshop. Anyway, I plan to research local Run England sessions.

  • Definitely Parkrun when you are ready - if you have one nearby. If you google "runengland" you can put your details in and will give details of local running clubs. To be honest if you don't find sweatshop very friendly I wouldn't go as it can't be very relaxing for you and although we do the running for health benefits you don't want to feel tense about it. Linda

  • Sorry - just seen you are planning to look at that site - been along day at work!!

  • That's a pity victor but I hope you get somewhere with Run England.

  • It may be that it is the time of year and that the balance of attendance tips in favour of the 'obsessed' when other people have more pressing things to do. Sometimes people can be really friendly if you make the first move eg ask a question. Sometimes they might even be really friendly if you show up again in a week or two's time and you'll see they recognise you. So I'd suggest just maybe one more go in a few weeks. Not sure why you feel that you are not ready for Parkrun because you haven't finished C25K, when you have now run 5k twice. And someone obviously helped you there.

    My brother who is a good runner (and definitely obsessed watch fiddler) tried the local athletic club run and didn't enjoy it, but he goes out regularly on an informal basis with some friends he has made. They plan the route together and this time of year, they are running across moors in the dark with head torches.

    I'm afraid there are plenty of up-themselves arses in fitness

  • I'm now a Parkrun veteran - I've done three! And guess what - I'm turning into a watch fiddler too. Our local one is very friendly - loads of people all shapes and sizes running and I guarantee you won't come last (and if you do, you'll get a big cheer!). Last Saturday my local Parkrun was cancelled due to flooding so I went further afield to another town and although not as big, still found loads of people cheering on and plenty of people chatting and encouraging. Yes, there are VERY serious runners but that just makes me think it's a decent event and worth doing. Do try it. 10 months ago I couldn't run to the end of the road (really) and now I look forward to my next Parkrun.

  • I'm not sure I understand. Parkrun is 5k and you say in your post that you did a 5k with the group you saw in sweatshop so what would be the difference if you finished c25k first? Sorry if I have misunderstood.

  • dog3gg, I don't feel ready for a Parkrun as I have said. Yes, agreed I have already run 5k with support at the back with Sweatshop. It was painful and difficult for me as I run very slowly I don't know if you get that with a Parkrun. That's all I'm saying.

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