Should a loner join a club?

I have decided I should try and have some real life friends, (although I'm not very good at it) and I was thinking of joining a running club.

Has anyone else done this? What's it like? I'm nervous of going along.

My local club offers a few weeks trial before you commit, so that sounds good. I would just like to hear about other's experiences so I can decide if it's for me or not.

30 Replies

  • I found it OK, but they were all sooo much better than me. Very friendly bunch, but not necessarily people I would want to be friends with!!! Good luck :)

  • Did it seem to attract lots of competitive sorts?

  • God, yes. I have so many C25K 'friends'. I ought to make some real ones but haven't even dared ask about the bike yet.

  • You could go up to the bike person, look awkward and get your words slightly muddled, fidget uncomfortably.....I'll back you up with finesse

  • Second Lieutenant I_will (classics div), that's what I need along with an air of panache.

  • Social awkwardness with panache ...... that's genius!

  • Genius - that's me. Is it the school hols? If so neighbour may be in during day - teacher. Maybe I should get a grip - or just book myself into the spinning club followed by a swim. What a leader! If it were possible I'd sack myself.

  • Personally, I'd never dare. I have too many scary memories of school PE lessons to ever want to run in a weekly group again. Good luck if you decide to go for it :)

  • Thanks. I really hope it won't be like that. Think I'll ask JuicyJu!

  • Me too! Far too many horrible PE lessons come to mind to want to join anything , glad it isn't just me :)

  • I was always at the back in running with the smokers, and I didn't even smoke

  • I joined jogscotland group ( I think run england might be similar) just few weeks ago and love it We pay £2.50 a session Only about 4-6 of us each week and everyone so friendly. We even met for run when leader on holiday. I was looking for club for ages but some just sounded too official / serious for me -- races , committee meetings , Trials to find which group to join. I am sure they would have been absolute fine but just not for me . I really only wanted somewhere where I could get bit advise / tips on improving my running and maybe meet new people to chat to. I was really so lucky in group I found. I think you should give it a go especially as they offer few weeks trial first. You'll soon know if it's for you - you just get a gut feeling don't you. What have you got to lose

  • That sounds nice and laid back. I really don't want someone shouting at me through a megaphone while they are stood right next to me!

  • Hi I_will, please join a running group if you think that it will give you more motivation to go running. But I'm not sure that a running group is the best way to get 'real life friends'. You will certainly meet people who enjoy running, but perhaps they will also enjoy competing...???

    Are there any friendly folks from this C25K forum near you? You could meet up with fellow C25k runners and perhaps have more in common. Also, Park Run seems to attract a wide range of runners, from the athletics clubs to us 'fun runners' and that could lead to meeting mid-week for a practice.

    We're all happy to be your virtual friends here on C25K, so don't feel lonely!

  • Thank you, but I don't get lonely. I think maybe it would be good for me to make some real friends though. I really like my online friends, they're easy to get on with.

    I just don't meet people much ........

    ......... what with living in the middle of a wood in a gingerbread cottage and all. *cackles and lights a fire beneath a cauldron*

  • <Sob>

    I am real, and alive, and your friend, does that count?

  • Yikes!! Shall I?

    It will be Tuesday or Thursday.

  • I joined JogDerbyshire! £1.50 a week and you don't have to sign up or commit to anything at all. I was very worried at having to meet up in a gym cafeteria having never been in a gym in my life! Anyway, I told myself that as I was a big girl I could do this. I could, I did, and it was fine. I ran with them about four or five times then hurt my ankle and was laid up for weeks. Then I had to start from scratch as I'd lost my fitness but I shall definitely go back as I enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with them. I thought I would surely collapse into a heap and have to be resuscitated but it was fine. We build these things up out of all proportion in our heads and we can hold ourselves back

    Don't you do that will you? Go for it, see how it goes. If you don't like it you don't have to go again, although running with others does pull you round. The folks I ran with were extremely friendly and supportive. What more could one ask

  • Thanks. I will just have to do it without thinking about it first. Get in my car, drive, get out and say, 'Hi, I'm the local noob, can I join?', (hopefully, realise I've gone to the right place!)

  • Over many years, I have found that to make friends and influence people - you have to move from the periphery of your circle to the centre. To do this , you volunteer to do things -- then ebrybody gets to know you . I only recently joined my local Parkrun a few months ago -- most there know me my sightb at least now -- I am the old fellow in the cover photo !! :)

  • Wow! That's great :-) nice photo

  • Just noticed yours starts at 7am! Ouch! I'm so happy we have 9am starts, I don't think I would go as regularly if I had to get up at 6

  • yes -- 7AM is standard here in Australia- although the southern States do have daylight saving in Summer . Here in Qld we often say that it could be an hour earlier than 7AM in summer (7AM is getting too hot!!!) and an hour later in winter. This winter so far it has been bitterly cold at 7AM!!!!

  • I have been trying out my local running club, and really enjoying it - they are a really friendly, encouraging bunch, no-one is made to feel they are too slow, or is ever left behind. But I have also been taken out of my comfort zone, in the best possible way. It is so utterly different from school PE lessons - everyone is there because they WANT to be...

  • Thanks, that's some positive feedback. I think I shall be brave and give it a go!

  • I finished wk9 run 3 yesterday & To motivate myself to carry on running I joined my local running group 2 weeks ago ( fior beginners, 6 weeks then commit if it's for me)! It's been a bit of excitement and a bit of a shock as we jog and do speed, jog and do speed repeat. The trained coach really educates us about form and cadence and expects us to put in a further reasonable two sessions a week but reminds us it is a running club & not a jogging club. Week 1 went well perhaps because I didn't know what to expect but then last week for me was a real struggle - and I felt out of my depth but the hour came to an end and although I felt drained I did feel it would be hard to get this level of input and assessment ( and pushing) ; so I will see the six weeks to the end . Like starting c25k and not being able to run to completing c25k and realising I could! So I want to do this. Some of the other beginners are actually experienced 10k'ers and enter runs regularly but they all want to improve and all feel a bit nervous wondering if they can do it and we so far are all doing it. So lots of bonding and running interest in common makes it friendly and it is always welcoming. And there seems to be so much going on from cycling to swimming for triathlon and 7 different groups from the fast to the slower / newer runners. It's good to meet local people from my community and see everyone turning up in their kit - back again on Tuesday to start week 3 - let's hope it's not so hot and humid . Planning to do some midweek training with the other beginners is also sociable and should be nice company for those times I don't want to run on my own - you can try it out and along with this forum let us know how it goes.

    Hope it goes well!

  • Thanks, that sounds interesting. It sounds like clubs are really varied, with some much more serious than others!

    I'll keep you posted.

  • I think the replies have just about covered it but would like to add my experience. Like a few others here I joined a running group rather than a club (although it has links to the local club if anyone wants to join, and some are in both).

    It's presently all female, varied abilities/ages, no one is made to feel 'out of it'. Is there competitiveness? Not really, we naturally seem to separate into our ability groups and there is no way I could reach the fast ones so it doesn't bother me. The main benefit is it forces me out of my comfort zone, mixes up my training in a way I wouldn't have done otherwise, also nice to have people to go to events with and we meet up for informal runs together too, but very casual no pressure. So far so good, and I'm a moderately social loner btw. :-)

  • Hmm, a group rather than a club sounds more up my street, especially if it's more laid back. Thanks, I'm glad you posted with your take on it, it's helpful :-)

  • No problem I_will, groups seem to be pay by session (ours is £2) so if you go a few times and don't like then nothing lost. Let us know how it goes. :-)

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