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Running clubs - why join?

10 reasons for joining your local running club

There are hundreds of running/athletics clubs in the UK and more are springing up all the time, from long standing Athletics clubs to small groups of local joggers . The chances are there will be one within striking distance of your home or work address.   If you are looking for some encouragement and interested in running with like minded people then we have compiled a list of 10 reasons why you should go ahead and check out your local club.

 Motivation

Running with others can increase your motivation to make the most of your running.  Its easy to think of an excuse not to run, e.g. feeling tired, poor weather etc., but if there is a set time and place and you know that others will be joining you then this increases the likelihood of sticking to your plan. 

Enjoyable running

When you are running in company and chatting then the time usually passes much more enjoyably, especially on longer runs when it can get a bit tedious and hard work on your own.  Also, its often very tempting to take it easy on your own and sometimes its good to push yourself a bit harder with others. 

 Same paced company

Running clubs usually have varying groups depending on speed, so you will nearly always have some-one to run with of your own pace and ability.  A lot of clubs either have beginners groups or run beginner's courses so look out for these if you are a complete novice, and check beforehand if there will be others of your own pace before you join. 

Structured Training

A lot of clubs have qualified coaches that offer structured training, or one to one advice if you require this.  Proper training can lead to vast improvements in performance. 

 Club discounts

If you join a club with UK Athletics affiliation you will get a discount of approx £2 off most UK races. Also, a lot of running shops give discounts to club members on trainers and equipment.

Free racing and leagues

Many clubs hold their own races within the club, or against other local clubs.  These are generally free to enter, fairly low key so there isn't  too much pressure,  and can be a great motivator.  You will soon get to know who runs at your pace and enjoy some friendly rivalry.

 Social Interaction

The social side of joining a club can't be underated.  Its a great way to meet people and discussing running, whatever speed you are, is the perfect ice breaker.

 Experience and Advice

Most clubs have a wealth of information and advice on all matters running within the membership.  Just chatting to another member about their training and experience can bring forward some very helpful tips.

Safety in Numbers

 If you don't want to run on your own in the dark evenings or just don't like training alone,  then joining a club solves this problem.  After all, there's definitely safety in numbers. 

Being part of a team

You will have the opportunity to compete for the club if you wish.  You won't need to be super speedy , other club members are great at supporting all club members whatever their ability and its great to have encouragment shouted out and feel part of the club team. 

 

So, there we have it - 10 reasons for joining your local running club.  Most club memberships are relatively inexpensive and unlike team sports you won't be obliged to turn up all the time.  It can be really motivating to have like minded individuals to run with, chat with and compete against.  Of course, running can be enjoyable as a means for getting away from the stresses of life and training alone does have its merits, but club nights and events are certainly a great addition to the running life.

if you want to look for a local club then have a look at our Club Finder.  If you are already a member of a club and its not on the list, then please let us know or ask for an activation code if you are on the committee and wish to register with us. 

 Louise and Andy

Founders of Good Run Guide and authors of 40 Great Scenic Routes in England and Wales

 

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