One of the most common worries people have before joining a club is, “Am I going to be too slow?” The answer is, almost certainly not.
Most clubs have members of all different speeds and abilities. And, as long as you can cover the distance, nobody minds how long it takes you.
2. You’ll get faster. Much faster
Running with people of a similar pace means you run faster than you would on your own – no one wants to be the first to slack off. And, if you’re the competitive type, there are always going to be faster runners to chase down and pick off. Get ready to smash out some serious PBs.
3. You’ll make loads of new friends
Runners are a social lot. You’ll be hard pressed to find a club that doesn’t retire to the pub for a jar or five after a run session. It’s a good way to meet new people in the area, and you’ve got at least one interest in common for starters – the running that is, not the booze.
4. You’ll have people to enter races and train with
Entering a race with friends is way more fun than doing it on your own. And you’ll have no shortage of people willing to sign up and join you in a running club.
The added bonus of training towards a shared goal is that you never need do those long, lonely Sunday morning runs on your own again.
5. You’ll discover new routes
Let’s face it, there’s only so many times you can do your usual two laps of the park before your head falls off with boredom. Luckily, clubs offer a wealth of new routes and inspiration.
You may think you know your area like the back of your hand, but you can guarantee new routes will take you past at least three pubs you never even knew existed.
6. You have a guaranteed cheer squad
Every time you enter a race, you can guarantee that any club-mates who aren’t running will be gathered on the sideline, banners in hand, cheering support.
They’ll have a beer waiting at the finish line too, if they know what’s good for ’em.
7. You’ll never wonder what kit to buy, how often to train, or whether to take energy gels again
Because there are loads of experienced runners at your club to ask, it’s a bit like having a living, breathing run-apedia at your fingertips.
8. You’ll train smarter
It’s hard to push yourself on your own, but lots of running clubs offer hill sessions to work on your strength, and interval and track training to work on your speed.
It’s not necessarily running more that makes you a better runner, it’s running smarter.
9. You’ll be motivated to run, even when the weather’s pants
Getting out of bed to run 5k when the wind’s howling? Nah – think I’ll just press snooze.
Getting out of bed to run 5k with your club when the wind’s howling? Yeah – they’ll kill me if I don’t turn up!
10. Unlike everyone else ever, your club mates are actually interested in your mile-per-hour pace, that niggle in your hamstring, and the pros and cons of compression socks
The next best thing to actually running is talking about running. Runners will never complain that you’re being a bore if you discuss, in intricate detail, how the timing of your pre-run porridge affects your bowels on a 10-miler.
Non-runners, however, don’t seem to share the fascination with route elevation, race pace, and toenail loss. Weirdos…