Joining a running club can be hugely beneficial. You make new friends, train regularly, find variety, and become more knowledgeable, to name a few benefits. In this article, I’ll be looking at why getting involved with a club can be one of the best things you do running-wise.
With joining a club such a positive step to take, why do some runners choose not to join one?
When something is easy to do, it’s also easy not to do. Some common reasons for not finding and joining a club include:
Being overwhelmed as a new runner
When you’re new to running, it can be a tricky business. You’re not sure what you’re doing, don’t have a steady training regime, and may have hit a few rough patches. The last thing on your mind is joining a running club.
Not having time
Some runners think that joining a club takes a huge amount of time. This simply isn’t the case, and in this article, you’ll find being in a club may actually help you save time.
Not being knowledgeable or experienced
Sadly, some runners think that they’re not knowledgeable or experienced enough to join a club. This holds them back and prevents them signing up to a club.
In the 21st Century, mental health problems like anxiety and nervousness are incredibly common. It’s inevitable that some runners will have trouble fitting into new social situations, which is why some don’t choose to join a running club.
This article will help convince you to join a club
By exploring the following benefits, I hope this article will help you to feel confident about joining a club. It can be daunting at first but belonging to a tightly knit running community will do wonders for you, and it could be one of the best decisions you ever make. Okay, let’s get into it…
Without further ado, here are 11 reasons to join a running club
1. Make new friends
If there’s one thing runners are known for, it’s being a friendly bunch. When I first started running I remember how much I enjoyed meeting lots of friendly people.
Joining a running club is a fantastic idea because you will meet some great people. Clubs are filled with likeminded people who take an interest in running and fitness, and you’ll make lots of friends in no time.
Have some running pals mean you’re more likely to come back each week, so you have a nice incentive to maintain your running.
Also, there’s no reason you can’t extend new friendships beyond the club. If you make some great friendships, why not invite your running pals out to a meal or a trip downtown?
Humans are social creatures, so running to meet like-minded individuals makes sense and is a great benefit of joining a running club. Give it a go and make some lifelong friends.
If you find a special running pal, you might consider making them your running partner. For more information on why running partners are great, check out the following blog post:
2. Find variety in your training
Anyone who has been running for a while knows how easy it is to follow a monotonous routine. For instance, you could be running the same route each day of your training. You could even be doing the same exercises day in, day out. Whilst this is good for consistency, you run the risk of getting bored with your running life. Not a good situation to be in.
When you join a club, they encourage you to vary your training regime which will give you variety. Running clubs often try new and exciting routes, as well as organising different training sessions like speed work one week followed by hill runs the next.
Simply put, joining a running club is a fantastic way to add some variety to your training and keep you interested in the sport.
The last thing you want is to do the same thing day in, day out. Einstein said the definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing time and time again and expecting different results.’ Find variety and join a club.
3. Challenge yourself
Surrounding yourself with experienced and conditioned runners can be intimidating and seem scary. However, being around runners of a higher ability will challenge and stretch you so you actually become a better runner.
if you just stayed running on your own, or with runners who are your level (or below) you won’t have anyone to push you. If you make the brave leap and join a club, your new running buddies will have a positive impact on your training and encourage you to work harder to match their level.
Of course, they will be friendly and helpful. No one will force you to do anything, like training too hard, that you don’t want to do. That’s not what a good running club is about. When you join a decent club, you’ll find the coaches and runners help you plan your training, pace yourself and give you realistic and helpful challenges.
Join a running club for a sense of challenge. It’s one of the best reasons to join a running club.
4. Become a more knowledgeable runner
When we start anything new in life, we know virtually nothing about it. Remember when you started to learn the piano, or cooked your first meal, or even started dating for the first time? Chances are, you weren’t very good at it because you had limited knowledge.
Fast forward to now and you’re a graded pianist, a decent cook, and may even have a romantic partner. This is totally normal for anything in life, and running is no different. When we start the sport, we know nothing about equipment or how to train properly. This is where signing up to a club comes in.
Joining a club means you will be talking to like-minded people who will be happy to share their wisdom with you. Runners in clubs are typically passionate and enthusiastic about the sport, thus will have accumulated lots of knowledge.
Find out about running shoes, GPS watches, jackets, gadgets, great gifts for runners, tips for getting faster, beginner runner tips. or even fancy-dress ideas. There’s a tonne to learn about this wonderful sport and joining a running club can help you accelerate the process.
Check out these information related running posts to get some knowledge before joining a club:
- 9 Reasons You Should Buy A GPS Running Watch
- 13 Best GPS Running Watches
- 10 Great Running Jackets For Women
- 10 Great Running Jackets For Men
- 11 Best Headphones For Runners
- 10 Great Energy Gels For Runners
- 30 Great Gift Ideas for Runners
- 30 Great Fancy Dress Ideas for Runners
- The Benefits of Running Sunglasses
- 7 Signals You Need New Running Shoes
- 5 Best Men’s Running Shoes for 2018
- Top 5 Running Shoe Brands
5. Have extra motivation to run
Being part of a running club can be great motivation for getting in a weekly workout. Just one fantastic reason to join a club.
If you’re running on your own, nobody is counting on you and you will only be letting yourself down if you blow out training one week. Who is going to notice or care? It’s just you who will feel the effects, right?
On the other hand, being in a running club means people are counting on you to show up each week. If you don’t attend, you’re not only letting yourself down but you’re letting the running squad down. Therefore, you’re more likely to be motivated to run each week.
It makes sense that we have more motivation to do things when we have others counting on us. You might be too tired to cook a decent meal, but you have children counting on you to cook for them. If you don’t feel like going into work one day, you go in any way because you know your team are counting on you to appear and make the team work as effectively as possible. Even though we don’t feel like doing certain tasks, we’re compelled to act when we have others counting on us.
Join a running club and find more motivation to run. Suddenly, it’s not as easy to skip the odd workout. You remember you have a club counting on you each week to attend and run with. Just one great benefit of joining a running club.
For more information on maintaining your running motivation, check out the blog post here:
6. Raise money for a charity
If you know anyone in any local clubs, you know they tend to raise lots of money for charity. Clubs tend to enter events, like Half- marathons and 10Ks, and represent one or a few charities.
Running clubs tend to enter events as groups, raising money for the same charity. In the lead up to race day, money is raised through traditional fundraising (like donations) or other means like tea & coffee mornings, parties or even sponsored silences.
You can get creative with fundraising, and it all climaxes on race day when you all come together and support each other through the run. A fantastic display of friendship, working towards a charitable cause and running adventure.
If you’re passionate about making a positive difference in the world, join a running club and help them raise money for charity. It’s one of the best, most fulfilling things you can do as a runner and in life. Give it a try.
For some motivation to run for charity, check out the following blog post:
7. Stay safe when running at night
Because everyone is so busy with their full-time jobs, creative endeavours and raising families, most running clubs tend to meet in the evenings. Depending on the time of year, it might be cold or even dark. Running with a club means you’ll be part of a tightly knit group, and you’ll stay safe.
Running in the evening can be a hazard. If it’s dark, will be difficult to see where you’re going, and you might lose your footing and injure yourself. A dark atmosphere means it’s more difficult for oncoming traffic and other pedestrians to see you, which could result in a nasty accident. Even if you have bright reflective clothing, there is increased risk in running solo during darkness.
As Iman Abdulmajid said, “there is strength in numbers.” Not only will running in a group, allow you to support and encourage each other to keep going, it also makes night time running much safer. If one of you falls and injures yourself, others in the group will be on hand to help.
Additionally, the effects of the bright clothing and lights worn in the group multiply with each extra runner. As a result, you’ll be more visible and identifiable to drivers and anyone nearby.
Running in a club means you will be safer during runs in the dark, which are particularly common in the Autumn and Winter months of the year. Join a running club and stay safe when running at night. It’s one of the many reasons signing up for a group is recommended.
For more information on staying safe at night when running, read the blog post here:
8. Enjoy friendly competition
“Competition is always a good thing. It forces us to do our best. A monopoly renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity.” Nancy Pearcey
Some runners get anxious when the word ‘competition’ is mentioned. They think it means being aggressive, hostile and trying to assert dominance over other runners. However, this simply isn’t the case.
Joining a running club means you will be able to access some friendly competition with other runners. Trying to be quicker than others, run more miles, and trying to travel with better form, are all examples of how you can try and outwork others in the group. This serves the purpose of pushing you to be better than what you are now, with the motivation of being better than others in your group keeping you pushing forwards.
Remember, the key word here is ‘friendly.’ Don’t try and dominate everyone in your running group for the sake of it, or even from a place of hostility and anger. See the beauty in competition, like Olympians and notable sportspeople do.
When Mo Farah or the Brownlee brothers train for a race, do you think they are trying to dominate their opponents out of sheer malice and spite? Of course not! They have a passion or their sport, and respect for their opponents.
Competition in life serves a purpose. To keep you on your toes, constantly improving and working to be better than what you already are. Join a running group to take advantage of some friendly competition.
9. Access to training coaches
One of the best things about running clubs is the access to training coaches. Sure, you might have to pay a small annual or monthly fee to be part of the club to get the kit and other accessories but having access to a coach is a luxury many runners wish they had.
A coach is someone who understands great running for, designs bespoke running programmes, and gives information on proper diet and nutrition. Coaches tend to be full of wisdom and have an infectious passion for running as a sport. A coach has a simple mission. To help you run as best as you possibly can.
Join a running club and get access to a coach for their wealth of information to become a stronger, fitter and more knowledgeable runner. Your running game will change dramatically for the better.
10. Ground your training plan
When your part of a club, it’s easier to stay on track with your training plan. Typically, most runners in a club follow the same training plan which means you can sync lots of your training to the club. Most clubs meet twice a week and alternate between a long run, and a targeted session (like interval or hill runs).
Of course, you don’t have to limit your running to just with the club. Still, go on your leisurely morning jogs before work and your tempo runs in the evening. Attending the club training sessions means you guarantee the important stuff gets completed, leaving you the freedom to mix up your workouts on the other days.
Anchor your training programme by joining a club and stay consistent with your running. It’s a fantastic benefit of joining one.
11. Inspire others to take up running
“Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating.’ John Wooden
When you start running, you’ll inspire others around you too follow suit. You might not think it, but every action you do has a consequence. Whatever you do, the people around you will be affected and influenced by it. If you start running and join a club, there is a good chance other around you will too.
After club runs, runners tend to be in a happy and positive mood. This rubs off on others, and they start to wonder why you’re so jolly. Whether you post your good mood on Instagram or Facebook or let friends and family know about your happiness, the world around you will start to take note.
When you start participating in club runs, you’ll start to enjoy running a lot more. Those around you will start to see this positive effect and may consider a running life for their own.
Inspiring others to take up this sport, and maybe even join a club, is one fantastic reason you should join a local club. It’s one thing to change your life with the power of running, but it’s another thing altogether when you inspire somebody else. Give it a try.