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Joining a Running Club

By: Mike Kiely BA (hons) - Updated: 1 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
National Associations Information

Whether you prefer a partner or running solo, there are benefits for everyone from joining an organised club, not least because however independent minded you are, it is always nice to feel that you are among friends. And that is just one of the bonuses of joining.

There are three ways to find yourself a local running club. By the way, locality is important because from a practical point of view, you don’t want to be having to leap on a bus or grab the car keys. That will only be a disincentive, especially after a long day at work. So, the three ways: phone book, internet and word of mouth, but not necessarily in that order. For example, personal recommendation is not only a proven reliable way to find a good club but it can also be reassuring that when you arrive for your first session, you may already know someone who can show you around and make the introductions.

Affiliated Clubs

The phone book is self-explanatory, and may throw up names that may have home pages on the internet. Another online source of information is your national association, which should incorporate on its site a comprehensive list of the clubs affiliated to it. In the UK, for example, head for ukathletics.net, which as the address suggests is the home page of UK Athletics. Within the national structure, there are likely to be a number of regional bodies, again in the UK, for example, the North of England Athletic Association and the South of England Athletic Association. All of these will be useful in terms of further contacts and also providing information on specific types of organised events such as cross-country and track.

Most clubs will charge a joining fee that will cover costs ranging from simple administration to the maintenance of facilities. Not surprisingly, the more comprehensive the facilities, such as a running track and changing rooms, for example, the more money you will have to pay annually.

Social Aspect

Many clubs organise themselves into sections, sometimes based on age, sometimes on particular levels i.e. beginners, intermediate and advanced. This makes sense because training effectively and making progress relies on you running with those of equal ability. Similarly teenagers will require a different approach to the over-50s. There is also the social aspect that will not survive the generation gap. And it is the social aspect that can be very important, even for those who want to spend at least half their time running solo. Surrounded by like minded people will mean ideas on how to approach training and overcoming particular problems will receive a regular airing, so you’ll never be too far from valuable advice.

The club will likely organise events throughout the course of the year for those who wish to add a competitive edge to their training. And news of other races both at a regional and national level will filter through much more quickly either through word of mouth or via the club noticeboard.

Clubs by their very nature are about belonging. They do not suit everyone, but for many they offer the chance to share the highs and lows of running. The chances are that with the help of your fellow members, there will be many more highs than lows.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Hi Sue, I live in neath and I know it is a way from Swansea but I have set up my own running groups, one iscouch to 5k which I undertake every 10 weeks and this has been successful, some of those now do the Park runs and I have also set up another group to advance from 5 to 10k. It is not a running club and I am doing this because I am passionate about getting people active. I have Qualified in Leadership and Running Fitness and my groups are enjoying getting fit. It is not a club and it is free, if you would like any more information please get in touch.
tina arthur - 17-Apr-17 @ 5:40 PM
Could you tell me if there are running clubs in Swansea for the over 50s please
Sue - 10-Mar-17 @ 11:58 AM
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  • Bev
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi . Looking for a beginners group in Swansea on a Wednesday. This is for two ..
    5 July 2017
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    I live in Thornhill in Cardiff and wonder if any of your groups meet in Cardiff or Caerphilly which is next town to me. Thankyou
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    Re: Joining a Running Club
    Hi Sue, I live in neath and I know it is a way from Swansea but I have set up my own running groups, one is couch to 5k which I undertake…
    17 April 2017
  • Jen
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Are there any groups running in swansea
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  • Sue
    Re: Joining a Running Club
    Could you tell me if there are running clubs in Swansea for the over 50s please
    10 March 2017
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    Speedup - Your Question:Hi, is there a running group in Torquay please? If so, could you send me some details. Many thanks.<
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    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi, is there a running group in Torquay please? If so, could you send me some details. Many thanks.
    24 January 2017
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    Hi, I'm looking for a beginnerso club in Paignton. Thanks
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