Wondering whether it's worth it or demotivating
I previously posted about starting to train for my first half-marathon. I am a slow runner (just under 11 mm at the moment) and do maybe 5 - 6k 3 - 4 times per week. I've been wondering about joining my local running club in Dulwich and whether it would be nice for cameraderie - I like running alone, and am addicted to Zombies, Run! but thought having the discipline of running with a group might help up my speed. The runners round my way (from people I see jogging in my local area) are a mix of friendly 'hi's' and ignoring, but generally v civilised!
I guess I'm concerned that I might not be that welcome as I'm not an athlete but a fun runner - what's the purpose of joining a local group, for those of you that are in one? Is it welcoming to those of us who are slow and chubby?! And has it helped improve your running life?
Would love to hear about others' experiences.
It really depends on the club. Some are more competitive than others so it is worth contacting them and speaking to someone about your ability and whether you will fit in.
My club would welcome you. We are a social club with some serious runners, but the majority of the runners do it for fun, weight maintenance and to socialise. At 11 min/m you would not be the slowest. Unfortunatly I'm not in your area otherwsie I would drag you along to our next session.
There are loads of benefits from a club. Company on long runs (whatever long means to you), the discovery of different routes, motivation to achieve your goals, being able to draw on the experience and knowledge of other runners, local knowledge on events and physios, making new friends, support when things aren't going well, structured training and coaching...
Maybe not all of those things are for you but the beauty of a club is that you can pick and chose the bits that you are interested in. Speed work and hills are so much easier with a group, if you want to increase your speed and endurance but if you don't then you just don't go to those sessions.
Most clubs also have discounts with local sports shops too
you could always try your local parkrun
its free, you will meet a lot of new people, and some of them will be in running clubs too, so you can get to know them first!
There's a couple of clubs in Dulwich. I went to Dulwich Park Runners a few times, before it became apparent familty duties were going to prevent me going regularly. They were friendly (the description above "social club with some serious runners" seems about right) and there was a mix of abilities there. Unfortunately I can't remember if 11min/ was definitely one of them, but I'd be 90% sure it was. Drop them an email if you're worried.
Running with other people was surprisingly enjoyable and motivating, and I was disappointed not to be able go regularly
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