Confidence dip

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23/02/2011 at 22:46
I ended up having a little cry after the club run tonight which I know is pathetic.  It's just so soul destroying always being left behind... We go out for a 6-7mile 'steady' run once a week but I'm always the slowest and lose sight of everyone after the first couple of miles.  I had one of the coaches sticking with me until recently but now he's training for a marathon and I told him I don't won't to hold him back and I'm fine doing my own thing.  So now I find myself running along the A3 in complete darkness struggling to find motivation to keep going.  I try to stick to or just below 8min/mile which is what I should be doing for a tempo run according to mcmillan but the general idea in the club is to run as fast as you can and it's killing me.  I know in a long run it's probably for the best and will make me faster but at this stage I start wondering if I wouldn't be better doing my own thing... Do I stick with it and hope it gets easier or do I give up?  Or maybe I need to find myself another club which has more members at my average level? But then I really got attached to this one... not easy.
cougie    pirate
23/02/2011 at 23:16
If it were me - I'd just run by myself if the club runs were upsetting me. Your pace sounds really good - most of my runs are slower than that. It does sound like the club are very competitive but running fast all the time isn't good.

You are doing really well so do keep it up - maybe just do a few weeks by yourself and then go back ? Whatever you do - don't give up !
23/02/2011 at 23:17

Tis is the sort of thread that makes me worried about joining a running club as I do average about 8 min miles...  or about 50min 10K pace which for me is a decent effort.

I am not sure what others think but I would say find another club as their surely must be one with a greater range of runners so you could find one with a nice spread of paces so you could chose to go flat out or got at a comfortable pace or even at a slow pace and have a chat.

23/02/2011 at 23:50

Sorry to be blunt but it sounds like a proper rubbish club.

8 min miles as a steady run? for real?

I train with runners capable of sub 3 marathons, and my tempo run pace is not much faster than 8 min miles. Fast runners dont need to run fast on every run and can and will drop to their recovery run pace to accompnay a slower runner going at "tempo" pace. A good club will pair up runners of similar capabilities to make sure no-one is ever left to straggle along on their own.

Do they do other sessions on other days? you may find other steady runners at the club have been put off by these quicker runs and do a different session on a different night. If not - pack it in - you may as well be running alone but not being made to feel bad about it.

BWT dont be put off - plucking up the courage to join a club was the best thing I've ever done running wise and has brought on my running, times and stamina no end... and it wasnt by slogging along alone at a pace I cant manage!

24/02/2011 at 00:28

I must admit to being surprised that @ 8m/m you are stuck at the back running by yourself. Club I run with you'd be out at the front at that pace. We have runners of all abilities and everyone switches around during the runs so no one feels left out. With 4 leaders there is always someone to run with the slowest or weakest runner.

Kicked-it is right though, not everyone in our club goes out together. There is the oldmans group and the silly fast runners group as well as us middling runners.

Find a group who work the way you want.

I have to admit that I'm very selfish when I run. I do struggle when running slowly and keep bumping into the runner in front. I hope I'm not guilty of upsetting anyone.

24/02/2011 at 08:57
If you're really running 8m/m for 6-7 miles then you wouldn't be in the slowest group at our club. They shouldnt really be letting this happen to you.
24/02/2011 at 09:02
It does sound like the club's got a pretty non-inclusive ethos. Mine work on the principle that the person setting the pace at the front should regulary do a 180 and run to the back marker, and then work there way back to the front again. That way you get a group of people who all finish at roughly the same time, but some have just run further than others.
24/02/2011 at 09:06

Thanks for the encouragement guys... much needed.

Cougie- giving up running is not an options.  I was only thinking about giving up on this session... You might be right.  Maybe I should do my own thing for a few weeks and then try to go back.  I run to/ from work a couple of times a week (8miles one way) so I could do this instead and try to run some of it at a quicker, tempo pace.  Maybe in a few weeks when it's nice and sunny and we start running in parks it won't be so painful to be left behind... I think the A3 in complete darkness did something to my head yesterday...

BWT- I know I would probably be better off with a less competitive club but I've now trained with them for a few months, got through my first xc season and feel quite attached... They are a great bunch of people and it would feel like a betrayal if I just went somewhere else. I can't blame anyone for not sticking with me, I would not want to hold anyone back- it would be even worse than being left behind.  It's just a shame that there aren't more runners at my level

Kicked It- I know... they're just ridiculously fast... 8 min mile is my pace and I lose sight of everyone very quickly so they're all running much faster.  The only other session I can do with them is track as there are a few other runners like me or a lot slower but none of them even attempt the 'steady' run... for obvious reasons.  I can't do the long run with them either- I've tried once and they do just above 8min mile... I can't keep it up for 15-18 miles... so got left behind again and decided to draw the line there.  I want to be able to enjoy my long run and if I'm fighting for my life all they way and can't talk to anyone it's pointless...

Biker mouse- I can totally understand being selfish... That's why I say that I don't want anyone to be held up by me and miss out on their session... I would hate it.  And I know I'm quite selfish myself when it comes to running.  The thing is- since I joined them I've improved loads so all this chasing seems to be working but not sure if my morale can take it for much longer...

Maybe I should look into joining another club as well... it is allowed isn't it?  I would still compete for my first club but maybe could do a couple of sessions with runners at my own level.

24/02/2011 at 09:08
Ian- they say on their website that all abilities are welcome but in practice it doesn't quite work this way...
24/02/2011 at 09:24
I know you say you are attached to this club but why?  They sound very elitist!  OK, so they might be nice people but that doesnt mean its the right club for you.  Maybe just try out a few other clubs, you could easily become attached to another club that is more evenly/fairer paced.  You dont need to tell your current club unless you are transferring your membership.
24/02/2011 at 10:06


Cant believe what I read about your running club . Running is always surely about enjoyment and I think it is always a question of balance and mixing things up. Sure,tempo runs and speedwork are important if you want to quicken up your times but these should only be a part of your training. It does sound to me that your current club isnt providing you with that balance. When I first joined my club it took me a year or so to realise that I make the club work for me,in other words,some weeks I train with the "easier" gruops and some weeks with the more "intermediate" groups. And, as ever, there are always a few people who seem intent on proving themselves. Avoid those .

I wish you well, stay strong and perhaps look at some other clubs!

Good luck and keep smilng!


24/02/2011 at 10:09
HTFU or find another running club. Crying over something like this reminds why Britain is a nation of weaklings. The other runners are not going at the pace they do just to spite you, so why should they slow down?
24/02/2011 at 10:26
Intermanaut- fair point.  I realised that crying over something like this is pathetic which I admitted in my first post.  Just had a bad run and got a bit upset... don't we all feel sorry for ourselves sometimes? I also said that I don't expect anyone to slow down for me.  I'm not usually a weakling and by the way... I'm not British.  I had to be quite a tough cookie to get where I got in this country.
24/02/2011 at 10:28

Mon -  Why dont you start an informal group in your club of people who want to train a bit more slowly on the steady run night? Grab the suitable peeps at the track session and see if any are interested

There's nothing worse than trying to keep up and pushing your session outside its usefullness. This is one of the reasons I would never train with a club myself! 

24/02/2011 at 10:29
Also are you based in London?
24/02/2011 at 10:32

I don't understand....

I thought clubs were supposed to be about encouraging runners of all paces and standards?

It sounds to me as though they are a little up their own split shorts.

I think clubs vary a lot depending on your area and whether there's a bit of a clique in the club... I find it very sad that they all seem to run off and leave you behind - really not a good example to be setting.

Are there any other clubs in your area you could check out?

Don't let their arrogant eliteness get you down, we all have to start somewhere.

Edited: 24/02/2011 at 10:32
24/02/2011 at 10:37
Curly- I am based in London.  I've tried to talk some of the slower guys to do a long run on Sunday or join us on the steady run but they're just not too keen... It seems like there's a bit of a gap and there aren't many people around my level.  They're either way faster or quite a lot slower and not prepared to go out for 15-20 mile long run which is what I'm now up to on Sundays.  I think I need to find a bigger pool of runners...
24/02/2011 at 10:55

You could pop along to some parkruns and make friends to find some

(or there are loads of other clubs around, including the Nike Town free one and some other more relaxed groups)

24/02/2011 at 11:06

D2D- I find it hard to criticise the club... it's hardly their fault that the majority of the runners are very fast... I've probably made a bit of a mistake thinking that I can fit in... There are other clubs around and I'll definitely have a look around.  No point being with the club if I'm always running on my own anyway... Is it ok to be with more than one?  I'm not sure how this works.

Curly- now that the xc season  is over I have a parkrun on my agenda

24/02/2011 at 11:06
I'd be dead if my club did 8 minute miles!!! You can run with me if you are near West London, I'm 10 minute miles so you can always be in the lead The club I'm at splits into groups and I go in the bottom one but I'm not the slowest so I feel spurred on to try and move up a level.

That's really good times and you should be proud of yourself. It's a shame you feel disheartened

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