Running Clubs

What stops you joining?

21 to 40 of 42 messages
03/12/2007 at 13:45

Personal choice isn't it - and the work life balance thing is a real problem.

But I would hate to think that people were put off because they thought it was cliquey..generally they are full of great people, very down to earth and love a drink too

 compared to local  football clubs I have been members of there is no comparison!!

03/12/2007 at 14:10
i've been to a few clubs but as yet haven't ever actually joined one...i think most of the reasons have already been covered...i find it hard to go every week at the set time, I have to drive a good 20 minutes to get there, worry i'm too slow, feel very young (i'm 24) and slightly out of place (at pretty much all the ones i've tried the younger members are the fastest and although the older members are lovely it's not quite the social scene I'd hoped for) i get easily put off by other people's pace/conversations (prefer to run with my ipod) and all the clubs i find always train on the same nights as the other activity i'd want to do (rowing) and i hate having to choose. I've no doubt i'd probably improve more if i went to a running club, but i don't necessarily enjoy it and would therefore run the risk of it putting me off completely! if i go out and have a bad run on my own i can stop and go home...with a club i feel more pressure...
03/12/2007 at 16:39

yep its the timing thing for me, however tempted to join so I can run in the counties xc and maybe make a return to the track next summer (after a 20+ year absence).

My eldest has started running with the juniors on a Tuesday and I occasionally join in with the grown ups, and don't feel left out or too slow. But the 6.30pm starts is a squeeze: leave work early, train home (1+ hr) in at 6 pm , out at 5 past, then 25 minute drive (if traffic OK). If I'm slightly late they are already off somewhere, so an hour on th streets is my fall back. Club long runs are usually later too (like 9am), but thats no biggie - I run with a couple of buddies at 7am every saturday.

03/12/2007 at 16:45

Very interesting that the perception of being a club member commits you to attending all / lots of sessions is quite strong on this thread - my club would have kicked me long ago if that were the case with us!

I can see the pain of having to drive to a session (as I do) but on the other hand it does give you a variety of starting points and thus routes for a change of scenery as well as a kick up the rear when motivation flags (as mine frequently does)

Sounds like most of you are very strongly personally motivated and thus don't need the club support and that's one reason for not joining

03/12/2007 at 17:02
The club I belong to is a flag of convenience and is aimed almost exclusively at the FLM for which the organisation I work for gets a generous allocation of places.  I have tried a 'proper' club, but it isn't really suited to very slow long distance 'runners' (in my case I use that in the loosest possible sense).  I found myself staggering along with the newbies - and struggling to keep up  - who were excited at the prospect of their first 5K, whilst I was plotting my next ultra, it made conversation a little tense.
03/12/2007 at 17:08

Well, I am a member of a running club.  I pay my annual membership and enter races without paying the unattached fee.

I have been to one AGM of the club in the last 5 years, so I do not find a time problem.

Also because the club do not have any meets at all really there is no feeling of 'not being good enough'.

As long as I enter enough races in a year I will carry on paying my membership, once the frequeney of my races drops off it is no longer worth paying the membership I will stopp the membership.


03/12/2007 at 17:20
I belong to a club but never run with them as I run at odd times, plus I don't like the fact that they have become so large as a group, but it saves me money on races.
03/12/2007 at 20:53

Like many others here, it's a timing thing for me. I moved 6 months ago and now live a mere 5mins walk from the local club but... all their sessions start at 6pm and as much as I want to join, I really struggle to get home from work on time to make it practical. As a result I do all my running either on my own or with other unattached runners that I know.

Quite frustrating as I do enjoy the social aspect of running and I'm sure my running would benefit from belonging to a club.

03/12/2007 at 21:01
i also am struggling with this decision,there is a very good local club just down the road from where i live  and to be honest i might go and have a couple of runs with them just to see what the club can offer. Newbie running 5 mile on a Sunday and 3 - 4 mile runs in the week, at this moment in time i cant really see any benefits i would gain from  joining a club.
03/12/2007 at 21:14

I joined a running club as the kids were members and it was only £20.00 for me to be a member as well.  Ive entered a 1/2 marathon in February and said on the online entry i was a club member and paid a slightly reduced rate.

Does this mean i have to run in their colours?  Ive never even trained with them once.  Id worry they were too fast for me.


Dustboy    pirate
03/12/2007 at 23:21

In a cheap club (7 quid a year) for cheap entries. Run in club colours if I remember to wear their not very comfortable vest (5K, any more and it itches like hell), never see other members as they only seem to run in club events not commercially staged ones.

Went to one event once to learn how to spell, understand and experience clique ostracism but distance memberships suits me and seems to suit them so....

03/12/2007 at 23:58

My local club had a pretty offhand approach if you were just starting out or returning....they didn't appear to actually want to attract any new members and it worked for me. I didn't join. (Although they seem to have changed their tack a little recently, so I might give it a go). Having said that, I love running on my own and work commitments etc. do mean that I'd probably only meet with them once or twice a month.

Had several reports of friends & colleagues joining their local club only to either get completely abandoned or not even spoken to or acknowledged.

04/12/2007 at 07:36

Some very interesting views folks, and I thank you for all of them.

I'm rather concerned about the attitude of some clubs towards new members and frankly it seems some clubs need to take a long hard look at themselves.

All clubs should welcome new members with open arms. Our club gives a guarantee: You are not too fast or too slow. And we make sure new members have someone to run with.

As for wearing club vests, these are not compulsory for most events and there are plenty of people in my own club who don't wear the club vest.

Hope this helps

04/12/2007 at 09:23

Even if the running club I am in had club colours(I don't think they do!) I would still wear a Headway running vest.  I think that smaller charities need as much visibility as possible.


04/12/2007 at 10:46

I generally like running on my own, but have gone along to some informal 'running club'-style classes at my uni gym and have found it satisfying being pushed a little more by runners ever so slightly faster than me, although a bit of a struggle to keep up with their conversation at the same time!  Main trouble has been that take-up was low, so difficult to tailor sessions to individual participants.  They also meet quite early in the evening at a different campus from the one I work at, meaning a struggle to get out of work on time.

I've thought of joining a proper club before - there are a few apparently very good ones within the vaguely local area.

The problem is I don't live near enough to any of them to walk, don't drive so would have to rely on unreliable buses, as well as having to pay the extra bus fares alongside the membership fee, which is difficult within my current circumstances.  Most of the sessions are quite late in the evenings, so given the bus issue I'd end up getting home really late.

Something I'd like to maybe re-consider for the future, but not practical at the moment.

04/12/2007 at 11:28
I only joined to get the use of a (floodlit in winter) running track for a weekly session.  It's helped a lot.
04/12/2007 at 11:42

It can depend on the type of clubs in your area I think. Where I live there are a few within 15 miles....two within the town. Harriers (the more 'serious' club) and Almost Athletes...much less 'serious' and one could argue more focussed on the social side of running.

I goto the less serious club, and we probably have a wider range of abilities...some people who are pretty good (sub 90 1/2 mara for eg) to those who are just starting out. The harriers are more focussed on competing I believe, and have less desire to enable people to go running - which is what I think our club does.

If the less serious club didnt exist, I suspect I would be unattached, as I would be intimidated by the 'seriousness' of the club - whether justified or not. What Muffiun Girl mentioned on the previous page wouldnt happen with our club as there is such a huge range of abilities.

04/12/2007 at 11:43
Oh yeah and CumbriAndy - you are a real miserable get....everytime I see you you're so rude and unchatty!!!
04/12/2007 at 11:52


 I have just read you post properly and I am in the TRA as well, I just put this as the club name and have not yet paid an unaffiliated fee.  I suspect that no-one really knows who is and is not affiliated or even which clubs are.  And to be honest I thought the TRA were affiliated.

If I start having to pay unaffiliated fees because they are not I may as well not be a member of the club.  The race entry was the only reason I joined a club.


04/12/2007 at 12:21

Living in a small hamlet 4 to 5 miles from where The nearest town where the local club meets I would need to use the car to get there. So I go across the fields/down the lanes etc straight from home.


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