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Running clubs - how well do they work for slower runners? (Read 1556 times)


Loves the outdoors

    I'm considering joining my local running club. I just ran in a 10k they put on today and it's made me wonder if it would be an enjoyable addition to my running. I currently do most, if not all, of my runs alone. However, I'm not the speediest of runners. I generally finish well near the back of the pack ( 29++min) 5ks, slower for longer distances. This makes me wonder if I'd be that annoying new member making them run too slow in the weekly pack club runs. They say they cater for all abilities, but I still wonder based on the general speed of the runners in my local races whether that actually comes down to my pace. So what is your experience with club running? Should I risk the $50 joining fee?
    One day I decided I wanted to become a runner, so I did.

      I'd advise (a) emailing the club and asking them, citing your specific paces; and (b) seeing if there's a "try-out" period where you can show up for some group runs and see what happens.  Maybe it's great, maybe you say your (slow to them) pace, they look at you funny, and then they disappear.  You shouldn't have to pay to find that out.

      “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

      MisplacedTexan


      Crazy Runner

        My experience with running clubs ( several due to the nature of my profession) is that they are not there to give you people to run with all the time but rather to provide you with a data base of people you may want to befriend and run with.  My current club has one weekly club run that offers many different paces, distances, and experience levels.  What I do gain from paying the membership is the monthly newsletter, race reports from around the club, and information on area races and runs.  I say before spending the $50 you check to see what all the club would offer you in the way of benefits to your current life.  If they are worth the money then enter, if not contiine to plod along and enjoy your daily activities and go spend the $50 on a new pair of shorts and a shirt for the coming spring time runs!

        Marathons are easy... running one fast is where the difficulty comes!


        Consistently Slow

          I am in a small club 25 * 30 members. We do not require people to join our club to run run with us. The biggest benefit is knowing some one will be there to run with at 5:30 am or 6:30 am. Just going by your age there we probably be some one older in the group running your pace.Check with the local running store to see if they have group runs. I have been in the same club for 20 years. Hope you find one that meets your needs.

          Run until the trail runs out.

          2013***1500 miles

          50 miler

          Race Less Train More

           

          Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

          "The Marble in The Groove"

           

          unsolicited chatter

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            In my experience with clinic group runs I find people separate into clumps based on comfortable paces and possibly interests in common so they can converse.

             

            I definitely prefer running with older guys at my level rather than younger women who want to chat about children or clothing sales etc., but usually find people at my level!

            PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

             

              Most running clubs are open to anyone regardless of age or ability.     My running club has a number of guys (and two girls) that can run 5K's in 16:00 and lots of people that run 5k's in the 30's......and any number of people in between.

               

              My advice is to check it out and see if its a fit for you but as a general rule everyone in the running club is a running enthusiast and not very concerned about how fast you are.      I have gotten some of my best advice and one of my best frieds from my running club whom I could never actually run with because HER slowest pace is still faster than my fastest.....

               

              They'll probably hit you up to volunteer to work at races too.....which is usually a fun time..

               

              We also have group runs for those interested during Marathon training season (before Boston and before the October Marathons)......and after daylight savings time we have speed training one day per week at a local college track...

               

              Most running clubs have some type of activities like my club so to keep your interest......

               

              They usually cost from $20 to $40 per year and if you get involved, you'll meet a lot of runners......its nice to show up at a race and know 15 or 20 people......which is the main reason I joined my club..

              Champions are made when no one is watching


              A Saucy Wench

                Yeah, we dont require membership to do the group runs either.  honestly, if they require membership for that I would probably avoid.  Especially if they wont let you come a few times before  you pay. The club fee gets me discounts on race fees and discounts at running stores etc.

                 

                But most pack runs do cater to a variety of paces.  People arent there for their biggest workout of the week, they are there for the socialization.  If it is a large group they tend to clump out.  With smaller groups people spread out more on the route, but then there tend to be collection points on the run .

                I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

                 

                "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7


                Best Present Ever

                  Ours specifically reaches out to all kinds of runners of all paces.  Folks make sure that no one gets left behind.  What would happen if you just showed up at a run to see what it's like?  I know most of our runs start with "is there anyone new?" and if someone walks up and asks what the plan is, we immediately find an appropriate group for the new person to run with.  

                   

                  I don't know if the people around me are up to date on their dues or not.  Most of us pay our track club dues because we want to, but no one checks at the runs.  

                  jimmyb


                  port-a-bella-potty

                    I'm considering joining my local running club. I just ran in a 10k they put on today and it's made me wonder if it would be an enjoyable addition to my running. I currently do most, if not all, of my runs alone. However, I'm not the speediest of runners. I generally finish well near the back of the pack ( 29++min) 5ks, slower for longer distances. This makes me wonder if I'd be that annoying new member making them run too slow in the weekly pack club runs. They say they cater for all abilities, but I still wonder based on the general speed of the runners in my local races whether that actually comes down to my pace. So what is your experience with club running? Should I risk the $50 joining fee?

                     

                    There's no risk. Go for it. I've enjoyed my running club for years. No one cares how fast you are. It's great to run into fellow members at races, and to race the ones who are of similar speed. If you join, get involved---do something for the club. Makes it even better. You can't go wrong.

                     

                    --Jimmy Cool

                    Log    PRs


                    HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                      Not that this is particularly relevant, but the person in our local club who ranks highest (by far) in the metro rankings is too slow for our club runs, but she is a very active club member and we are very enriched by her participation. Speed is not everything. Friendliness, experience, courtesy, helpfulness - these are more valuable in many ways, I think.

                      It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                        There's no risk. Go for it. I've enjoyed my running club for years. No one cares how fast you are. It's great to run into fellow members at races, and to race the ones who are of similar speed. If you join, get involved---do something for the club. Makes it even better. You can't go wrong.

                         

                        --Jimmy Cool

                         +1 on this... and coming from a slower runner too!

                        I joined a training group with the local club in preparation for my first marathon, and the structured training sessions as well as increased discipline ( you can not miss so much if you told people you are coming ) + the moral support from everyone around really paid off... I did not become a world class athlete, but I definitely enjoyed the training and the event... Their running times overlapped with existing stuff so I never became a permanent member but I think finding a club/ running group will be one of the first things I'll try to after I move in a few months.

                          I'm considering joining my local running club. I just ran in a 10k they put on today and it's made me wonder if it would be an enjoyable addition to my running. I currently do most, if not all, of my runs alone. However, I'm not the speediest of runners. I generally finish well near the back of the pack ( 29++min) 5ks, slower for longer distances. This makes me wonder if I'd be that annoying new member making them run too slow in the weekly pack club runs. They say they cater for all abilities, but I still wonder based on the general speed of the runners in my local races whether that actually comes down to my pace. So what is your experience with club running? Should I risk the $50 joining fee?

                           

                           

                          Different clubs frequently cater to different types of runners.  I belong to two, one very competitive, one more relaxed and social.  It is often the case that in a particular race I'm the first finisher for the relaxed club, and the last for the competitive group.

                           

                          For me they serve different purposes.  I get my track workouts and competitive club competition from the first group.  I get my social interaction, cookouts, weekend race getaways, heavy drinking from the second.

                           

                          A recent quote from each group.  

                          Competitive group "How much are you running?" ... "Oh not much only 40 miles a week."

                          Relaxed group: "Wow you're running 40 miles a week!"

                           

                          So your experiences will likely vary widely depending on the group you join.


                          Oh roo roooo!

                            Our local running club is extremely reasonable to join, and joining gets you a 15% discount at many area running stores, a discount at races put on by the club (and there are many) and the monthly newsletter, even aside from all the various group runs at different times and places.  I don't tend to do the group runs just b/c my schedule is weird, but I did run w/a group for a while this winter on Sunday AMs. There was a range of abilities and it seemed that everyone kind of separated into groups naturally.  If it was noticed someone was falling behind, a couple of folks would drop back and run with him or her, very noncompetitive and considerate folks.  There was a real effort made to welcome the newbie (me) and I can't speak highly enough of these folks.

                             

                            As others have mentioned, it seems the group runs for this club are also primarily social, not the night to go run hard.  The weekly "official" fun runs seem to have 2 different distances offered, so you can suit your energy level, and then food and drink afterward.  In addition, there are a number of subgroups that do runs of different distances on various days at various times.  Some of these groups have been running for years, like the one I mentioned above. 

                             

                            I volunteer for several club events every year and also for the marathon buildup program they put on leading up to their yearly fall marathon, and it's a great way to meet folks and really keep your enthusiasm for running stoked.  Can't recommend it highly enough.

                              My club runs every day and does cater (at least to a cerain degree) to any pace.

                               

                              Friday runs are social runs (nobody gets left behind).

                              Thursday is hill repeats adn everyone tends to wait at the top fo each hill for everyone to finish.  the faster you are, the more rest you get.

                              Tuesday i track work and they tend to break up into groups of slower and faster runners, and then everyone does that last set together.

                               

                              the rest are just eady runs from 4-6 miles, with a long run on teh weekend and I've never seen anyone left behind on any of the runs.

                               

                              I'd give them a call/email and ask what the dynamic of that group is like.


                              Loves the outdoors

                                Thanks everyone. 

                                 

                                I mainly want to go to try out the group Saturday runs but I imagine I'll join in on the social side too. I will go along for their season opening day (they only run from April - October, over winter) and have a chat and see how it goes. Hopefully they'll allow me to tag along for the first run before I commit. Runners seem pretty friendly people and it would be nice to know some people when I turn up to races. I'm usually Noddy no friends at races.

                                One day I decided I wanted to become a runner, so I did.
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