Beginners and Beyond

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Local running clubs (Read 112 times)


Girl Parts

    Do you belong to a running club?  If so, what are the pros/cons?

    There's a small-ish local but active one that does group runs starting at my gym.  Contemplating but looking for some thoughts.

     

    So_Im_a_Runner


    Go figure

      Is there a difference between a running club and a running group? I assume there is, but I think many of us use the terms interchangeably. I do group runs through the LRS, and they're informal in the sense that we dont pay dues or sign up. Still, I love them. They've totally energized my running, and having company for two of my 8-10 runs a week is really nice. There are also a lot of fringe benefits: group races, pacing at other races, discounts on gear, connections to other running opportunities I wouldn't otherwise know about, etc. Basically, I think they're great.

      PRs:  Marathon (2:49xx; '13)  Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)

        Pros: People just like you – they exist. You get to run with them. You get to talk about running stuff and not bore the pants off them. You find out about races you didn’t realize existed. You get to drink beer after. You get a discount at the running store. You make friends. You have no reason not to do your long run. Or short run. Or track workout. You might get to race with these people on a team. And you may get a cool looking singlet.

         

        Cons: You get more email. And fb postings.

        Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
        We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes


        Girl Parts

          Is there a difference between a running club and a running group? I assume there is, but I think many of us use the terms interchangeably. I do group runs through the LRS, and they're informal in the sense that we dont pay dues or sign up. Still, I love them. They've totally energized my running, and having company for two of my 8-10 runs a week is really nice. There are also a lot of fringe benefits: group races, pacing at other races, discounts on gear, connections to other running opportunities I wouldn't otherwise know about, etc. Basically, I think they're great.

           

          Right, sorry - I meant a formal club with dues, etc.

           

          I guess one of my concerns is being the slow person on the group run - or maybe that just means I need to get faster. lol

           

             

            Right, sorry - I meant a formal club with dues, etc.

             

            I guess one of my concerns is being the slow person on the group run - or maybe that just means I need to get faster. lol

             

            You're in CT no? (I saw the Sandy Hook RR).... which group? I'd just email or call the director and ask what the dynamic is. Are there people of your pace who regularly participate, etc?

             

            I run with Woodbridge Running Co. Brookfield. They get great turnout at both group runs each week at all ability levels, so everyone has at least one person to run with.

            Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
            We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes
            MJ5


            Chief Unicorn Officer

              I'm a board member of a newly formed local running club--just started in December.  We host group runs twice per week and have a $20/year fee.  The perks of actually being a member are a 25% off Asics discount (50% if you're on the racing team boo yeah!) and 10% at the LRS, plus five of us on either the board or racing team are coaches of either high school or college, and will give advice or set up plans if asked.  We also hold club socials and raffles.

               

              As far as our group runs, we meet up in the parking lot of a big local park and the VP plans our route, so it's easy to keep track of where people are (usually it's an out and back so a lot of us pass each other and can check in with how everyone's doing).  We go at our own paces, so some people do end up being alone sometimes.  Sometimes it's someone who's run/walking, sometimes it's been me, there's really no way to predict.  We wait for the last runners to come back before anyone leaves.  It's pretty informal.  Our weekday group run is going to be a track session once the weather gets nicer so people who have never done intervals or want to can come and learn how, or ask questions, or whatever.

              Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54


              Mmmmm...beer

                I'm a member of the Tidewater Striders, one of the largest running clubs in the country.  Basic membership is only $20, but I opted for the $100 Golden Runner membership, it includes 9 race registrations throughout the year, so it's well worth it, imo (save about $180 over paying for the races individually).  They do the timing for a lot of races in the area, and I've met a ton of great people already through the club.  They also put on free clinics with certified coaches, I attended one this past weekend on ABCD drills.  Plus discounts at a lot of local stores, newsletters, etc.  They do running groups several times a week too.  Can't think of any cons.

                -Dave

                 

                2014 Goals | sub-19 5k done! | sub-40 10k | sub-1:25 HM | BQ done! | sub-3 M

                RSX


                  I'm a board member of my club also. There are a lot of great things about clubs but you should try to run with them twice a month  to get anything out of it. In my area the better clubs are $20 and are over 200 members. You can pay more which will include more coaching.I do like showing up at a race, and running with people I know, or doing group runs. Check the web site for times of recent races, and you will get an idea of the range of speeds. We have a # of people who qualify for Boston, compared to a bunch that just completed c25k.

                   

                  I also belong to a meetup group where you just do runs when you can. It's free and I like them also.


                  Muddling through

                    Ive been a member of my current club for 14 years, twice an officer for the club. Formally we have three club runs a week:

                    Wednesdays with interval workouts under a coach's supervision from April through October, and a general grop run about 5 miles from November through March

                    Saturday morning general group run with a standard out-and-back course of about 6 miles with fluids at the turn-around and snacks afterwards

                    A second Saturday morning run for long distance primarily geared to those training for HM and up, the site varies week to week, but twice a month it is coordinated with the general group run

                     

                    Informal club runs have been organized so there is one everyday of the week, some in the morning, some in the evening. We also have social events, work a waterstop at several local races, and put on one of the few cross country style 5Ks in the area as a fund raiser.

                     

                    There is a huge range of interests and abilities ranging from three members who ran Badwater last year to new runners just graduated from C25K. One of our members through a LRS offers a spring C25K type program.

                    2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                    daisymae25


                    Squidward Bike Rider

                      We have one that I belong to, but I never do anything socially with them, like happy hours or group runs...I just don't like the vibe I get from a lot the people, they seem to come off as douchey to me.  They do also put on a number of races, in particular a free summer series with a potluck party afterward, but I don't participate (see reason above).  At this point, I belong just to be kept in the loop about their other races "just in case" I may want to participate, since their races do tend to sell out.

                      RSX


                        We have one that I belong to, but I never do anything socially with them, like happy hours or group runs...I just don't like the vibe I get from a lot the people, they seem to come off as douchey to me.  They do also put on a number of races, in particular a free summer series with a potluck party afterward, but I don't participate (see reason above).  At this point, I belong just to be kept in the loop about their other races "just in case" I may want to participate, since their races do tend to sell out.

                         

                        Are there any other clubs in your area? I tried another club 10 years ago and showed up at a few things. Except for the few folks I knew, no one else made an effort to talk. I tried a group run and was given a map. I was semi-injured that day so was 1 of the slowest. No one ran with me or checked that l was making the turns. A similar run like that and I never went back.

                         

                        Both of my clubs now have sweepers for the bigger runs, and people introduce themselves If they haven't met.  Same thing happens when we meet at bars.


                        Girl Parts

                           

                          Are there any other clubs in your area? I tried another club 10 years ago and showed up at a few things. Except for the few folks I knew, no one else made an effort to talk. I tried a group run and was given a map. I was semi-injured that day so was 1 of the slowest. No one ran with me or checked that l was making the turns. A similar run like that and I never went back.

                           

                          Both of my clubs now have sweepers for the bigger runs, and people introduce themselves If they haven't met.  Same thing happens when we meet at bars.

                           

                          Those are the kind of stories that I was concerned about, but I've been stalking their Facebook page and they seem pretty cool.   I belong to a bike club but most of the riders are so much better than I am that even on rides where they say they'll wait for me, I'm usually left in the dust. lol  They are very nice people though so I do try to help them out when it comes to events and what not but I don't really enjoy riding with them as much as with my usual crew of Baboon and MBC!

                           

                          GVille Kevin - yep, CT.  Waaaaaay on the opposite side of the state as you though!

                           

                          Hipfan


                          Proud Calgarian

                            I'm a member of a running club that is led and coached by a past Canadian Olympian - in order to get accepted, I had to apply, have a referral, and be judged by the coach that I would be a "good fit" with the other runners in the room. (She's won a Golden Shoe Award in 2012!)

                             

                            Pros - There's some AMAZING runners in that room, guys in their 50's and 60's who pump out 90% AG scores, and more than a handful of others for who sub-3 marathons or sub-1:20 HM's are just commonplace. You gain so much knowledge just by being a fly on the wall, as most of the club has years and years of experience (HS, Collegiate, World Masters Games, etc) and are willing to help you along as well. You'll always have someone to run with both mid-week and on weekend LRs, get organized speed training catered to your goals, and have a little bit of 'swagger' when you have others in the club all out at the races together.

                             

                            Cons - It's not as personal as 1-on-1 training with a coach as the team shares the coach. When you have many competitive people in one room, you really feel like you have to perform and that's added pressure on race-day. You lose that "I'm going running just for fun" kind of feel some days as you can't afford to miss any team workouts/meetings.

                             

                            I don't think a formalized team like this is for everyone though...

                            2014 Goals and PRs:

                            5k - 17:59 (18:17);  10k - 37:00 (37:54);   HM - 1:21:59 (1:24:21);   FM - whatever (3:05:46)

                            daisymae25


                            Squidward Bike Rider

                               

                              Are there any other clubs in your area? I tried another club 10 years ago and showed up at a few things. Except for the few folks I knew, no one else made an effort to talk. I tried a group run and was given a map. I was semi-injured that day so was 1 of the slowest. No one ran with me or checked that l was making the turns. A similar run like that and I never went back.

                               

                              Both of my clubs now have sweepers for the bigger runs, and people introduce themselves If they haven't met.  Same thing happens when we meet at bars.

                               

                              Nearest other one I would consider joining is 40 miles away unfortunately.

                              RSX


                                 

                                Nearest other one I would consider joining is 40 miles away unfortunately.

                                Maybe recruit a friend to go with you next time? We try to get newer members involved by initiating group runs mainly for them, and I have someone who helps me by following up with new members on occasion.

                                 

                                In the town we now live in, someone started a meetup running group. They seem to starting in different areas now. We post about 5 group runs a week, and I have met a bunch of folks here in town. It was hard for me to find originally but if you google meetup and running in your area, perhaps something shows up.

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