Join The Club
Why is it good to join a running club?
by My Finish Line
There are a myriad of reasons why joining a running club is a good idea, and in this blog we will dive into some of the ‘by-product’ benefits that might not be apparent to the uninitiated. It goes without saying that the discipline, performance improvements and social aspects that are associated with each Athletics (or running) Club nationwide are themselves worthy of the act of joining, but here are some more based on our experiences and those of our peers, and we feel these are critical to the enjoyment of our sport.
Hierarchy of Ability
This is a good thing. Each sports team has its different levels ranging from elite to intermediate to beginner, and they tend to organise themselves according to ability (and to personal choice); and this is no different in athletics or running clubs. You simply don’t get this training on your own or with a small group and the consistency in standards according to where you position yourself allows you to maximise your training efforts with the help of others. This leads us also to point 2…
You will simply not replicate the shared effort of pacing if training outside of this kind of environment. Whether on long/ medium runs or intervals, having others chop and change the leader or take turns to take the pace is a golden benefit of the running club environment.
The shared knowledge of a group of individuals with a common interest and base of experience is valuable. Within running clubs you get youngsters full of energy that will help improve you physically as well as those with 50+ years of experience in running that you can learn from. A running club’s members truly acts as a library of running.
Runners and cyclists are a solid bunch of people that tend to be very protective of those in their group. Considering you are in essentially an individual sport, it is a strange notion that the pack mentality exists as much in a core group of training partners as it does within a rugby or netball team. The fact that you all share physical pain and effort together makes one respect the other’s output and the positive body language and shared congratulatory responses at the end of a training session is as natural to runners as the tunnel off the field is to rugby or football players.
This is an obvious, yet potentially understated benefit of running club environments. Ranging from looking after one another on road runs to even offering advice or preventative actions for soft tissue injuries, the aspect of ensuring safety for all concerned is an integral part of the athletics club unwritten value. From the track athlete jogging a warm up in lane 7/8 to avoid those training on the inner lanes to the tail ender with the lights and reflective vest on the dark night road runs, runners do look after their own.
Question. What does an athletics club member do with their kids on the weekends? They take them running, that’s what. The self-perpetuating nature of strengthening the sport is strong in runners and without even mentioning the obvious benefits of keeping fit and strong, providing a legacy for the next generation of athletes to follow is a huge reason to join a club as it gives an association, a sense of belonging and pride to those that are members. The names of Thames Valley, Birchfield and Sale Harriers would be familiar to those outside the sport. These are strong brands with strong histories that people want to be a part of.