With the popularity of fun running clubs such Nike Running Club, The Good Gym, Run Dem Crew as well as the 5k ParkRun, more and more casual runners are turning a mere flirtation into something more committed. And it’s easy to see why – instead of lonely times pounding the pavement, running clubs provide a community of like-minded people and inject something more than pure fitness into this form of exercise.
I spoke with Fiona Love, member of the Clapham Chasers, about why joining a running club would be beneficial. In my mind, the thought of running with other people sounds terrifying – I consider myself more a tortoise than a hare. And a hare that doesn’t even have that much stamina at that. Personally, it brings back terrifying memories of when I got dumped at school sports day because I ran like an ostrich (and not in a good way. Any boy that decided an XXL T-shirt with a glow in the dark alien is a suitable Valentine’s Day present should be disposed of quickly).
However, I did appreciate that for those who enjoy running, a running club could be fun.
Here are Fiona’s top ten reasons why you should join a running club:
- It’s more fun. Running with others not only makes the time go past quicker but it makes it more enjoyable.
- You’ll save money. Running outside is free! Ok, so you may have to spend a little to join a running club near you but that’s nothing compared to the amount you spend on a gym (that you never go to).
- Whatever your level you’ll find a training group. You don’t have to be a speeding bullet to join. Running clubs are all about improving.
- You’ll make wonderful new friends. Even if you thought you didn’t need any more, you’ll realise that the people at your running club have more in common with you than you first thought. Before you know it, you’ll be hanging out at the pub with fellow club members after training and signing up to races overseas.
- And maybe even find love. Yes, who’d have thought there’s love to be found whilst getting sweaty but according to Fiona, it’s quite common – after all, you’re spending endorphin-filled time with the same people each week. If Tindr’s not floating your boat, perhaps it’s time to give your local running club a go…?
- It’s endorphin-heavy. Running, similar to other cardio exercise such as swimming and cycling, stimulate the release of endorphins from the pituitary gland which blocks pain and can make you feel high and energized. This naturally-occurring chemical is said to be even more effective for that feel-good feeling than morphine and opium. So no matter what kind of day you’ve had, you’ll return home happy and energized.
- It’ll boost your confidence. Before you know it, you’ll see progress and will have signed up to things you’d never have even considered. Perhaps that will your first 5k, a half marathon or even a marathon!
- Discover new local routes. There’s no way you’ll experience running boredom – your fellow runners will help you explore routes you’ve never gone down before. You’ll also discover different terrain, such as road, cross country, fell or track.
- You’ll push yourself more than you would if you were running solo. People are naturally competitive and with everyone pushing themselves for a new personal best you’ll soon find yourself improving faster than if you were training alone.
- Being part of a team is great. Running can be a team sport, you know. And the feeling of satisfaction and camaraderie running alongside teammates is fantastic. Plus, races often have team awards so you never know when you might win a wee treat!
And finally, come rain or shine, your running club will be with you, helping you through those dark, cold winter evenings as well as during the balmy summer nights.
Fiona Love has completed several IronMan, countless triathlons and goodness knows how many marathons. To say she can run is an understatement. Gritty and determined (whatever the weather), Fiona is now moving her passion on to help others and will be qualified as a Personal Trainer by the beginning of December 2014. If you’re interested in training for endurance sports, want some more information around running clubs or want to book in any sessions with Fiona, email us at email@example.com