Joining a Run Club

Our weekly run club at Marathon Sports was cancelled for this week, but I quickly gathered up the troops for a whole new route and pub last night, on the water in Osterville!

It’s incredibly fun to run with this group each week, always being joined by new faces and new great conversations. But whenever I spread the word to others, I hear (or detect) the same list of reasons for not joining…

  • I’m not fast enough.
  • I don’t want to be the only one walking.
  • I don’t know anyone. 
  • I’m not really a “runner”.

So LET ME TELL YOU…. I can’t be any more honest about this. I swear, I’m not lying. But run clubs are all about FUN! They are an excellent place to meet new friends, a great motivation to move your body a little, and a welcome place for EVERY level of runner. They’re also a perfect excuse to spend the next three hours drinking beer, eating fried food and stopping for ice cream on the way home. Truth.

If you run, you’re a runner. If you want to start running, surely other people want to start running too. And everybody walks. Some walk because they’re still building up to running, some walk because they have a stroller with them that night, and some just walk because they feel like they have to poop ;-)

If you are worried about joining your local run club, here are a few tips:

  • Find one organized by a local running store. You usually don’t have to “join” or pay anything – you just show up. And often times there are awesome sponsors each week, letting you run in their sneakers or gear! (note: I’ve heard of breweries having weekly run clubs, so I’m using the term “running store” lightly – search around!)
  • If it sounds like a regional club and members are wearing matching shirts to races, that might involve a small fee – but all levels are still welcome! And there are probably a couple days of the week for options to meet up (shorter runs, longer runs). 
  • If the club is meeting at a track, sure, that might be more for an intermediate group and possibly a fee. But doing speed work with a group/coach is a great way to demystify things like “6x400s” and “Yasso 800s” when you’re ready for it.

Our club meets at the store every Tuesday at 6:30pm, and offers a 3 or 5-mile course. We all run at our own paces, and usually enjoy chatting with whoever settles in next to us. We have sponsors and raffle prizes almost every week, and get to test-run in new sneakers, jackets, compression socks and more! As we accumulate miles, we also accumulate discounts at the store. And we always gather up at the pub next door for a couple more hours! Now that doesn’t sound at all terrible, does it?!

Have you found an awesome run club in your area? Nervous to join one? If you can’t find one, CREATE one!

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