Richard Perry

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Why I Joined a Running Club

  |     |   Outdoors, Running

CRC Christmas Photo Ever since I started running I’ve outright dismissed the idea of joining a running club. I started running in an effort to get fit without having to go to a gym, or go to a swimming pool etc. It was simple, get dressed, go running. There were no barriers (other than bad weather) to prevent me going running so it seemed to be the best option. Once I started doing it regularly, I got to really enjoy it. I prefer running first thing in the morning so it’s always peaceful, there’s rarely anybody out and about to get in the way, there’s very little traffic and it’s brilliant. This is one of the big things that put me off joining a running club. I enjoy the solitude of my runs so running with a group of people always seemed counter intuitive. Also, having to schedule in my runs just didn’t work for me.

What Changed?

Last summer, right in the middle of my training for the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, I became ill and I couldn’t run for ages. A couple of weeks before the half marathon I went to see the doctor and he advised against running on my own. He had no problem with me running, just so long as there was somebody around to look after me should anything go wrong. This obviously presented me with a new problem. I had to get some more runs in before the half marathon to make sure I was going to be capable of it, but how was I going to find someone to run with me?

It turns out a friend of ours, who is a keen runner, runs for Caerleon Running Club and they were training for the Cardiff Half Marathon that was on the same day as mine. They were due to do a long training run on the Sunday before, so Ian invited me along. I did struggle a little with the first run, but I went again for the Tuesday run and felt a lot better about it. This confirmed I would be able to run the half! Surprising though, I also really enjoyed running with the group.

After the Royal Parks, I decided to try out club running a few more times, taking part in both their standard Tuesday runs and their more structured Thursday training runs (intervals, hill sprints etc). What struck me about it was how much I enjoyed the challenge of the Thursday runs. I had done interval training before, but as part of a group, there was more emphasis on it. I pushed myself harder than I would do on my own and I was absolutely shattered at the end of each session. In terms of my running performance, this could only be a good thing :smile:. Also, once I committed to running with the club, I was less inclined to skip a run because I wasn’t in the mood. I found myself running more often and I felt better in general.

These are the key reasons that I now run for a club and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future :smile:.

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