Joining a Run Club (and how NOT scary it is!)

I have to admit that ever since I started running I really wanted to join some sort of run club (I mean who doesn’t want to be part of a club, right?!).

When I first started running I used run/ walk intervals to build my distance and I figured “real runners” who go to run clubs don’t take walk breaks.

Then once I wasn’t using walk breaks any more I figured only fast runners go to run clubs, I won’t be able to keep up with them.

By the time I was feeling confident enough to maybe find a group to run with occasionally I wasn’t working in NYC anymore (where the are plenty of run club options!) and I was surprised to find there really wasn’t a local running group near me on Long Island.

So, I figured group running was out for me for now : (

Then this past winter I began following Stacey (@capecodrunner – because how could I NOT follow someone whose name is Cape Cod Runner!) and Crystal (@carpediemcrystal) on Instagram and eventually realized the pictures they were posting from their weekly run club not only looked awesome, but looked very familiar!

They were at the Marathon Sports location that’s about 5 minutes from our place on the Cape!

So, for the rest of the winter I enviously watched them post their weekly run club pictures longing for summer to come so I could join them!

Unfortunately Crystal moved a week before I got up to the Cape for the summer, but a few weeks ago I got to my first Marathon Sports Run Club and finally got to meet Stacey and her husband!

I have to admit I was still kind of nervous about running with a group, but I had such a great time and spent most of the run chatting with Stacey and Allison, who ironically had just moved to the Cape the week before from New York!

Marathon Sports Run Club

Me, Stacey & Allison (photo courtesy of Stacey)

After the run we all went next door for drinks and a bite to eat.

Since run club was going to be cancelled the next week Stacey decided to round up everyone for a group run anyways and this time I convinced Jason to join us!

cape cod runner

Mashpee Run Club detours to Osterville! (photo courtesy of Stacey)

Honestly, we had a great time!  In just a couple of weeks we’ve gone on some great runs and met some awesome people (and people who are up for stopping for post run ice cream?? Even better!).

Post Run Ice Cream

Looking back on it it seems silly that I was ever nervous about attending a group run!

If you’re still not sure about group running check out Stacey’s post about Joining a Run Club – I promise it’s not as scary as you may think!

Chances are there will be someone else who runs your pace, or uses run/ walk intervals, or is there for the first time, but even if there’s not, runners tend to be a pretty friendly group so you’ll be in good hands!

Do you ever run with a group or run club?

Why or why not??

**You can follow Stacey at Cape Cod Runner and although Crystal isn’t on the Cape anymore, you should totally stop by her blog Carpe Diem Crystal to check out the pictures of her amazing runs in her new home of Sitka, Alaska!**

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28 thoughts on “Joining a Run Club (and how NOT scary it is!)

  1. Yay for run clubs!! I love running with a group and have found that a lot of the groups actually run a lot slower than I usually would so its a great way to really rein myself in for a truly easy paced run!

  2. I’ve been super nervous about trying a running club, and at first I couldn’t find one, so I wasn’t faced with the decision. Now, I’ve found one in my area that does several runs a week, including a track workout, and I’ve been waffling on whether or not to go. Turns out, the long runs on Sundays are hosted by my high school health teacher–time to sign up!

  3. I want to join a run club so badly because I definitely run better with people, but (despite this post) I am still scared about joining one. All the NYC run clubs just seem so intimidating with fast people and I’m just no where close to their abilities :/

    • Ugh, I agree, the NYC running clubs are so intimidating! Have you ever looked into groups runs through running stores though? I feel like they are a little less hard core than some of the other running organizations ones.

      Plus, they’re not free, but you may like the Fitness Runs group runs, I did one a few months ago and really liked it…and trust me, you wouldn’t be out of your league there! Check out their website, they offer free trial classes and specials all the time!

      • I never thought of checking out the running store groups, or Fitness Runs, but I’ll definitely check it out! As long as you PROMISE I wouldn’t be out of my league there lol

  4. I’m on board with Kellie – I want to join a run club but I have ZERO social skills. Honestly, people scare the crap out of me. Okay, maybe scare isn’t the right word, but I am so socially inept I’d end up feeling like a total idiot. “Hey, who’s that weird short chick over there talking to herself and looking she’s having a great coversation?” Yeah, that’d be me.

    • Haha, well the good news about a run club or running group is that you at least know you’ll have something in common with these people right off the bat!

  5. I was nervous about joining a run club at first for the same reason you mentioned – thinking no one else would have to take walk breaks, or that I’d be too slow. I signed up with my local club anyway and I’m *so* happy I did! They’re all wonderful and supportive, and their weekly events are great motivation to get me off my butt and out running. 🙂

  6. As a member of a running club, I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I’ve done for myself, and I run with one of those NYC clubs with lots of speedy runners, yet I’m one of the slowest on the team. I started running w/the team when I was logging miles at a 10-11 min/mile pace depending on the distance. There was always someone for me to run with, and even the 2:30 marathoners were nice, supportive and encouraging. Yes, the first few workouts were intimidating, but not because of how anyone else made me feel, just because of my own insecurities. Once I saw how NOT scary it was, I’ve been a team runner ever since. Love it!

  7. You know I love my running group. It is so much fun to get up early Thursday mornings to meet at the track. No really, I don’t mind waking at 5 am to meet my group! So glad you have found your niche on Cape Cod. Wish I was there for the summer too. Today was ridiculously hot at 5:50 when we were just starting practice!

  8. Great post! I’ve always wanted to try running with a club/group. There are TONS in my area, but I’ve always been nervous about joining them, for all the reasons you mentioned! Maybe I need to swallow my insecurities and give it a try — why not, right? 🙂

    • Thanks Andy! Unfortunately the closest to me listed is in NYC which is a little too far just to go in for a run. Good news is we are going to be moving eventually and there are 2 listed in the area we’re looking in!

    • oh my gosh, I feel like you would love it! Are there any good groups that run regularly near you?? I wish you lived near me and we could go to run club together!

  9. I do run with several groups. One I’ve run with for years since they formed. I never realized how intimidating it is for new runners to join. But lately I’ve started running with another group too. They have SEVERAL Boston qualifiers. They all seem to be friends and take trips together to races. But the more I show my face, the more we get to know each other!

    • Yes, it’s TOTALLY intimidating to show up on your own to a group all by yourself! Luckily everyone was so nice so I’m really looking forward to trying to find a group when I get back to NY too!

  10. Sounds fun, especially the post ice cream part! Right now I don’t have much time for a running group, but when my schedule gets less hectic in the fall, I’m going to look into one 🙂

  11. Pingback: Weekly Training Recap | Live, Run, Grow

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