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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,<br>
Well tonight I went to my first meeting of a local running club. I had joined about a year ago but just read the newsletters and ran a couple of fun runs and races. But this time I just decided to attend and I called one of the members whose name I recognized, and she introduced me around and really made me feel comfortable.<br><br>
I did volunteer to assist at a race being held in about 2 months. I figure that's also a good way to meet other local runners.<br><br>
For my own running, I mostly run on the treadmill at the local gym. But I do enjoy getting outside if the weather is nicer. I seem to have a very small window of ideal running conditions based on weather, humidity, time of day, access to bathrooms, etc. I'd say that 8 out of 10 runs are on that moving belt with the ipod plugged in. Luckily I really get into my music.<br><br>
So people -- any tips on making myself a good participant in the running club?<br><br>
Susan
 

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yay Susan! I've been a member of my running club for just a little over 6-7 mos now and all I've really done is read the newsletters and participate in some of the races they sponsor as well. So, I have no advice other than just helping out where needed and making your presence as a club member at the races they put on. Being a part of the running clubs races IS being a good participant and of course, volunteering at a race, or two, a year is great. That's something I should do as well. I will try and make that a point this year -- to volunteer in some way at at least one club race.
 

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Yah, Susan!<br><br>
I love my running club and spend a significant amount of time doing volunteer work for them. It's been great to make new friends who enjoy an active lifestyle. Just show up to their events and offer to help with the activities you find interesting.
 

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I've also just jointed the local club. It's a pretty big one -- about 140 members -- but definitely divides up into age and performance clusters. I'm most looking forward to when I quit working in a few months and can run with a regular weekday morning run-and-breakfast group of folks my age.<br><br>
I was also suprised at how many people in the club I recognized by sight, having seen them over the years at local events, running the trails, etc. I went to a club run last Sunday and there were 40-50 people there, but we spread out pretty quickly when the running started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What was interesting is that most of the people were my age-ish (50), with a large number seeming to be significantly older. I actually expected more younger people.<br><br>
Everyone was very friendly and I did see some familiar faces from races that I had participated in over the past year or two. Some people are, um, rather "distinctive". One older gent was actually the running partner of my dad in years back -- I didn't know he was still active in the running group. He's quite a talker, and it's possible that his wife just sent him out in the evening to get a break from him, LOL. He cornered me to grill me about my mom and discuss how she's dealing with being a widow. Apparently he took my dad's death pretty hard (not hard enough to show up at the funeral, though).<br><br>
Anyway, it did give me some increased motivation and I sailed through my run this morning. Probably a coincidence, but I'll take it.....<br><br>
Susan
 

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We have a few clubs in our area. I ran with one for a while last summer and fell uncomfortably between the fast pack and the slow one. Since I'm working with Coach, each run has a purpose and specific speed/hr parameters, and I don't know whether group runs would really mesh with what I "gotta do."<br><br>
The other thing about running alone is that I can wedge it in where I need to. I think being committed to yet another time/place in a given week would be far more stress than benefit.
 

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That's great susan! I have run in a couple of running clubs and really enjoyed them. One down in the Salt Lake city area and one here. I was not able to attend the one here much as the schedule didn't workout for me. It didn't get alot of support and doesn't exist anymore. Have fun your new group! Larry
 

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Roch, we have over 500 members and 335 households in our club!<br><br>
Susan, I would say the majority in our club are Boomer age and up too. I only make club runs on a sporadic basis but do enjoy their other social events. This month we are having a catered dinner party with live music and dancing. Next month a xc ski trip to Yellowstone. There are also some unofficial group runs and I tend to participate in those more than the official ones. Most of the events are attended by the long time members.<br><br>
On our club runs, the speedy people will get ahead of the main pack. But then they will stop and wait for everyone to gather together again. Or they might run back to us. It actually works out pretty well and most people usually find someone with a similar pace to run with. We've had some fun runs and I really should participate in them more often. Once the leader ran us right down the center of a notorious bar in town that was in the process of being demolished.<br><br>
Lately I've been thinking about what we need to do to get the new members more active and I'm curious what Roch and Riley think about that. What would it take to get you to be more active in your club? A personal phone call and invitation?
 

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Due to my foot injury, I have not ran with my running club since August and I really miss the camaraderie. But runners being such nice people, I keep getting phone calls and emails from some of the them asking me how I'm doing, and when I'll be back. That really means a lot to me.<br><br>
Sal, I'm with you on the difficulty of fitting specific workouts into the framework of a running club. Fortunately, I've been able to figure out how to do both tempo and easy runs with my club by running with different sub-sets of runners.
 

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Susan, that's great! I'm going to make a real effort to "get involved" in my running club this year. (I just joined in October). I immediately got put on the vounteer list and helped out at a race in late October. It was fun, and I met a couple other folks in the club.<br><br>
I probably won't join in too many group runs, as I'm sort of solitary that way. (I run pretty slow and don't like to feel I'm holding others back.) We'll see...I suppose I should keep an open mind.<br><br>
Anyway, it looks like you're gonna have fun.
 

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Show up. Be friendly. Don't worry too much about running in only ideal running conditions. Cold, wet windy runs can be great bonding experiences when they are shared. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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riley....all good tips given by the others, as usual. I find that most new members of my own running club are hesitant to get involved, primarily because they don't realize all the possible ways they can contribute. While volunteering at races is one great way to help out the club, and often the most visible opportunity, there are so many others. If your club has social outings, the person(s) in charge of those will often be unavailable or need help with planning or preparation. You might offer to pitch in or even be the substitute host on occasion. If your club has a newsletter and you have interesting ideas, stories, etc., put your writing skills to work and submit some articles. Tell them about the collection of running books or sport periodicals in your library, with maybe a book review. Some members of my own club get together and discuss a new running book each month. And, by all means, go hand out some water cups or work the finish line at some races. You'll make new running friends, get lots of encouragement, and have a great time. Then, you'll feel even more comfortable showing up for group runs.<br><br>
Clubs come in all shapes and sizes, some with goals of only training together, others with many social aspects. I have the luxury of belonging to a club that is nearly 2000 members strong, so there is a wide variety of events and outings. We put on a full state of road and trail races, but the social interaction is certainly a big part of things. Social group runs on Mon and Wed evenings are light and lively. People run their own pace, in small groups or even alone, but then meet afterward to enjoy light refreshments or sometimes head out to a local restaurant or bar. Formal track workouts for persons of all abilities, with coaching instruction, happen on Tuesday evenings, and then a small group of hard core runners meet again on Thursdays for a second track workout. Group trail runs on Thurs evenings in the summer and Sunday mornings in the winter keep the traildogs happy. Distance training runs on Sunday mornings, and marathon group training on Saturday mornings at various times of the year help with those long outings. Other specific social events such as short road trips to the mountains or nearby parks for group runs, picnics, pub crawls, holiday parties, etc. dot the calendar. Toss in a slate of 24 annual races and the menu is exhaustive. Members just pick what works for them. But, the point it, there is always the need for people to plan or host each and every outing. There are races to organize and execute. We have committees planning this, that, and the other thing. We also have a strong youth training program, so assisting with the kid meets are always fun.<br><br>
So, just find out what your club has going on and what the needs are, and you'll find plenty of ways to be a good participating club member. Just find the aspects that appeal to you and jump in. And if you club isn't involved in things you think they should be, suggest it. My club does an "adopt a roadway" and "adopt a creek" cleanup program,, and we take on some other community projects such as marking trails and the like. It all makes running more fun. And pretty soon, as Ilene said, you'll find yourself running when the postal service can't get through. Enjoy yourself.
 

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When I first started running a coupla years ago, I didn't think a club would help that much.<br>
Motivation wasn't an issue and still isn't, but now I think an occasional group or partner run is great fun and pushes me to run a little harder than I might otherwise.<br>
Plus of all the various sub-culture I've experienced in life, the runner's I've meet or talked with (present company included) are about the most fun and challenging of all, except maybe Lutherans.<br><br>
Could be I'm just more a social creature than 20 years ago, and finding that difficult to realize.<br>
GL with the Club<br>
jjj
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Choovie said:<br>
Lately I've been thinking about what we need to do to get the new members more active and I'm curious what Roch and Riley think about that. What would it take to get you to be more active in your club? A personal phone call and invitation?<br><br>
I can't speak for Roch, but for me, I feel kind of intimidated by these good runners. I can only run about 3ish miles at a time right now even though I've been struggling along off and on for a number of years. Most of the other members run half and full marathons at speeds that I can't even begin to imagine. And quite frankly, my goal isn't to get to their level; for me it's just to be able to run further without feeling like I'm going to die. Something that might help me personally would be to have another member perhaps offer to mentor me in some way; such as going out for a run with me at a mutually convenient time, or matching me up with someone who's a bit better than me but not at the super athlete level so that I'm not so intimidated.<br><br>
I must say that the people last night were lovely and welcoming and no one made me feel any less about myself. But when you overhear them saying things like "I ran an easy 20 miles yesterday at about a 7.5 minute pace", it's easy to feel bad about your abilities when the best you can do is 3 miles at 10 min pace. Do you know what I mean? I'm not sure that I'm explaining it well. Hopefully, as I participate in events through volunteering and the social stuff, I'll get to know them better and feel less intimidated. I do know that right now I'm doing the best I can, and am working on my goals, and that their accomplishments shouldn't make me feel bad. It's not their fault at all; it's my perceptions that are the problem. I wouldn't even consider doing a group run until I can run 5 miles without stopping at all. But maybe then I'll give it a whirl. Maybe.<br><br>
I like the idea of offering to write a book review for the newsletter!<br><br>
Susan
 

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What an excellent idea; I'll suggest it at our next board meeting. Regarding not being able to run as fast or as far as other club members, sometimes people will meet the club at a certain point and only do part of the run with them or turnaround and go back on their own. I did that last week -- the club was doing 8 but I only wanted to do 3 since I'd run 10 the day before. So I just joined them enroute and did the mileage I wanted to do.<br><br><br>
I do this for our newsletter and it's been very well received. So far I've only focused on running books but someone suggested I branch out as runners do read other stuff. I think this would be a great way for you to contribute.
 

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Way to go, Riley. I think in the long haul this is going to work out great for you. I think many of us have felt the way you do. Although I'm a Marathon Maniac now, done an ultra, etc. it wasn't that long ago that I felt intimidated by other runners. Just enjoy who you are.
 
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