I have always thought I was a decent jogger. I recall being the best runner at my high school. But that was a few years ago, and I was a few pounds lighter. In recent years, my body can't go as far as my mind thinks it can.
I wonder if I should join a running Club.
Joining a running club has some benefits.
- you start identifying yourself as being a runner
- running with others encourages you to get better at running
- running with others is safer - if there are injuries or falls there is someone to help you out
- source of running knowledge about best practices
- source of knowledge about best places and times to run
- source for tips about technique
- information about local races or challenges
- anything that encourages you to run regularly helps keep you in shape
I sometimes like running alone. But I do understand the benifits of running with others. And there are some benifits with making some commitment to a running club.
But not just any running club would do for me. For example I would be turned off if the running club had a lot of paperwork to fill out to join. I would be turned off I was was expected to sit through a lot of meetings, and join different commitees related to the jogging community. I would be turned off if I had to sit through a weekly meeting where some professional runner gave a lecture about how to jog. I would get suspicious if the jogging club asked for 10% of my income so it could build a bigger jogging club facility, and hire more professional runners as staff. I wouldn't like it if some running clubs fought with other running clubs about who was better, trying to steal members from each others clubs.
Yes, running with others is better than running alone. And there is nothing wrong with joining a running club. I guess for me a running club should be primarily about helping each member run better whatever races they are aiming to be a part of.
The more I think of it, the less structure the better. Personally, I'm happy just getting together with a few guys now and then to run together.
I think back to my high school races again. Twice at province wide races I ended up making a wrong turn because I wasn't running close enough to others. I still have regrets about running the wrong direction for just a minute (downhill) and ruining my chances at an honorable finish. I wish I had been running with others at those moments of those races.
As usual I'd love to hear your thoughts.