Wednesday, October 11, 2006

In the Club

I've actually summoned up some enthusiasm for Amsterdam now. I still have no idea how I'm going to run, but have come up with some vague race tactics to suit how I'm feeling (basically the recommended "don't go off too fast, then push the pace in the last 3 miles or so if you feel good"), and I'm hopefully in a fit state to get under 2 hours, even if I don't get a PB.

The big news though is that after months of dithering I'm getting closer to join a real life running club (and not one in Hampshire this time). As the mornings get darker and darker I'm realising how much nicer it would be to have company when I'm running in the dark. For safety, but also for motivation to get me out there when it's cold and wet.

Before my main motivation for joining a club was for the discounts, and it would still be nice. But increasingly I'm actually interested in how it would help my running and get me through winter.

I have had two big blocks to get over with running clubs to date. The first is that they train in the evening at times that aren't particularly convenient for me. I'm a morning person anyway, and I just can't get out to a club on the outskirts of the city by about 6.20 on a weeknight, particularly by public transport. The club I'm looking at now still trains in the evening, but it's closer to the office (yet still on a bus route that passes within a km or so of my house), and it meets at 7 rather than 6.30, and in rush hour that extra half hour could make all the difference. It doesn't train too late (I saw one that meets at 7.45, which would be a bit late for me really), but it's not too early either.

The second block was just my general shyness when it comes to breaking into a group of people I don't know and turning up for the first time on my own. This might be sorted, I came across Kirkstall as a recommendation from someone I chat to on a running forum, so even though we've never met in person, we have a bit more of a "relationship" than just sending off an email to the contact address on the website and getting a standard response that doesn't answer the questions I asked. (This is also reassuring because I know she's slower than I am - with current goals of getting under 60 minutes for 10k and under 2:15 for a half - and I therefore won't be the slowest there).

I'm actually quite keen on the idea at the moment. They train two nights a week so assuming I could get along regularly that would mean that I would only really have one midweek run to do on my own in the dark, if that (based on 4 - 5 runs per week, with 2 in daylight at the weekend). There would be the social side too, and some more structured coaching if I wanted it. It just about works logistically, and hopefully vaguely knowing someone would take away the anxiety about turning up for the first time.

I'm not going this week because I've done all my pre-Amsterdam running, but next week might be a possibility depending how my legs feel.

Unless I chicken out before then!


Blogger JustJunebug said...

definately join a group!! i was scared at first too because i am slower than most, but then again some are slower...i have met wonderful people and always have someone to run with even if i cant make the long training runs!

3:11 AM  

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