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looking for a bit of advice here.

i have to say that the idea of joining a running club has always held little appeal for me for 2 main reasons;

a. although i have been running for a couple of years now i still consider myself to be a rank amateur. the idea of going running with a bunch of people far ahead of me in tems of ability is frankly intimidating.

b. one of the things i enjoy about running is the solitude of it just being me, my music and the road. i find the idea of having others with me unappealing.

however i am interested in improving my performance and i know a lot of people on here with more experience and ability than me find them useful in doing so.

what should I do?
 

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I always advocate joining a club....it helps with your motivation for a start and although you could probably still run by yourself on a club night you're likely to find someone who runs at your pace/slightly faster than you which will help you progress.

I would suggest finding a running, as opposed to an athletic, club...normally less intense and more social.

A decent club should welcome runners of all abilities.
 

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As steve says, most clubs will cater for all abilities, worth calling beforehand just to make sure they have a group you can head out with, but it'll be fine :)

Few other points:
- You can still enjoy your runs on your own... you don't have to make every run a club run ;)
- You can improve your performance on your own, without joining a club - though personally I find it easier to run faster for extended periods when in a group
- I still find my mind goes off on it's own, and unless you're engaging in a chat with someone, everyone tends to be in their own little running bubble. It's not an unpleasant experience at all :)

Go along and try out a club - usually you can try it for a couple of weeks before they'd like you to join as a member, so you're not commited from the outset ;)
 

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Couldn't agree more with the above.

Although I've been running quite a few years I only joined a club two weeks ago. Had a great time but I still do my own running and choose which sessions to do with the club. In the two weeks I've been with them, I feel I've worked harder than anything I do on my own. We were doing hill reps last week, the idea was to do 10. By the time I had done 8 I decided not to do any more but as soon as I noticed that others were going to complete the 10, it motivated me enough to find the strength to continue. I would not have done that if I'd been training on my own. Also, they have a social night on Friday's which is a good time to meet other like minded people and have a chat.

There is another thread here somewhere about someone's experience of joining a club. I think it was Owain who started the thread.
 

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aye... Owain tried joining a club and didn't get on well at first, he wasn't welcomed into the club very well and decided not to go back, he decided he preferred running solo...

THEN, he tried another club, got on really well with the members, and now loves club running! A complete convert :)
 
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