Traditional Running Clubs have been around for more than a hundred years, and the UK is fortunate to have a thriving club scene. If you’re looking to improve your running in a group environment, researching your local running clubs is likely to provide you with an abundance of good options to try. For many people, though, committing to meeting at a specific time and place each week, or to regularly running with others, just doesn’t fit with what they’re looking for. For these people, the recent emergence of Virtual Running Clubs may just provide the solution they’ve been looking for. Here, we run through the 6 top reasons to join a Virtual Running Club.
Reason #1: Virtual Running Clubs Provide Flexibility
For many people, committing to the same day and time each week is unappealing, and in some cases it simply isn’t an option. For those with irregular working patterns, those with children, or those who prefer to keep their diary flexible, an Online Running Club can provide a convenient alternative to the traditional in-person clubs. In the We Run Virtual Running Club, members get a weekly email detailing everything they need to do that week to improve their running. This includes a ‘club run’ and other exercises recommended by a Strength and Conditioning Coach. With this email waiting in their inbox, members are free to plan their schedule as they like, setting time aside to train when it’s convenient for them – not when their club’s timetable demands it!
Reason #2: A One-Stop Shop
Trying to piece together a coherent plan to improve your running from the wealth of information available online can be a total minefield. Sometimes, you just want to be told what to do and how to do it, and then be left to get on with it! A good Virtual Running Club should cut through the noise and provide you with a roadmap to improve your running week-on-week, month-on-month and year-on-year. In the We Run Online Running Club, for example, members are provided with a 5-point email each week, outlining what they can do that week to progress their running. All the necessary information is provided in this one convenient email, with no need for endless Google searches or disappearing down a YouTube rabbit hole!
Reason #3: An Online Running Club Helps Keep It Interesting
If you’re training on your own, it can be tricky to keep things fresh and interesting. It’s easy for the same old routines to become boring, and for your motivation to train to suffer as a result. With an Online Running Club, you’re essentially outsourcing much of the planning of your training, and a good club will serve you fresh, interesting routines to complete every week. This helps to keep you on your toes, and you’ll enjoy the physical benefits to mixing up your training too.
Reason #4: Challenges
This one’s a bit specific to the We Run Virtual Club! Each month, we set a different Challenge to our members to improve some element of their running. It might be improving your balance, building glute strength, working on your core – every month is different, and everyone can get involved. Using our free downloadable wall-chart, members test themselves at the start and end of the month to track their improvements. Our Strength and Conditioning Coaches prescribe a new routine every week based around the Challenge, and those that want to can share their progress with the rest of our online community.
So a typical month looks like this:
1st of the month: Download this month’s Challenge wall-chart. Complete the simple self-test to assess your current ability in the skill being focused on
Each week: Check your email, and complete the exercises prescribed by our Strength and Conditioning Coaches for that week
Last day of the month: Re-test your ability to see how much you’ve improved. Share your success with the community and do a little victory dance (both optional!)
These monthly Challenges are a way of ensuring you’re continually improving. They tend to focus on things that can really help your running, but that most runners neglect. We make improving fun!
Reason #5: Get Some Accountability and Camaraderie
One of the most important benefits of any club is the accountability they provide. Let’s be honest; most of us have a finite supply of willpower, and knowing that there are other people waiting to hear from you can be a powerful motivator. Of course, with an Online Running Club, you don’t have to get involved with the social side, but if it helps or you enjoy it, most clubs have active communities on social media, and joining the conversation can really boost your enthusiasm and enjoyment. Multiply your smug-factor by bathing in the kudos of your fellow members, and join the conversation with like-minded people!
Reason #6: Expert Support
Even the most well-informed and fortunate of runners will eventually run into problems or challenges that leave them a bit stuck. Google often produces more questions than answers, and sometimes all you want is to have someone who knows what they’re talking about to put your question to. With a good Virtual Running Club, you ought to have fingertip access to knowledgeable Running Coaches. In the We Run club, we host regular webinars with Coaches and Physiotherapists, so our members have a regular opportunity to get their questions answered.