Can a running club cure my pre-race nerves/doubts/waivering?

I admit it. I’m terrified. I am not only beginning to doubt whether or not I will be able to run the race in my hoped-for time of 2 hours – I am beginning to doubt that I will even be able to run the whole 13.1 miles!

I’ve been trying to stretch out my long weekend runs, which has become easier now that I am more familiar with the area I am living in (the first couple of long runs were cut short by wrong turnings that took me home sooner than anticipated!) and last week I managed my first ever 7-miler. Granted it took me well over an hour, but I ran the whole 7 miles, no stopping, and I felt quite ok afterwards (no dizzy spells, no seeing spots etc…). This has made me feel a little better, but I still need a little bit more encouragement. I think I’m going to join a running club. I hope that some structured training, moral support and simple intimidation can help me to up my mileage!

I have looked at a lot of clubs’ websites and they have all promised that they are friendly, supportive and open to all abilities. I hope this is true. I don’t want to be laughed at in my lycra! Most of the groups have some really clear guidelines for prospective members – how far/fast/long you should be able to run before joining: what day to turn up on, who to talk to etc. They also show their training schedule, which is great for seeing if they can accommodate they type of training you want to do or the frequency. I have found a few groups that I am interested in, so it’s time to be brave and give them a try!

Prospective members are invited to run with the groups for a few weeks before officially joining and paying an annual subscription fee. I have therefore chosen 3 clubs that I will try out in order of how much I like the look of them. If I don’t have any fun at the first I will move on to the second, and if I don’t like the second I’ll move onto the third.

So tonight I will take a positive step to combatting my pre-race doubts and have a stab at running with the Mornington Chasers. Their meeting place is only a few miles cycle ride away from my flat and the training sessions offered will suit me just fine. I’ve never joined a team before. I’m excited.

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