Following on from my successful completion of the couch to 5k running programme with a group of friends I am sharing how I set up a running club from scratch.
1. Identify a group of people
By definition a club consists of people so you’ll need to recruit some other people. I started with my work friends because we’d all been threatening to start exercising and I knew that we were all at the same level – absolute beginner. You only need 1 other person but the more people there are the greater accountability you’ll have.
I had 5 people join Team Scrambled Legs and it is a great number as it means that even if some people cannot make the run, there’s always at least 2 people hitting the road.
Within a few weeks, Sam joined in and it's great to have another motivator for the weekend runs.
2. Identify a time you can run
If you haven’t got the time to run you simply won’t do it. I wanted to run at lunchtime so as not to eat into my own time before and after work. Pick a time that works with your schedule. If you’re not a morning person, don’t plan to get up at 6am to get a run in before work.
3. Get a running plan
I cannot recommend this enough. As an absolute beginner to running it was easy to pick a plan and there are loads of couch to 5k running plans to follow. I picked the one from the NHS website and we followed it to the letter. I think it is important to start slowly and build up at an appropriate pace. Having a plan meant we always knew what we were looking to achieve and I don’t think that we could have dragged ourselves out of the building if we’d have been aimlessly jogging along. Mentally ticking off each run of the programme is hugely rewarding and a motivator to keep going.
4. Set a goal
I personally need a goal to work towards and get me lacing up my trainers no matter what. The obvious goal for our running programme was a 5k race at the end of the 6 weeks. Seeing our progress towards the race was a real motivator.
5. Put it in your diary
Once you know when you’ll be running, get it booked in everyone’s diaries. Make sure everyone knows when they are to be where.
6. Send text reminders to members
Running at lunchtime at work meant that we all needed to remember to bring our running kit in the mornings. To prevent people from forgetting their kit I sent them a text either the night before or the morning of a run.
Enjoy it and have fun!