So you’re thinking about joining the running club but still aren’t sure? Maybe some of these commonly asked questions will help you out…
Do I have to be a member to run with you? No. All are welcome to come to our group runs. Locations and info can be found here. It’s a great way to try it out and see if you like it.
Do I have to be fast? Nope. While most of us dream of being fast, the reality is not all of us are. There are folks in our club who get last place at local races, and some that get first. Most of us are somewhere in the middle.
Okay, you say you’re not fast, but what if I show up at a group run, how fast will we go? Historically speaking, most people that go to the group runs fall somewhere between an 8 min to 9 min mile pace for an average easy run. Yes, there is usually a group that goes faster than this as well (~7 min pace) but it’s a small minority and you’ll know right away if you can hang with them or not.
So you’re telling me, even if I run a 12 min mile, I can show up and run with you? Yes! We encourage that! Take David Fusfeld for example, about three years ago he was 100 lbs overweight and could literally barely finish a 5k. He joined the club, got into it and now runs a marathon in under 3:12.
What does a typical group run look like? It looks like a bunch of people just running. But jokes aside, on Tuesdays we generally meet at Manchester High or Highland Park School (depending on the time of year). We do a 1.5-2 mile easy warm-up, then stretch and do a workout of some sort. Sometimes everyone does the same thing (say 8 x 400 for example), sometimes everyone does their own thing. The point is we are all there together in the same place, not necessarily doing the same thing. We’ll then try to do a 1-2 mile cool-down together. On Saturdays, it’s typically stretching for a min or two and then we are off on an easy run at varying paces.
How many people are in the club and how many people show up to group runs? As of March, 2017 there are 224 people in the club, on a beautiful spring or fall night we will see about 16-20 people for a group run; on a particularly miserable night in the winter, there may be only 1 or 2 brave souls.
What about age ranges? We’ve got kids as young as 12 in the club and adults pushing 70, so there’s no limit. The average age of those who actively participate in group runs, races and activities is early 30’s to mid 40’s.
Oh 12, so is this a good group for my young kids? There is not a lot of instruction or 1-on-1 coaching going on, and it’s certainly not a place to drop your child off, in fact, that’s not allowed. Think of it more of a social group that goes for a run more than anything else; the “kids” that are club members have responsible parents with them at all times. If you have a child that is really into running, and you’re going to stay with them for the duration of the group run, then that’s okay, but this is not a little league practice and if they don’t like running at all, regardless of your intentions, it’s probably not a great idea.
How about walkers or non-distance runners? Typically the majority of people in the club are distance runners. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a sprinter here and there, or a walker. We offer great discounts to events, products and gear for all forms of exercise. We’d love to have a more diverse set of athletes so even if you’re a shot-putter, come on out, MHS has a facility for you to practice… you would just have to bring your own equipment, and be cognizant of your surroundings.
What about this racing team? You can get all those details here. Same deal though, it’s not about speed, it’s participation that we are looking for.
If I join, do I have to show up at group runs or race? Nope. We don’t even ever have to meet you. There is no requirement for you to participate in anything.
Do I have to buy a racing singlet? No, but they are really really good looking, so why wouldn’t you?
I’m training for my first 5k, is this a good group to join? Yes and no. If you’re looking for a fun group that has a good time and is all in one place (for the most part), then yes, it is. If you’re looking for 1-on-1 instruction and someone to be right by your side every step of the way, you might get a little discouraged at times. We typically run all in the same place, but that doesn’t mean we are all running at the same speed. Someone may lap you a few times on the track – if that’s going to drive you crazy and discourage you, you might not enjoy us. But if you’re looking for motivation and to get different perspectives on running, we might be just the thing you need!