After doing an Instagram poll asking if people would be anxious about joining a club – I was shocked to find that a overwhelming 80% of you said yes!
Now I get it – there is a lot to worry about…
“I’m not fit enough to train with a club”
“They will all be pro athletes and I am a potato” (previously a genuine concern of mine)
“They are probably all really good friends and I won’t be welcome”
“They won’t like me and I won’t fit in”
“It will be too expensive”
A lot of it goes back to that same old worry – “I won’t be good enough”
Well here’s the biscuit – chances are you are absolutely good enough and any club will welcome you with open arms. I have been a member of a few clubs now – the main super club referenced to throughout this blog being JBR Run & Tri Club, and from my own experience of joining clubs heeeeeere are my top 5 points on what you are missing out on (the last one is the most important one for me):
1. Amazing Training
How many times have you gone out to train on your own and given up before the end of the session you planned to do?
I can guarantee with a club you will finish all of your sessions without even thinking about it most of the time. It’s like having a little fan club cheering you on the whole session. Whenever I have struggled with sessions everyone notices (not difficult because I’ll have a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp) and are always so supportive. I have even had people sing at me to try and cheer me up during some of the sessions where I’ve struggled mentally.
Most clubs will run sessions by qualified coaches that really know their stuff and if they don’t have that you’ll almost certainly be training with people that have been running or cycling or swimming for a long time and will give you the best little gems of advice. Such as Clive, sandwiched in between me and Pedro below, who taught me how to run uphill a little less terribly than before by using my arms properly..
With all of this, regardless of what your fitness goals are – you will see some amazing results!
2. “Nobody Gets Left Behind”
In any club that I have been a member of – there is always a really broad range of different abilities and fitness levels so there really is something for everyone.
Especially within triathlon – there is no such thing as being bottom of the pack. There are three sports and I’ve never met anyone that is the best or the worst at all of them. Even if you do come across such a Hercules – everyone has their good and bad days.
“Nobody gets left behind” – This is a phrase that you will hear at most clubs.
Sessions are designed to cater for everyone so if you’re worried about everyone charging off and leaving you in a cloud of dust then please don’t!
3. Local Knowledge
If you’ve ever got stuck on where to run or who to go to for sports therapy – local clubs are a great source of knowledge.
I’ve only been a member of my new club now for a few months and already I have got to know some of the most amazing little gems around Suffolk and Norfolk.
I would never have found to best spots to swim in Southend if it wasn’t for my previous club!
4. It’s Cheap!
Contrary to popular belief – training with a club is in fact a brilliantly cheap way to train.
Most clubs will charge a one off annual fee ranging between £30 – £50 with training sessions usually costing no more than a fiver on top of that. With running they are often free because there is no cost for hiring a venue.
So unfortunately – you’ll have to cross money off your list of reasons not to join!
5. The People
Last and certainly not least – you are going to meet the most amazing people. The members of JBR became like a bit of a crazy little family for me and I am still in touch with a lot of them still (you don’t get rid of me that easily I’m afraid.. I’m like a bad smell that lingers for eternity).
When I stopped training after the Ironman, because of my mental health crash, the one thing I realised that I missed the most was spending time training with people.
Spending time with like minded people in a really positive environment, for me, plays a massive part in staying on top of my mental health. Unlike other self-care you can do to stay on top of things that take a conscious effort, this is so easy you don’t even realise the effect it is having until you stop doing it!
My previous club were so supportive with my anxieties. In the cover photo of this blog a few of the members had helped me through a panic attack on the run at Eton Dorney duathlon – allowing me to finish the race and get my medal 🙂
Aside from all of the deep stuff, if like me you are new to an area as well – it is a great way to meet new people.
Oh.. and of course.. just because it is a sports club – we do lose the lycra (where there is a brief moment of panic because nobody recognises each other not looking all fresh faced, red & sweaty) and go out for a drink now and again as well!