Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Five: The Running Club vs. Training Program Debate

It's Friday!  Back to the Friday Five with Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney!  Make sure to stop by and check out all the amazing blogs linking up!

Guys, my running has been beyond pathetic lately.  I haven't mapped it out yet, but I'm pretty sure my training program for my next half is starting up soon (you guys know I like to slowly build up).  I also want to do the Runner's World Summer Running Streak and right now the mile is getting to me.  I have some serious catch up to do.

Remember that happy PR day? 

Although I do fine by myself, I really want to have some running buddies this time around.  The long runs were kind of tough once they reached double digits and I would love to have someone to share in the misery joy.  Now the debate is whether I want to join a local running club or a fall half marathon training program.  Here are the big factors I'm considering before making my final decision:

1. Cost.  The running club is significantly cheaper, plus it lasts for the entire year.  The half marathon group is rather pricey, but a PR is priceless, right?!

2. Half marathon training program = every body is going toward the same goal.  I like knowing that everyone is in the same boat.  I love hearing other people talk about their upcoming races and I think it would keep me excited about my race.  While I'm sure several people in the running club would be training for a race, too, there's no telling where they would be in their training cycles.  There's no guarantee that our programs would match up, whereas if I go with the official program we will all pretty much be in the same place.

3. Schedule.  Because the running club lasts all year, it wouldn't really matter if I missed some of the workouts occasionally.  I think it would be more low key, whereas the half marathon program only lasts for a couple of months.  I would be feeling some huge guilt over missing workouts and my summer schedule is pretty busy with travel.  

4. Relationships.  Once again, this goes back to the timing of it all.  Because the running club lasts as long as I want to keep paying for it, I would be able to see the members consistently.  This might mean longer lasting running buddies.  We wouldn't have to try to figure out when to meet up because we'd already have weekly workouts.

5. Coaching.  I'm pretty sure running clubs have leaders, but I love that the half marathon program has someone that is specifically assigned to help you reach your goals.  I need that extra kick in the butt (and expertise!) to break 2 hours!


Anyone in a running club?  Ever done a training program?  What else should I consider?  What would you recommend? 

10 comments:

  1. I think everyone is different!! I have never been in a running club but did do a training program before. If you are focused on a specific goal a formal program is probably worth the cost it takes to get you there. And, if you are looking to establish longer term relationships and build a little community around your running, the club makes sense too.

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    1. So basically both?! :-) Thanks, Mar!

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  2. I ran with a running club about three times. People were friendly and I learned new stuff. But then I fell back to running alone, because it's just so much easier. I like the freedom it offers.

    I followed the couch to 5K programme.

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    1. Yeah, I mean I think I would do a lot of runs by myself still just because it's nice to go whenever the mood hits, but the long runs get to me. I have a training plan I really like, but I'm open to new ideas!

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  3. Good list of pros/cons and comparison! I have done both and find I'm more committed to a training program I've paid for. I'm a member of the local running club but don't do the weekly workouts with them!

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    1. I know! I think I would be more willing to go if I knew I had shelled out a good chunk of change for it. Fewer excuses for sure. I think it's probably going to come down to how many days I would miss because of travel...Thanks, Cynthia!

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  4. i did a training program over the winter and i have no doubt that there's no way many of my long runs would have happened w/out the group. that being said, i trained for my first full last summer just by cobbling together runs with others who were also training. can you find a club that offers a training program? best of both worlds!

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    1. Didn't even think of that! Thanks, Courtney! I'll definitely look into that.

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  5. Maybe to avoid the stress you could do the running club for now since you already have a lot of commitments and would definitely miss some of the training program and then do the training program for your next, next half?

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