So last night I ran with the Chineham Park Running Club and had my first ever experience of club running.
Today, everything hurts. Not knowing how much you’ve got coming makes it hard to pace yourself sensibly!
It was a great experience and if I can fit it in around my commute when I go back to work next month I’ll be keen to join proper. There’s something about running in a pack that sets the adrenaline going and makes you push yourself more than you ever would running alone, no matter how much the group encourages you to take things at your own pace. Man is a competitive animal, even me, sometimes.
The session was a ‘coached run’ – in which we did a warm-up run (about 2.5k, which I completed in 14 odd minutes), followed by ‘stride’ training on a short loop of road (a few hundred metres). This involved another 45 or so minutes of running in circles focussing on different things – first just thinking about the stride, then trying to get a sense of falling forwards whilst running, then trying to run silently, then bouncing from foot to foot.
It brought back memories of PE sessions at school, with a kindly teacher working to coach through encouragement rather than drill-sergeant esque barked orders.
There was a persistent feel of good natured, supportive, encouraging camaraderie throughout the club and think I’d enjoy running with them. However… despite claims that its a club for people of all abilities, I was near the back of the pack and was probably one of the only people there without a race booked – apparently most people are running two races a month at the moment!
So it’s a little intimidating. But maybe when I find my metaphorical stride, it’ll feel more natural. I’m still coming to terms with fatherhood, commuting, country life and all the rest of it, so imagine in time two races a month will seem like a sensible thing to do!