Monday, October 17, 2011

Running Clubs Perspective

I think Running/Walking Clubs can be great, but they are not for everyone. They are not for me, at this time.

In the past 7 months I have observed a lot about how people view the connection to a club and what happens to that runner if they chose not to run with that club any longer.

It's has it's good and bad points.

When I chose to make changes in my training 7 months ago and that also meant I left my current running club, I was on the receiving end of a lot of comments, opinions and speculations.

  • Some runners were shocked. Almost wondering how I could run another step without "a club".

  • Some other runners applauded me in my decision - as they too do not run with a club.

  • They, there were and still are those club extremist who are hateful that others have chosen not to run with them, any longer. My comment to them? Get a grip.

When did Running Clubs turn into the Mafia?

Running is a solitary sport. One person crosses the finish line. Yes, it is great to have the support of others (and I actually have MORE support now than when I was attached to a club)- but what happens if that club ceases to exist? You stop running?

Running goals change and evolve. Not one club is THE club nor will provide exactly what each runner needs.

Be a good sport. If someone chooses to leave your club. Wish them well and show your true sportsmanship and plan a solo run with them. Friendships should be the focus of running clubs, not what shirt you wear.

I keep in contact with a lot of my former club members - and they are great people. I am grateful I met them, but I will not dwell on why I left that club and I certainly have moved on. My hope is that others will just let it go and move on, too. For those who choose not to - that is the waste of your energy, not mine.

Afterall, it's been 7 months - that's a lifetime ago, in Runner years.

Please give me your thoughts - what experiences have you had (if you left a club) or seen what happens when someone leaves a club?

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011
Celebrate Your Finish,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Certified Sports Nutritionist, Running Coach & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter


  1. I think I have been very fortunate with my running group experience. We keep it simple and we are just a group of people that come together to run. We have daily running meetups all over the area so there are plenty of options. Some people have qualified for Boston and have been running for years and others just run a few miles a week for fun. We have no dues or fees. I think that has kept things pretty fun and positive and we geniunely enjoy each others company, all 700 of us!!

    I agree with you. It is ridiculous that people get so caught up in groups! Sometimes you have to move on and there is nothing wrong with that!

  2. Hi there! Thanks for your comments. There are many good clubs (and bad ones) - and glad you experienced some. What baffles me is that the club becomes nothing more than a Trainer-Idol Worship time. No thank you.

    When I left my former club - I was REALLY surprised to be at races and have people tell me what they REALLY thought of the club. When I asked them why they didn't say anything before? They replied, "we didn't want to hurt your feelings"

    Gosh, wish I had known - would of saved me a lot of heartache, injuries and stuff.

    Times changes, goals change - accept it and move on. As I said, I have.

  3. If you have moved on, then why do you keep beating a dead horse? This is your second rant in about week about running snobs and running club bs. I prefer your posts when you talk about your training.

  4. Dolly, thanks for your comment and that is a valid question.

    I bring it up so often in the past week, because quite frankly I am sick and tired of the unsolicited, unwarranted and ridiculous text messages, voice mail messages and emails I have received from members of my former club. They are the ones beating the dead horse, Dolly – not me.

    I have ignored them for months and “they” will not leave me alone. If any of them deny doing so (and they happen to read this blog) – they are lying. Enough is enough, I need to say what is on my mind, and I am glad I did. Case closed, as far as I am concerned.

    As others have experienced the same thing with their respective local clubs, and they have found it comforting to know someone has shared the same experiences. Whether it be me or someone else, I am glad someone spoke up.
    I use my blog to write about what is relevant to me, my life, and my training at the time. Whether it be training, the death of my beloved dog, a recent race, a product review, recipe or whatever.

    That is why I created my blog – to journal my running experiences, all of it. I just happen to have people, such as yourself who read it. Everyone has a right to their opinion, and I respect that.

    If at any time you feel that my blog is not what you are looking for, then I take no offense to you stop reading it.

  5. Hey Charlene,
    I enjoy reading running/triathalon blogs. It is one of my guilty pleasures. I follow blogs such as: Skinny Runner, Sweat Once a Day, Frayed Laces, Rose Runner, Lil Runner, Cross Country Squared, California Training and many more. It is great to hear different perspectives on training, nutrition, race reports, and the highs & lows. A friend of mine (not the one your thinking about) suggested that I start blogging a few years ago, I decided to take that leap and you can find me at That being said, when you blog about your thoughts, feelings, and opinions you subject yourself to the opinions of others as well. Your blog is not a private blog that you have to subscribe to. It is public for everyone to see. So, there will be times when your topics will be up for debate.

  6. Hey back Dolly,
    My guilty pleasure are Red Vines LOL

    Thanks again for your comments and congrats on your decision to start a blog. You will find it very helpful to you in your life and training. Plus, you might make a friend or two along the way. When I started my blog I never planned or even hoped that it would turn it into something it is now. It's all good!

    Debates don't bother me at all :) I enjoy reading other points of view and we all can learn together.

    Continued success to you as you return to racing, after the birth of your son. Maybe someday we will be at the same race and I will wave "hi" to you as you whiz right by me. :)


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