Christmas is a distant memory, but those extra pounds gained are very much a part of our life today (we blame Ferrero Rocher and Baileys). Lots of you will spring back into your exercise regime – while others are looking for something new and exciting to make you feel fitter for 2017.

Cool running this winter

The answer could be one of the free (or super cheap) running clubs that have been popping up all over the UK. So instead of running out of money, you can run yourself fit! Our writer Holly gives us the lowdown.

Running Clubs: The Lowdown

First things first, I am not a natural runner. I tend to gravitate towards classes like ballet, swimming or pilates to get my weekly exercise fix. Running always strikes me as boring and I would never want to run with someone in case I was slowing them down. So, when my friend pointed out a local, all female running club I wondered whether this could be how I get into running. Could I get myself fitter, have fun and meet new people all at the same time?

This particular club, Let’s Run Girls Cambridge, have four sessions a week so there’s lots to choose from. I went along to their Circuits session on a Saturday morning (yes, I am mad). It was a bit chilly but you didn’t notice as we went straight into the jogging warm-up.

Outdoor running clubs

What I loved about it, is that while jogging along, you can look to your left and see someone running too. You begin chatting and by time you have had a conversation you’re back to the start without really noticing. This was again true when we began some sprinting relay races. You were so worried about your team winning that you forget you are exercising.

I think I have found a non-boring way to get into running! We began playing some games in teams, involving squats and the dreaded burpees and before long everyone was sweaty, laughing and joking, which really added to the whole experience.

It’s true what they say about ‘safety in numbers’ too. If you want to go for an evening jog, it can be quite daunting with the dark evenings and suddenly you don’t feel quite as confident about running. With a running club, everyone is together and if you fall behind, don’t worry, clubs usually have ‘marker’ who runs with the back of the group.

Parkrun the big debate

There are lots of other different types of running clubs too. A new one gathering a big following is GoodGym, where you incorporate a good deed in the community with your exercise. So instead of running passed the nursing home, you might stop, have a chat with the residents and then carry on your run. There is also the chance to join a group run where you all stop mid-way through your exercise to do a litter pick or a bit of digging to help the local community. There are currently 26 GoodGym areas, with 8 starting soon and 71 more proposed.

So if you feel inspired to get fit and better at running throughout 2017, why not have a search and see if there is a club near you? All of them cater for absolute beginners, so don’t be nervous if you can only run for a few minutes at a time.

Try out a running club

Try out some of the below to get you started!


Are you trying out a new exercise routine? Share with us – @tweetjanes.


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