Running clubs in London – Get fit, get social and improve your technique!

Posted in running on November 30, 2012

We all know that running on your own and switching off is great, but if you are looking for some extra motivation or to improve your speed and stamina, or prepare for a race, getting involved in a running club can provide the technical guidance and enthusiasm boost that you need.  It can also be a great way to meet new people.
We spoke to three running clubs in London to find out more.

Club 1: London City Runners

London City Runners is a free running club based in central London. They meet once a week to run along the River Thames near London Bridge and “cater for all abilities,” says its Founder, Tim. “We’re very chilled out and pride ourselves on not being too keen. If you like running or want to get into running and live or work relatively centrally, then London City Runners is ideal. It’s pretty informal, people turn up in their kit, meet at a local bar and then we head off.”

Running – it makes you happy!

As the club has developed, in addition to their group runs they’ve added hill training and speed sessions. Perhaps most importantly, it’s very sociable. “We regularly meet up for curries and Sunday lunches. We have 1,000 members and 20 couples have met through the club.”

So, there are a variety of benefits!

Club 2: Herne Hill Harriers

In South London the historic Herne Hill Harriers welcomes everyone interested in athletics of all ages and standards. “Whether you want to train, enter competitions or just get fitter you are welcome to attend our training sessions at the Tooting Bec Track,” says Steve the Club Secretary. It gives you the opportunity “to train with like-minded people” and they cover all types of running from road to cross country, track and field and so on. They also compete in all the major national, regional and local competitions and are in the top 8 men’s clubs and top 16 women’s clubs in the country.

Herne Hill Harriers in action

Winston, a member of Herne Hill Harriers, talks to us about his motivations for running here.

Club 3: Serpentine Running Club

If you are looking for something more central, the Serpentine Running Club is a great place to start. They have training sessions across London and “having people to train with, race with and also socialise with afterwards builds team spirit and is very motivating,” says Amy. They also offer the option to do bike or swim sessions, “So you have the opportunity to try those if you’re new to them, or want to add in some cross training. It also provides an alternative if you are injured and not able to run.”

Serpentine’s members compete in road races all year round and also take part as a club in cross country in the winter and track and field in summer. Many members also compete in triathlon and duathlon, including the London League. They welcome members of all abilities from complete beginners to several members who have competed internationally for England or other nations – We know they’re good as people in their club T-shirts have run past us in a few triathlons and marathons!

Getting social at London City Runners

So, if you want to meet new people who share your passion for running (even if it’s early days), time to drop these guys a line!