The Running Shop's guide to local running clubs & groups - The Fit Like Joggers
Here's the first of our series on some of the amazing running clubs and groups we have here in the North East. We asked the inimitable David Scott to give us a bit of a background on the Fit Like Joggers and what they're all about. Having first hand knowledge of this group, they really are an incredible bunch and well worth checking out if you're looking for a group which will help you achieve your goals in 2018 along with a huge slice of camaraderie and fun!
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
This is a well known Chinese proverb, which reminds us that even the longest and most difficult ventures have a starting point; something which only begins with a single step.
When it comes to running, taking that first step can be the most difficult challenge of them all. Lacing up a pair of trainers for the first time takes a huge amount of determination. And when you’ve got them on, how do you know what to do, and motivate yourself to keep doing it?
As runners, I don’t think we can ever under-estimate how difficult it is for people to know where to begin. How to motivate someone to get out there, and more importantly, how to keep on getting out there.
The Fit Like Joggers was formed two years ago, with a clear focus on absolute beginners. The aim was to follow the 9-week “Couch to 5k” programme, getting out three times a week, and gradually building up the distance.
The Couch to 5k programme is a well structured training plan, which starts with just 60 seconds of running, with walking breaks in between. As the weeks go on, the running gets longer, and the walking shorter, until you run non-stop for 30 minutes - seems like an eternity for those starting out.
The Couch to 5k programme is not the end of the story though. What makes the biggest difference is the people. Joining a group of like minded individuals, all with the same fears, and concerns, is the key to making it work.
There’s a group mentality that you are all in it together. That you can all move forward together, and that you can all support each other in achieving your goals.
Being part of a group means that you can ask plenty questions. You don’t have to think about times, distances or directions, and you don’t have the excuse of repeating a week or two when the going gets tough. There’s a great sense of communal achievement when everybody steps up to their first 20-minute run.
The Fit Like Joggers has grown incredibly over the last two years. From humble beginnings, the latest Couch to 5k programme attracted over 65 people on the first night. And when the programme is over, we keep on running, doing 5k runs, over four sessions a week, including hill reps and speed work.
Although the focus of the club is on running 5k, this year we have seen three runners take on marathons, and five completing ultra-marathons.
We had over 30 people take part in the Great Aberdeen 10k and half marathon, and nearly 40 were at the ASV Santa Run.
On top of this, we make sure there’s a great social side too, with “mid-programme drinks”, a graduation dinner, regular weekend social runs, and coming up, we have our end of year Prosecco Run and Awards Night on 20th December, with a host of awards being presented, including our Runner of the Year.
We love to see people achieve their goals, and for many people, the environment within the Fit Like Joggers provides the perfect opportunity for people to succeed.
The motto of the club is “Couch to 5k and beyond...” How far you go is up to you.
The Fit Like Joggers meet at the Hammerton Store on Great Western Road, on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7pm, and Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6am.
- Andrew Gordon