February 1, 2015
When I first started out running about 10 years ago now I couldn’t even think about running with other people, it was like my idea of a terrible nightmare, but secretly I knew it was something I’d love to be able to do eventually…one day, you know when I finally became a proper runner. It wasn’t only the actual running with another human being I secretly pined for, I also wanted some friends to talk to about running…not really for specific advice, but more to generally chit chat about how my training was going and to compare notes. Nobody I knew back then ran, well nobody bar a few ladies I had met on a bootcamp, but they were all over the country (well the world in fact) and the fact was for many years I was a lonely solo runner. So really its no wonder I never saw my running improve, or my confidence grow and in all honesty that didn’t change until I joined a running group but I did that under duress after biting off more than I could chew in 2011, and if truth be known it was far too late in my 2012 Virgin London marathon training to really see that much improvement. So what took me so long? I knew all about my local club, and had even enquired a few (yes a few) times via email…I just never built up the courage to go. So why not?
What if I am too slow? What if I can’t manage the distances? What if I’m the fattest one there? What if I look like a fool? What if nobody talks to me?
Just a few of the thoughts that rambled through my head. I shouldn’t have worried because my running club The East London Runners are generally a friendly bunch…but some of those fears were real..I am still the slowest and the fattest and that hasn’t ever changed really, well not in the last 3 years anyway. So although I value their role I know that traditional running clubs are not for everyone. There’s the competitive nature of some (but not all) of them, there’s the whole thing about running on set days and often in the evenings and the dread of representing the club in official races. For some of us the pressure is just too much, and that is where the original idea for The Clubhouse came to me.
Imagine a running club where every one of its members are just a little bit like you (well the nice version of you), and where you can seek advice and support to improve your running and never be laughed at, where you don’t have to have matching kit or understand the lingo to fit in…and get this you don’t even need to be on the same continent to take part, or run on the same day of the week. Sounds great right? Today I am incredibly excited as it goes live, and for just £10 per month YOU can be one of the founding members of this awesome club. You don’t need to worry about being the first in either, as for the last few months we have been testing and trialling the ideas with some of my hardcore supporter so there are already 30 lovely ladies happily knocking about in the locker room just dying to meet you all.
Well stop reading right here and simply sign up NOW!!!
But for everyone else still wondering how it all works and what you actually get for your monthly subscription read on… The Clubhouse has many of the benefits of a traditional running club including weekly runs but also utilises modern technology and an ethos of international friendship to support you in your running endeavours regardless of what level you are at. In fact to illustrate this we have devised an ability scale to help you understand that our club really is suitable for all abilities from those not even running yet, right the way up to long distance sloggers like me…check it out here.
In the longer term we are also developing a buddy scheme to help you transition from running virtually with us to creating networks of plussize runners all over the globe and we know it works because we saw it happen organically in the pilot, and the exciting thing is the programme is not set in stone and will be shaped by its members over time. At its core members get access to weekly fitness and nutritional advice, monthly webinars and guest interviews, a downloadable resources area, a training session library and of course an area to chat with other ladies in the form of a closed Facebook group.
But for a much more detailed description of the features and benefits of The Clubhouse, including some testimonials from ladies involved in the pilot click here But let me just finish by saying this, for years and years I went it alone as a larger than most runner and even when I eventually did join a club I still often felt just as isolated and lonely as a plussize runner as I did back in the early days, because I hadn’t yet found my tribe and it doesn’t have to be like that any more.
Things seem to be shifting somewhat recently with the health agenda around obesity globally and the concept of Fit & Fat (which is proven) and what better way to support that change by joining the worlds only running club designed for and led by international plussize athletes? In fact the worlds
The worlds first virtual running club for plus sized women
Come on you know you want to…and if you have been burnt before by diet or fitness programmes that haven’t delivered you can even trial it for the first month with just a £10 donation to our fabulous Charity partner A Mile in her Shoes Do you know anyone that might be interested in this programme, someone out there slogging it out of their own? Well why not download The Clubhouse Flyer and send it to them along with a personal invite from me, we’d love to help them on their running journey. Or you could simply share this blogpost and let the magic of social media do its thing.