There are over 360 clubs nationwide catering for all ages and abilities. Clubs provide an opportunity to try all disciplines from running, jumping, throwing to walking.
Here are just some of the benefits your local club can offer.
Running with others is a great form of exercise in a social setting. Many clubs have a “Fit4Life” group which is based on the meet and train concept. These usually take the form of a couch to 5k format and participants are then encouraged to continue their fitness journey in a fun environment.
Participation over performance
The Fit4Life groups’ focus is on getting fitter at your own pace. Enjoy the experience of being surrounded by like minded people who will offer advice and assistance as needed. If you discover hidden talent, the club will assist you develop it on your terms.
Structure and motivation
The sessions are organised and you only need to turn up with your laces securely tied. Motivation is heightened as it is easier to get ready if you’re joining your friends. The temptation to “wait until tomorrow” is removed. The hardest step is always the one which takes you out the front door.
Health and fitness
Running is a proven method of improving your fitness. This can be tailored to meet whatever fitness goal you set for yourself. The benefits to health, physical and mental, are well documented. Do yourself a favour, join in and start moving. Why not get started today and have a look at some of our recent challenges HERE.
Friendship and camaraderie
Spending time in a fun environment with like-minded people is a recipe for friendships. Why not bring existing friends along and make it your weekly routine. Maybe people return to athletics having finished up with other team sports.
Support and Advice
Clubs are a great source of info. In a club, you'll be able to find out where to find the best physio or masseur in the area, where to buy quality running gear at a good price, and where to find good off-road routes and much more. Make maximum use of those in the know at your club. If you want to expand your horizons and set goals, the club members will assist you in achieving your targets. Coaches can assist athletes at every level of fitness and ambition.
Finding the right running club
There may be several clubs in your vicinity, and sometimes it may make more sense to find one nearer to where you work, rather than where you live, depending on what time they train. It's worth making contact first and then getting along to a session before committing. This will give you an idea of the size and running level of the membership. Find one that fits into your schedule and meets your needs. You can find a full list club HERE.
Alternatively, you can contact your local Regional Development Officer who can recommend a club to you in your area.
Athletics Ireland membership provides third party insurance cover for our members. This insurance covers you at training sessions organised by Athletics Ireland affiliated clubs. Our FAQ document regarding insurance can be found here.
In recent years a number of casual running groups have come under the Athletics Ireland umbrella and became registered clubs. Clubs affiliated to Athletics Ireland can avail of coaching courses run by Athletics Ireland at a very reasonable rate. There is also an added incentive of equipment packs for clubs who are registered & have taken part in coaching programmes.
Athletics Ireland supports the establishment of new clubs both financially and practically by providing first year funding & courses.
Some members find that as their fitness increases they may wish to experience competition. Athletics Ireland club membership enables entry at county, provincial and national championships. Athletics Ireland provides a comprehensive programme of competition for all age levels from Juvenile to Master.
Even the least victory-hungry among us can find ourselves being pushed by running with others. As you get to know a group of runners and their relative abilities, you know who to set your sights on beating. That competitive edge can really drive you on, leading to improvements in your running performance. You never know where you might end up!