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With the Great Bristol Half Marathon fast approaching, you may be finding yourself needing some motivation on longer runs. And what better way to get some get-out-the-door encouragement than from a running club? Our resident Bristol fitness blogger, Rachael Power, gives us the lowdown on Bristol running clubs.
Traditional Running Clubs
There’s something about being part of a good, traditional type of running club, isn’t there? From discounts on races around the country to just knowing there’ll be all ages and experience levels at each training run, sometimes it’s the best way forward. And luckily for Bristol, there are so many traditional running clubs out there; virtually every area has its own version.
Some of the more popular ones include:
Clifton Running Club
Great Western Runners
Southville Running Club
Bristol and West Athletics Club
Town and Country Harriers
With each of these clubs, there’s a membership fee and they meet several times a week - so check it’s within your budget, close to your local area and suits your timetable before you jump in.
Ladies Only Running Clubs
While we’ve not come across many men-only running clubs in Bristol, there are three prominent women’s only groups around the city. Sole Sisters gets a mention first, as it’s the only one I’ve personally tried out. It’s a group of really lovely ladies who get together twice or three times per week to go for runs of around four miles and upwards, and they are very warm and welcoming to beginners. The other two clubs are Brislington Runners and Frenchay Women’s Club, which also seem like pretty welcoming groups. If you’re a mum, This Mum Runs is fast on the rise around Bristol and Bath, and is a good option for those looking to meet other mum runners around the area.
Running for a good cause
An alternative club in Bristol - not strictly a ‘club’ per se - is GoodGym. This is more about doing something for a good cause while getting a bit of fitness in, rather than any competitiveness or PB-aiming. This would be a great option for anyone looking to do a bit of training on the side, meet potential running buddys and get out and about all while doing something great for their community. Activities include gardening for local community allotments or green areas, and doing odd jobs for older people, and the group tends to meet up twice a week. This is good for those on a budget as its free; all you have to contribute is your time and willingness to get stuck in and help.
If you’re more of a keyboard warrior, you can still find clubs and running buddies online. I have had success with meeting people on www.reddit.com/r/bristol
to go for a jog with, and there are several groups on www.meetup.com
as well as on social media. Twitter in particular is a good spot to find other runners to buddy up with and have an impromptu ‘club’, especially if you put a shout out on the #ukrunchat hashtag. Or, you could join a Strava group. Bristol-based TrueStart coffee have a very active group on the app which also meets up occasionally for runs around the Harbourside
And finally, there are a few physical running shops around the city - including Moti on Whiteladies Road and Up & Running in Westbury Park, which on occasion hold their own running sessions some evenings during the week; be sure to check their websites for more detail. The advantages of this are that they’re generally free (do double check this, too) and those hosting the runs are well-versed in the knowledge of all things trainer related - and may also know some good physios.
So there you have it, some different options for running clubs in and around Bristol. If you’re after some company, encouragement or simply to meet new people, then no matter what you’re into, we’re very sure the city has a running club or group for you.
Did we miss any? We’d love to hear about any other clubs in the area!