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How to break the ice at your new run club

Showing up to a new run club is similar to your first day of school or a first date

Joining a new run club can be intimidating. If you don’t know anyone, it can be hard to know if it’ll be a good fit, but it is one of the best ways to meet like-minded individuals in a new city or environment, or if you’re relatively new to running. Showing up to a new run club is similar to your first day of school or a first date—awkward at first, but there are ways you can set yourself up for success. 

Chase the Pace runners and Dylan Wykes. Photo: Jody Bailey

It is important to note that not all run clubs are the same. Some are more friendly than others, and there can be a wide variety in how seriously they approach training.

Here are a few ways you can break the ice with other runners.

Find another solo runner

Finding another runner who’s in the same boat as you can make the entire experience feel a little more welcoming. There is nothing more relatable than striking a conversation with someone who is going through the same nerve-racking and intimidating emotions you are going through.

The “what are you training for” question

A runner’s favourite question! After asking this, you have officially broken the ice, and can expect your new-found friend to vent to you about their training and previous PBs for the next 10 to 15 minutes.

Set yourself up for success

Don’t be shy–shoot the club leader a message on social media to let them know you are attending, and introduce yourself immediately upon arrival. The job of the club leader is to make sure everyone feels welcome and introduce you to people around the same age or pace, to help you settle in.

Put yourself out there!

Some run clubs will go out for a post-run beverage or food after they finish. Attending these post-run events can help you get to know the other runners whom you might not have had the opportunity to socialize with on the group run.

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