I have never been a member of an official running club.
In the eight years I have run and competed on the roads I have become progressively stronger, faster and more competitive. Yet I have remained an unaffiliated runner. Although I perceive this as a personal attribute (especially when I have finished races as the first non-club runner) I must admit I have inadvertently limited my contact with other runners, from whom I could learn.
The main reasons I am an independent runner is that I enjoy running alone, and coaching myself requires careful and meticulous planning. My training has been relatively structured for the past year and I find my self-discipline enough to achieve personal success.
In truth, years ago I did not think of running clubs as an option and was never influenced by others to join.
The cost, although minimal, and regular time commitment, although not excessive, have deterred me from making the decision.
Only recently have I considered club training sessions as a useful addition to my long-term ambitions.
My coaching has introduced me to an array of different runners and I recognise the benefits that running in a group and gaining encouragement from like-minded people can offer.