Run clubs are gaining popularity as women, and men, are choosing to run as part of organised groups to get their exercise fix.
Every Wednesday, as the sun goes down, an unlikely group gathers in a sports shoe store in Rozelle.
They come from all walks of life.
One is a landscape gardener. Another works in PR. Someone else is an editor at a major magazine. A number are from the finance world. Others are engineers, teachers, musicians, accountants, veterinarians, even full-time university students.
They’re all dressed in running gear but they’re not necessarily training for anything in particular. Nor are they there to compete. They’ve come together because they love running with a group of inclusive, supportive, like-minded runners of all abilities.
Welcome to Rozelle Run Club.
The rise of Run Clubs has proliferated over the past 10 years. They draw people in for the camaraderie and experiential thrill of running through an empty city together but it’s the type of people they draw that has changed the sport of running so profoundly.
Which is why Rozelle Run Club isn’t just about the already converted, it’s also about non-runners and people new to the sport.
Five common myths about Rozelle Run Club… debunked!
Myth 1: It’ll be too hard
The sessions include both high-intensity and moderate-intensity activity and are put together in such a way that regardless of your level of fitness (whether they’re a beginner or an advanced athlete) you’re engaged at a level that is appropriate for you but also challenging enough that you walk away from knowing you’ve had a rewarding session.
The sessions are also designed to be inclusive regardless of your ability. That way every participant knows that they are part of the team and no-one is left to run on their own.
Myth 2: It’ll be embarrassing
When we re-launched Rozelle Run Club in late 2017 we wanted to ensure there was a team culture that was courteous, supportive and inclusive. So we created the “4 Rules of Run Club”, although they’re more of a creed than rules…
RULE #1: WE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT RUN CLUB
We encourage everyone to tell their friends, their family, their work colleagues, that Rozelle Run Club is the place to be on Wednesday nights.
RULE #2: WE’RE ALWAYS COURTEOUS TO OTHERS
The path or trail is there to share, we always give way to others, two-legged and four-legged.
Being a group focused on supporting the health and wellbeing within the local community we didn’t want to be seen as disrespectful or oppressive when people saw us coming but rather recognised as “that’s Rozelle Run Club and they’re a great bunch of people”
RULE #3: WE’RE ALWAYS SUPPORTIVE
If we see a fellow run clubber struggling, particularly our newest members, we encourage them.
We wanted to ensure that ego was left at the door and that all levels of runner were made to feel welcome regardless of their ability or fitness level. We may have some elite athletes running with us but they love being able to encourage our less experienced or less fit members.
RULE #4: WE START AS A TEAM. WE FINISH AS A TEAM. NO ONE GETS LEFT BEHIND.
Similar to Rule #3 we wanted every participant to know that they are part of the team and they’re never left to run on their own.
Myth 3: There will just be men
We’ve got a great mix of men and women of all abilities and experience. A picture tells a 1000 words…
Myth 4: A single session won’t affect my fitness
Some people would have you believe that you need to train 6-7 days a week to stand any chance of seeing the results you want. They’ll tell you that any less will not result in an increase in fitness but is this true?
Simply put, no it’s not. Research shows that training as little as once a week can still induce gains in performance and aerobic capability.
High-intensity exercise, like sprinting or hill repeats, burns through large amounts of calories quickly and builds and strengthens muscle. Moderate-intensity anaerobic or any aerobic exercise, such as jogging, can grow the number of mitochondria (cellular power plants) in your cells, increase the volume of blood in your veins and arteries, and boost your overall cardiovascular health.
In a 2013 Runner’s World magazine article, cardiologist and researcher James O’Keefe stated, “A daily exercise habit is the single most powerful therapy for improving both the quality and quantity of your life. Getting just 30 minutes daily of moderate or vigorous physical activity can cut your risk almost in half for premature death, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and heart attack.”
Another study found that runners had a 19 percent lower risk of death than non-runners. But the data also indicated that running has a “sweet spot” with regard to health benefits.
“The latest data from our studies and others strongly suggest that the ideal dose of daily vigorous exercise is about 30 to 60 minutes,” Dr. O’Keefe says in the article. “If you do more than 60 minutes of strenuous exercise daily, you start to lose some of the health benefits seen with lesser amounts of physical activity.”
Exercising for just 45 minutes can increase the number of calories you burn throughout the day, through what’s known are the “afterburn effect” or EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).
Originally referred to as an oxygen debt, this post-exercise state was first examined by A.V. Hill and H. Lupton in 1922. Further studies on the benefits and effects of EPOC have found that the intensity of an exercise also has a direct impact on the EPOC. As exercise intensity increases, so too the magnitude and duration of EPOC increases. Therefore, the higher the intensity, the greater the EPOC and the greater the caloric expenditure after exercise has been completed. We know that it generally takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 48 hours after a workout for your body to fully recover to a resting state, meaning you experience benefits long after your session has ended.
Myth 5: It’s expensive
All Pace Athletic’s Run Clubs are completely FREE! Just turn up and run.
About Pace Athletic
Pace Athletic is an independent, 100% Australian owned business located in Sydney and a proud partner of V&B Athletic. As an innovative group of experienced sports shoe specialists, the team at Pace strives to help people meet their running, walking or general fitness goals and offer weekly run clubs in Rozelle, Manly, and Mosman – visit their website for more details.