You’ve finally peeled yourself off the couch and have started running – but are struggling because it’s boring or you can’t stick with it alone? A running club could be the solution for you.
Simone, founder of @rookie.runners, and her super-motivated team ran the Royal Run in Copenhagen for RAWBITE. She tells us what inspired her to set up a running club – and why you should consider joining one.
1. You founded the running club @ rookie.runners in Copenhagen – what inspired you to do this?
A few years back I was struggling to run. I thought it was boring and it felt really uncomfortable when I tried. When I reached a difficult time in my mid-20s, I discovered that running was the only thing that gave me peace of mind. I ran alone for a few years until I went on a longer trip to South Africa. There, I felt lonely and joined a running club, which made me fall in love with running in a group.
When I came home from South Africa, I decided to create a community to share my lovely experience with others.
2. What is the difference between your running club and others?
I think Rookie Runners are different because we focus very little on performance, distances and pace. It means a lot to me that we are a community in which we support and show up for each other. In addition, I have a speaker with me every time we run. I think the music brings the group together. People we run past can hear us and smile at us. It provides so much energy for the rest of the run. A lot of people feel like they need to perform lot at work, at home and during training – I want to create a place where the sense of community, and not performance, is the focus.
3. Who can join your running community?
We have the principle that no one is at the finishing line before everyone is at the finishing line; committing to this is important. We help and support each other and that energy is fundamental to our community. I want Rookie Runners to be a community where everyone can participate.
When prospective new members write to me, I always make sure they have run a bit on their own first so they don’t get injured. Even though we run slowly, it can be tough for the body if you have never been running before.
4. Who do you think should join a running club?
I think everyone can get something out of being in a running club. The running itself is often secondary. It is mostly about the support you can give and receive from each other.
The motivation for joining can be very different. Some of my Rookies can easily run long distances on their own, but they enjoy the company. Others need a little extra motivation to get started. Some enjoy running with us to clear the mind and attain a sense of calm.
5. Why join a running club instead of running alone?
Often, the hardest part of running is getting going. When you run with others, you know that there are people waiting for you, which gives you the motivation and desire to go outside. When you run alone, it is easy to give up, but if you run in a group, there are always others who believe that you can do it. It's a really great feeling to have people believe in you when you yourself lose hope.
6. Can you give some tips for running (safely) in a city?
It can be a challenge to have a running club in the middle of the city – especially during rush hour when people are on their way home from work. There is a lot of traffic and many pedestrians on the street. I always make sure to remind my runners to keep an eye on the traffic. Often, I play traffic police and make sure all my Rookies get safely across the street. However, it is my experience that most people become used to running in chaos. I also think it has a certain charm because many people smile when we run pass them. In addition, I often pick routes that alternate between the park and the city.
7. What is your favourite running route in Copenhagen?
I love running in the district Nørrebro. My Rookies love the route that goes through Nørrebro Parken, past the lakes, through a small part of Nørrebrogade and from here through Elme-, Gulbergs- and Mimersgade.
8. Do you have tips for beginners who want to run more?
The best tip for beginners is to lower your expectations. It's important to collect achievements and have fun. If you set the bar lower than planned and do less than you think you can do, achieving goals feels better.
I also think the right clothing is very important – you should feel comfortable. Just as you get ready for work or a party and want to look good, the same applies to sports.
9. What do you love about running?
I love running because it resets my thoughts. I feel I make much better decisions in my life when I go for runs. It creates balance in an everyday life full of impressions and challenges. In addition, I like to have control over my body. I feel like a superhero when I transport myself from Nørrebro to Brøndby by using my body. I feel strong!
10. How do you recover after a race?
It is super important for me to stretch properly after a run. I also make sure to drink a lot of water when I run – both before and after.
A running club doesn’t have to be right for you. What’s most important is that you enjoy yourself and that running is fun. Our colleague Vibeke, for instance, really likes the peace of running on her own. Read here to find out what motivates her!
Pure Taste. Pure Joy.