Find out about: SRC

About two years ago, I was introduced to Sweatshop Running Community (SRC), and it’s so great, I wanted to share it with you. Sweatshop is a running apparel store, and they do weekly group runs – free of charge.  (click here to find if you have a sweatshop near you)

So how did it all start for me?

Two years ago, my neighbour Jennie suggested we go to the SRC Monday night run together.  Now, I had the ‘fear’ as I’d never actually run with someone else, what would we talk about, could I actually talk and run, would I be able to keep up, would I fit in. With all these fears bubbling around in my head, I went along – and guess what, it was great.

What was it like?

I remember that we arrived at the shop, got signed in, studied the route, and milled about chatting to each other.  They also give you a little loyalty card, and after so many runs you get a free technical running t-shirt (bonus) and as you get more stamps, you get other rewards along the way.

That first run was memorable as during that last kilometre I pushed myself faster than I had ever been before (thanks to Jennie being a faster runner than me), I couldn’t talk during the fast bit – but that’s okay, as I was proud as punch afterwards at having broken through a ‘speed’ barrier.

I met Clare at SRC and we are firm friends now!

I continued to go to Sweatshop runs, and slowly started to meet some new people – all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities.  Everyone was so friendly, and even when I haven’t been in a while, when I come back, there are always a great group of old friends to chat to, and new people to meet.

Our local sweatshop (you can find our Facebook page here) does a Monday night 5 or 8 KM run, a Thursday night Interval session, and a Sunday morning 5 or 10KM run.   They also run a beginner’s programme, to help get newbies up to a 5KM distance safely over a number of weeks.

And to prove how inclusive they are, and that it’s not just a bunch of speedy serious keenos –  I’ve come with the running buggy (with my extremely loud and cheeky 3-year-old) and also with my 7-year-old, Ellis.  In fact, when Ellis comes along, he gets high fives, and so much encouragement from everyone.  He’s got his own Sweatshop t-shirt, and is always asking me if he can come to ‘run club’ with me.

Ellis in his SweatShop T-Shirt

After the run, we all meet back at the shop, and have some water or an electrolyte drink, and chat about how we found it – more often than not dripping with sweat and red faced.

If you ran a race recently, you can share it with the group (and get a round of applause👏).  Plus, often they have running brands come in and give you things to try.  Tom Tom came in and let us try their watches on a run, and another time Adidas came in and let us test out some Adidas Boost running shoes.

So, I went from someone who never ran with anyone, stuck in a running rut, unable to get faster, to being part of a running community.  Do you have a Sweatshop near you?  Have you ever done a group run before?  Does running with others sound like fun or fill you with fear?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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