Here you'll find the answers to many of the common questions you may have when you or your child is thinking about joining a running club. If you don't see the the answer to the question you have please use the Contact Us button at the bottom of this page.

Can anyone join a Running Club?

Absolutely! Our aim is to bring people together to enjoy running and athletics no matter your age or pace! We have athletes aged 5 and athletes aged 80 and everything in between. 

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Do I need to be fast to join?

Nope! Some of our Athletes win races at big events, and some come dead last, it doesn't matter. Every one of them is an important part of the #TeamLarkhall family. If you can run, you can join. Nobody is "left behind".

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Do I need to be fit to Join?

You should have a reasonable level of fitness in order to undertake training activities. This doesn't necessarily need to be running experience. You do not need to be a fast runner either. Training is tailored to suit all abilities, if you're unsure, speak to your GP or contact us and discuss your concerns with a coach.

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Do you do 1-2-1 Coaching?

We don't currently offer 1-2-1 coaching. Our sessions are all group focused but are usually tweaked for each athlete’s upcoming races / events. If you're worried about getting the right coaching for your goals, get in touch and discuss this with one of our coaches.

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What age can you join?

From age 5-8 kids can join our Mini Harriers Group. From age 9 upwards you can become a full member of the club. There is no upper age limit and we have athletes in there 80's still running with us regularly. 

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When do you train?

We train on Tuesday & Thursday nights and Saturday & Sunday mornings although the weekend training if flexible due to competitions etc, this is communicated weekly by the coaches. For further details see our Training page.

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Where are you based?

Our home is the YMCA Hall, 33 Caledonian Road, Larkhall ML9 1EP. The entrance is directly opposite the entrance to Larkhall Train Station.

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Do you only train in Larkhall?

No, we train in a variety of venues depending on the season, weather or upcoming events. Full details of the venues we use can be found on our Venues page. Here you will also see the relevant fee per session.

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Do you offer Field Event training?

Yes, our Junior section benefits from regular Long Jump, occasional Shot Putt and Javelin training. Due to coaching commitments our senior section does not currently receive regular field event training however this is constantly under review. Please contact us if this is something that you are interested in and we can discuss further. 

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Is joining a running club expensive? 

No! In fact compared to many other sports running is generally much cheaper. 

Annual membership for an adult costs £20. You'll need to take out Scottish Athletics Membership which costs between £9 & £22 depending on your age. After that your training fees are generally £2.50 per session up to a maximum of £5.40 if we are training at the Emirates Arena, which we do occasionally. 

The only piece of compulsory equipment required is a club vest if you decide to represent the club in events and this costs £10. 

Additionally, you are not tied into any contracts or direct debits. Once you pay your membership you simply pay as you go.

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Do I need fancy running Shoes / Clothes?

All you need is a pair of comfortable trainers to run in. After that it's just loose fitting clothes that you can run in, just make sure they are suitable for the weather. We also recommend a high viz jacket or top in the winter - This is compulsory for under 18's and can be cheaply bought at places like Sports Direct. Don't worry though, if they don't have one we will loan them one. There is no need to buy expensive things, especially when just starting out. 

If you decide its for you, you can start to explore things like having running specific shoes fitted to your running style from shops like Run 4 It or Achilles Heel. This can cost between £60-£120+ depending on the shoes. You could also look at specialist running spikes for the track and cross country events which can cost between £30-£100+ online. 

We also sell a range of Nike Club kit on our online shop for training which we recommend to feel part of the team and makes our athletes instantly recognisable at large events, but the purchasing of this is not compulsory.   

We also have a dedicated Facebook Group for for the parents of youngsters in the club (and the adults) to pass on / sell their old clothing and equipment before it reaches the end of its useful life. We love this as its helps keep costs down and its great for the environment. 

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What are spikes and do I need them?

You might be new to athletics or your child might be ready for their first pair of spikes so its a good idea to know which ones are right for you and your/their event. There are four types of running spikes and these are outlined below:

  • Sprint Spikes 

Sprint spikes are for sprinters running races up to and including 400m and they are designed for speed. Sprinters are trained to place their feet on the front part of their foot with minimal to no contact with the heel, therefore there is no support around the heel of the spike. The spike plate is rigid and curves up to help keep the athletes foot in the correct position which will generate more power when sprinting.

  • Middle Distance Spikes 

Middle Distance spikes are generally used for events including the 400m up to 1500m (although some athletes might consider 5000m races as middle distance) but these spikes will also be used by young athletes when they are first competing in athletics. These are similar to sprint spikes but have more support and cushioning around and under the heel area of the spikes. These spikes are also more flexible than the sprint spike to provide a little more protection and comfort for the athletes covering a longer distance.

  • Long Distance Spikes 

Long Distance spikes are best suited for track events from 1500m upwards. These spikes provide full cushioning along the whole length of the spike providing the support of a runner trainer without the weight.Designed to take on more force over a longer period of time they’re made from more durable, but heavier, materials. Sometimes middle and long distance spikes are grouped together.

  • Cross Country Spikes 

Cross country races are contested over long undulating courses. Cross Country Spikes are therefore designed to cushion and support the foot. This is achieved by having a flat profile that keeps the foot close to the ground with a thin layer of full length cushioning for added comfort and protection.The cross country season runs through the winter months, so the courses tend to be wet and muddy. To help combat this the out-sole/spike plate of the footwear is made from rubber.

There are also specialist jumping and throwing shoes available if you compete in field events.

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Does my child need spikes?

From ontrackathletics.co.uk: Athletics is a late developing sport meaning athletes do not reach their peak or full potential until their early to mid twenties sometimes later in endurance events. So this needs to be considered when deciding to buy your first pair of spikes.

Athletes aged 11 and under or of primary school age

There is no real reason for them to need spikes at this age largely due to the lack of competition and their overall development. This doesn't meat you cant buy them spikes but wearing a good pair of running trainers will be fine for both training and any competitions. (except Cross Country).

Athletes aged 11+

As mentioned above athletics is a late developing sport and young athletes should try a range of events across running, jumping and throwing. This needs to be considered when buying a pair of spikes. To ensure a young athlete can avoid injury it is advised that young athlete uses an all round spike with good support around the heel so that they can take part in a range of running and jumping events.

Sprint spikes are not recommended at a young age as they do not have any support or protection around the heel and ankle which may lead to injuries. Sprint spikes are designed to allow a sprinter to run on the front part of their foot throughout a race or sprint run; many young athletes will struggle to do this due to their physical development and it will result in over use injuries to the heal and ankle.

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What is Track Etiquette? 

If you have never run on a track before it can be a little daunting and intimidating. There can be multiple groups of runners and different clubs all using different parts of the track at the same time and we all need to be able to work around each other. Don't worry, your coach will tell you when to step on the track, what lanes to use and how far to run. You DO NOT need to be a fast runner to use a track! Its for everyone! 

Please follow our Track etiquette rules & guidance when using the running tracks with the club and on your own. 

  • Look out for others on the track. Don’t get in the way of lanes being used for hurdles, relays, sprints etc.

  • Always look both ways before moving across lanes or crossing the track

  • If someone shouts ‘TRACK’ either move to the right, or move to the infield and let them pass you.

  • Don’t stop suddenly on the track - Step off first. 

  • Should you be running an effort/timed run find your way blocked by someone jogging/walking/standing on the inside lanes, you should shout ‘TRACK’ to get the person to move out of the way immediately.

  • Athletes should not shout ‘TRACK’ to other athletes doing an effort/timed run even if they are slower. The faster athlete should overtake safely before moving back into the inside lane.

  • Lanes 1 and 2 should not be used for warm-up or cool-down running, leave these lanes free for athletes running efforts and timed runs. We generally warm up in the outside lanes but be aware of others who may also be using them

  • Athletes should run in an anti-clockwise direction at all times. If the track is empty we sometimes do our cool down in a clockwise direction however if there are others around stick to anti-clockwise to be safe.

No spikes to be worn in the John Wright Sports Centre or in the non track areas of the Emirates Arena, they damage the floor and get the club into trouble.

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