What is the BMF running club?

BMF Running Club

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One of the best parts of my job is seeing improvements in members, people progressing through the colour groups and setting goals that would have been a mere pipe dream when they first turned up at the park and donned a blue bib, wondering what the hell it was all about. As people progress they need new challenges and as I’m a massive fan of running, I’m pretty biased as to what I suggest. Whether it’s a Major Series or a marathon, each running event has its challenges, but more importantly, each has its rewards.

I often have discussions with members who want advice on how to prepare for their first running event. I see the biggest improvement in members who combine Running Club with their regular British Military Fitness sessions. BMF classes are excellent at burning the calories and strengthening the right areas for running, but if your goal is to complete a running event, BMF alone is sadly not enough. This is where Running Club comes in and yet again BMF saves the day.

Some venues are lucky enough to have a Running Club in their schedule and like BMF sessions this is for all abilities and lasts an hour. In this hour you will warm up, run, have water break, run some more and finally cool down. Sounds simple right? If only! In true BMF style it has its twists and turns. One of the reasons why BMF is so popular is because of the innovative and creative sessions that its instructors put together and Running Club is no different. You will get classes that improve your speed or endurance, teach you drills that will develop your style and technique.

Whilst stepping outside your comfort zone of regular BMF sessions can be scary, you should never fear Running Club. The instructors are all fully trained in how to adapt sessions to cater for every individual, making it hard enough for the front-runners and comfortable enough for the slower runners, whilst still giving everyone a challenging run.

Top tips for your first session:

  1. Don’t start out too quick. I often see individuals set off like a greyhound and burn up within ten minutes. Running Club can sometimes be about endurance so keep this in mind and take it a little easy at the start.
  2. You will get a water break, supplied by the instructor, so don’t panic and bring a load of bottles that you then need to carry. You most definitely don’t need energy gels as these are designed for those running for periods longer than one hour.
  3. If you have a GPS watch please wear it. As an instructor, it helps me to see how far each individual has ran. Plus, it’s a great way to see that you’re improving and keeping track of your mileage.
  4. Wear the appropriate shoe. Some Running Club sessions will be off-road and in the winter months it would be hard to stay on your feet in a road shoe.
  5. I get asked all the time, ‘what happens if I get lost?’ Whilst it’s not our intention to lose anyone, sometimes members can take a wrong turn and stray from the rest of the group. But fear not. Instructors regularly perform head counts and will retrace their steps to find any lost members. If you get lost, turn around and head back in the direction you came from. To avoid getting lost make sure you can always see the person in front of you. If you stick by this rule you should never lose the group.

Attending Running Club sessions will really help you to prepare for whatever challenge you have set yourself. Whether you cross the line head to toe in mud, hand in hand with your friends or crawling on your hands and knees, crossing a finishing line is simply the best feeling you can get. Your body is exhausted and you are mentally shattered but somehow you feel more alive and more energised than you did at the start. Then someone puts a medal round your neck and you grow about a foot taller with pride. You might say ‘never again’, but then comes the reflection and the analysis. ‘I could do that quicker’ or ‘I could run further’, to which I would say 'YES, you can. But how do you do that? I’ll see you at Running Club.'

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