Nikerunclub2I’ve never been much of a group runner before, trying to get my workouts done and out of the way during awkward hours so the primetime spots are open for everyday socialising / cooking / telly watching. Consequently, sometimes it seems like most of my training schedule is spent running alone. Whilst this can be great fun, a chance to unwind and really go for it without restriction, it can also get a little repetitive, not to mention—a little bit hard to motivate myself when the weather is grey and the wind is howling.

I’d been invited to check out Nike Run Club put on by Nike London, so I found the prospective change in setting from the norm pretty appealing as I wandered up to the the brand’s Stratford City Westfield store. At the back of the store I discovered the throng of bright neon colour that marked out the run club from the rest of the store’s late evening browsers. It seemed like all walks of life had congregated for the coming workout, and the buzz in the air did pretty well at waking me up after a long day spent tapping out news articles.

To the session itself: jogging over to the Queen Elizabeth Park, we began the night’s next to the Orbit. The warm-up consisted of a bit of ladder work, utilising quick feet in a variety of high kneed and side-stepping motion before a short front and backward bounding session once you’d got to the other side. From here, the group split into three paces, 9:30 min/mi, 8:30 min/mi and 7:30 min/mi. The theme for the night was the marathon; which meant that everything was themed around the number 26.2.

I joined the 7:30 group, with the first set 2x 262m interval sprints. This was pinned at 7min/mi pace, but I have to admit a few of us snaked out the lead a touch going under that. After the intervals, came a 4km threshold pace. Again a bunch of us pushed this out a bit to sound 6:20min/mi-ish. Problem was, I had no idea where I was running. I kept taking the wrong turns, even on bits of the course I’d done previously, warranting some sharp, confused turn arounds.

After this, more 262 intervals and a final sprint finish. The running segment over, and the groups reunited, the session concluded with a variety of planks, burpees, fast footwork, and dynamic squats. It was great to see how into it everyone was getting, with lots of claps and cheers resounding through the otherwise quiet park.

nikerunclubI quite enjoyed the Nike Run Club. The session were perhaps a little on the light side for super serious runners, but the fun, almost party-like atmosphere made up for that, and it was good to hang out with some fellow runners for a change—rather than plodding round the track by myself. I’ll definitely be back for another session soon.

If you’d like to try a Nike Run Club session, they can be pre-booked for free on the Nike+ London website

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