Thank you to everyone who took part in our survey last year. We had 106 responses - a great number!
LFR is an all-inclusive club, suitable for all runners, whatever your goals or running motivation. And that is how we want to keep it. The feedback from the survey was mostly positive and where there were questions or requests, we have - or will do our best - to take all on board. As we are sure you can appreciate, due to the current Covid situation some changes will not be possible until life is back to normal.
A summary of all the survey results are as follows:
As to be expected there were a diverse range of reasons why members have joined LFR, which suits the make-up of the club very well. These ranged from those training for events and wanting to run with a club, to those who were bored of running on their own and wanted company.
Our Tuesday nights are the most popular club night with pace groups and cake night being the favourites.
"Out and Back" runs were also popular, although some may not know the routes. For those that may not be aware of the club's usual routes, we have a huge catalogue of runs on our website which includes many of the Out and Back routes. These can be found here: Standard Club Routes - we will be looking to update these or have Strava routes which are more easily accessible.
We have also considered putting on alternative runs on these nights for those who are less enamoured by them.
Loop nights had a mixed review. We are considering how we can make this more desirable with the thought of bringing this into pace groups occasionally or on a coached session, perhaps on our Improver Nights.
Fartlek was not as popular, with mixed views. A high proportion of our members, however, have never taken part. This could be due to Fartlek occurring on a Wednesday night. During the new restricted group nights, Fartlek was ran on a Tuesday night and was fully booked each week. It has been discussed perhaps mixing Fartlek up with other "speed" or interval sessions or including it within the pace groups.
Improvers sessions have been quiet. Again this could be due to Improvers falling on a Thursday. The survey feedback showed that many members did not understand what the sessions involved. We will therefore look to provide a range of articles around the sessions, why these are important and how they can benefit your running. Session demonstrations might also be useful to show members what to expect. The overall aim is to give the Improver sessions a revamp with the involvement of our coaching team.
The results showed that there was an interest in a Saturday club run. During the restricted group runs last year we were able to provide extra runs on either Saturday or Sundays starting in September, with either trail runs or coached sessions as an option. It may be that once "normal" returns, parkrun comes back, there would be less of an appetite for this amongst members. Longer Sunday runs may still prove popular, however.
70% of respondents confirmed they were interested in regular coaching sessions. The coaches will be looking at providing these. Between Lockdowns 2 and 3, Coach Matt has been putting on fortnightly Saturday AM sessions which were very popular.
At the end of the survey, we invited members to give any further feedback they thought useful to the committee, many of which we have already implemented, and others being considered.
There were many comments giving thanks to the committee for keeping the club running as much as possible during a very difficult year. The committee were extremely appreciative of this feedback.
Weekend runs were requested - and these have been implemented.
There were requests for structured coaching sessions and more general coaching.
Some members asked about having runs at different times in the evenings. This does of course depend on the availability of our run leaders. If you wished to be involved in an earlier or later time run than the usual 7.30pm and there is no run available that week, why not put your hand up to lead a group? We are always looking for helpers. During the restricted running last year, we did range our run times from 6pm to 7.30pm.
There were member requests for some "step up" pace groups. We were able to implement this during the restricted run groups and received good feedback from this. This is something we hope to continue when we are able.
There was a request for formal run leader training. England Athletics recently opened their Leader in Running Fitness Course online. We asked our current run leaders whether they wished to do the course. Six members have come forward and started their training. Once restrictions are eased, they should be able to complete this and be licensed and be a wider part of the coaching team if and when required. The LIRF Qualification is not a requirement to lead a run with LFR. Those who are qualified can issue further guidance to the current group if required. Coach Annis has also prepared guidance for all our run leaders, which can be viewed here: Run Leader Guidance
There were some queries as to our methods of communication via Facebook and email with not all members being on Facebook. We would like to reassure you that all notifications are first sent via email. An update is then posted on the Facebook Group asking members to check their emails.
Lastly, there were some responses which made comment regarding the club's ethos and asked us not to forget the club is a "social club" and we are "fun runners” stating we are too focussed on coaching and fast running. Some of these comments were helpful. Some not so. The committee has discussed this and we do believe we do everything we can to ensure the club is suitable for all runners of any level: from beginners, to marathoners, no matter your pace, no matter your style. The club has always put a heavy focus on the social side of running. In normal times we put on social runs, breakfast runs, cake nights, pancake nights, fancy dress runs, we play games in the park. All of our runs have always had a social focus. The club as a whole has always had a social focus. We are a community. During Lockdown 1, the captains made weekly challenges that were suitable for all. The great aspect with the challenges is that you could complete them within a mile of your home if that's what you fancied, or challenge yourself to go further to make them harder. The choice was yours. When we could start running again after Lockdown 1, we managed to get a feel of the most popular run groups with the social groups always filling up first and we therefore endeavoured to put on as many social runs as possible every week to meet demand.
What the survey feedback does show is that we do not do enough for those members who have asked for more coaching or training or even general running information. As stated above, we have the ability to provide this and is something we want to work on.
We are a social club and we will continue to be the Leighton Fun Runners with cake nights, charity nights, all the nights, but we want to ensure that all our members are getting the most from their experiences with us.
When we are able, we will do our best to ensure there are enough suitable runs for all paces and all members who want to run, every week. Sometimes this is just not possible. We rely heavily on our run leader members who give up their time to lead runners near and far. If you see a gap or want to run a different pace to those being offer, why not out your hand up and volunteer? All run leaders are provided with guidance and if when you first lead you would prefer a more experienced run leader to run with you, simply ask.
Our club runs are often led by the same members, week in, week out. We want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you. We are nothing without our members and nothing without those who volunteer their time to keep us going. It was great to see more members joining the pool of run leaders as the restricted group runs continued. So Thank you.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey. Should any member want to provide further feedback or have any queries at all, contact a committee member who can help.