Moving your club online: Online Coaching for Running Groups

Moving your club online: Online Coaching for Running Groups

You’re not alone in wondering what will come of your community not that club sessions are not an option for fitness groups around the UK. Clubs of all disciplines are facing unprecedented times in the events industry. Gyms, personal trainers, and social media influencers have relied on their filming and video conferencing techniques to keep engaging with their customers, and there is no reason clubs can't too.

Running may be the simplest of sports, but designing and implementing proper training can be complex. Books and magazines offer a good knowledge base but come up short when tailoring plans to your individual needs—and they don’t offer the moral support and encouragement that a human does. Ideally, if club sessions were still an option this is where your runners can improve, develop and show their true colours under the monitoring of their coach. But while face to face interaction isn’t an option, online coaching is still an option. 

Runners will still be craving interaction. You can branch out into more creative ways to interact with your whole club at once by doing a couple of things:

  • Creating work out videos on youtube. Nuffield Health is a good example of a fitness venue who has transformed their services online. Personal trainers who used to give gym classes now create workout videos or schedule live workouts for their members to participate in! People can usually follow a workout plan made up of pictographs of the exercises used in your workouts, but videos where your customers can actually see the motions are much easier to follow.
  • Make a training log template for your members to fill out. This can be as detailed or as simple as your running club hours allow it to be. By giving everyone a task to adhere to over the next few weeks you can stay engaged with them. 
  • Help make personalised training plans. Again, this depends on the running club hours you have available, or if you sell this as a separate service. If you have your members basic information, you could create a plan that defines information such as training form, duration, pace, as well as explanations on the goal and the purpose of a given session. Whether from the couch to 5k or on the way to a first marathon, you can adapt according to the member you are supporting.
  • Provide feedback on training progress. Adapting training plans to progress, injuries or setbacks will help make sure there is continuance as opposed to leaving a plan half way. Maintain focus on goals amongst your members so that when they can come back to the live sessions they can put their progress to the test. 

Send email updates regularly 

Sending out a weekly update to your team is also a good way to stay personal and engaged 

with your members so that they are ready to come back rearing to go. Using eventrac you can send blasts to all your members or individual groups to share information and updates. 

Choose your Promotional Channels

Where is the best place to stay in touch with your club members? In other words where do they go and what should you use to make them easily see your updates Your decision to invest on a specific channel will then depend on your resources. We’ve listed 3 channels below that don’t need much resources to be used.

  • Social Media: Social Media is probably the #1 channel you want to consider, the simple reason being that it counts over 2 billion social media users, and chances are, all of your current and potential club members are among these users.
  • Partnerships: don’t hesitate to seek partnerships and to broaden your network. You’ll reach a larger audience and multiply your chances to get new clients. Make new friends online, partner up with other professionals in your industry, think about the services you can offer for free in exchange for some visibility in their network, a mention to your service in their newsletter for example. 
  • Referrals: don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth. Don’t be afraid to be generous and offer your coaching services for free to some people, especially people that you know have a large network. You’ll be surprised by the impact it can have on your club.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

You can use your eventrac platform to upload videos, share blogs and give email blasts. But in addition to this there are coaching software systems that you could explore to take your personalised coaching to a new level. TotalCoaching is an example of an online training system, but there are many others out there. Try out different ones before making your decision.

Stay Up To Date

The fitness industry is constantly changing, which is why developing new skills and staying up to date should be an ongoing process. Regularly look for the latest exercise routines and techniques to provide your clients with a better service. This will also help them eliminate boredom, making it more likely they will stick with the program you have established for them.

Our advice : Don’t play solo. Follow leaders in your market. Subscribe to newsletters to learn about new trends.

Keep Moving (and Don’t be Afraid to Fail)

Keep moving. Your first sessions might suck. But club members, especially those who have been with you for a while, will be patient and glad to see that you’re staying active and giving them something to engage with. They’ll feel valued that you’re still making an effort for them! 

Don’t be afraid to experiment : just make sure to learn from your mistakes.