Frequently Asked Questions

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I’m new to running / i’m too old / fat / slow … will i fit in?

Yes! Our Wednesday night sessions are open for all to attend, even complete beginners. We typically include a route where you can cut the distance short, either a short loop or a figure of eight. You won’t be left on your own, as we have a huge range of abilities running with us. We recently did a couch to 5k course where almost 100 new runners started, all had anxieties about their ability, weight and fitness, and most overcome them to complete their first 5k park run with us.

Our goal is to be as inclusive as possible, and get Loughborough fit!

I’m a fast runner / Olympic champion – will I fit in?

We hope so! We have some very competitive runners, who join up for longer runs, tempo runs, and intervals. We have Marathon winners in our team, and a competitive road running team in the Leicester Road runners league. Coached sessions are offered on Mondays, and Longer runs at 7-8min/mile pace often take place on Thursdays. We are a fairly laid back, relaxed club, but take our running seriously.

When / Where do you meet?

We don’t have a single regular meeting point or clubhouse, so we vary where we meet around a few main meeting points in Loughborough and the surrounding area.

The main Facebook group is called “Poplar Runners” and is where our runners chat and joke, but also where our run details are posted by the run leader. Typically the details will be posted 24 hours in advance of the run.

Please arrive in plenty of time, and if you are driving, please park with consideration to the local residents and businesses and consider car sharing.

Our nights are:
Mondays – Coached sessions, with intervals, hills and timed sessions, varies each week.
Tuesdays – Mountsorrel Pops
Wednesdays – Club night
Thursdays – Unofficial runs – e.g. Long Distance
Fridays – Occasional Track nights with Hermitage Harriers.
Saturdays – parkruns
Sundays – Races!

Do I need to pay before running?

No, come and give us a go for a few sessions first. Visiting runners are always very welcome.

What are the membership options?

We offer both the option to register as a full UK Athletics member, for £28 a year, or a cheaper option of the Association of Running Clubs for £10. The benefits of the UKA membership are that it gives discounts on more races, and supports the UK athletics programmes. The cheaper ARC membership is easier for the club and suitable for most new members.

You can sign up here –

How many Facebook groups are there?

Loads. As a running club, we spend as much time on Facebook as we do running!

The official Facebook page is here – and is where official announcements are made, and information for non-members and new members is displayed.

The main Facebook group is called “Poplar Runners” and is where our runners chat and joke, but also where our run details are posted by the run leader. Typically the details will be posted 24 hours in advance.

There are other more targeted groups:

park run group – where we discuss weekly attendance at local parkruns, and discuss the challenge of running 5k as fast as possible.

Leicestershire Road Running League (LRRL) group – where we discuss the competitive league road races in Leicestershire.

Derby Cross Country League group – for discussing “XC” races.

Buggy runners – for mummies, daddies and babies who like to push or be pushed around on a run.

Pops Goals 2017 – to discuss your goals, and progress to them for 2017 –

Pops 2017 miles challenge – can you do 365 miles in a year? How about 2017km?

Our couch to 5k group – for all the new runners who have tried and succeeded in running the couch to 5km course, there are lots of great tips for new runners in here, so have left the group open.

Poplar Walking group – For those who are not quite ready to run, or just fancy a walk. This group is not running regular walks at the moment, but does offer the occasional walk.

Poplar Cycling Club – our sister club for those who prefer to ride.

Poplar Triathlon Club – Secret group, but ask around and someone might let you in…

Junior Pops – We have a group for parents of Jnr Pop members. Post on the main groups and someone will let you in!

What if I don’t have or use Facebook?

It’s worth joining, if only just for poplar runners. Use a false name if you must! If you can’t use facebook, our Twitter feed and website are both places to get information, or failing that, make friends with someone who uses Facebook and they will pass the details on. As a club we very much rely on Facebook for most communications.

What do I need?

A pair of running shoes, and some bright visible clothing! A plain white t-shirt will do and is very visible, although if you regularly run in the dark we’d recommend you invest in a running top with reflective panels or a reflective bib so cars can see you.

What trainers should I buy?

Something that’s comfortable, fits well, and leaves you feeling able to run again. Dedicated running shoes are a good idea, as they offer appropriate cushioning and support, so don’t just use any old pair of trainers. There are lots of different types of running trainers that can suit your running style, some with more or less cushioning, some with more stability support which can help those who’s feet may role. The Running Fox shop in loughborough offers good advice and trainers to suit a range of budgets.