Frequently Asked Questions

What is Fitmums & Friends?

Fitmums & Friends is a Charity affiliated to England Athletics. All Clubs are led by volunteers who are passionate about supporting members of their community to become more active. Fitmums & Friends has very specific systems of support which mean we can support people of all abilities from complete beginners to people who are regularly active.

What activities are available?

A range of options are available but not all at each venue, best to check individual club details on the website. Activities include:

  • Running
  • Fitness Walking
  • Cycling – including starter rides
  • Buggy Sessions
  • Junior Athletics

Do I need to book?

No. Please just turn up a little before the advertised time of the session so that you can be welcomed. We recognize that it can be daunting attending a new group for the first time so we care very much about making sure attending a group for the first time is not scary. On arrival look out for the welcome paddle. We understand how nervous you may feel but clubs are so pleased to welcome new faces so don’t worry.

How much will it cost?

The first 3 visits to a Fitmums & Friends session are FREE. If you decide this is the right club for you then membership is £36 for the year (1st April-31st March). If you think you may struggle with the membership fee you only need to get in touch. There are no costs per session and you can attend any session anywhere, not just the club you join. There are some costs for the Buggy Sessions & Junior Athletics due to venue hire – so best to check website for details. There are also some discounted memberships for people joining late in the membership year, students and second claim members.

What shall I wear?

The best thing to do is to wear active clothing, this doesn’t need to be expensive but should be comfortable and allow for movement (jeans are not ideal). Trainers are essential but again don’t need to be expensive. Thin layers are ideal so you can remove them and carry them if needed. The most common mistake is to wear too many clothes – you will get warm! During autumn/winter it is essential to wear a high vis vest and these are available from sports outlets.

Can I bring my child with me?

Children under 16 years are only able to attend junior & buggy sessions where these are offered. Young adults aged 16-17 years can attend any session and we have appropriate safeguarding policies in place.

Am I fit enough?

Everyone is fit enough for Fitmums & Friends activities. We pride ourselves on ensuring that every activity is tailored to individual needs. The run sessions offer distances of 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 miles at each session so you can just fit into the distance that feels right for you. Fitness Walk distances vary. Each distance has a dedicated, qualified leader. You will be encouraged to run/walk at your own pace and you need not feel any pressure to go faster than you are able. Cycle starter rides will take into account the needs of complete beginners. The longer distance rides still use support systems to ensure the group stays together.

I’m worried I will hold other people up.

You won’t. We use a system called shepherding which enables different abilities to run/walk together but at their own pace. It is hard to go faster than is comfortable for you but it can also be uncomfortable to go slower than your natural pace. Shepherding therefore encourages people to go at a pace comfortable for them and the different paces within the group are managed by the Leader. Shepherding is the way Fitmums & Friends is able to support mixed abilities in a group to enjoy the fun, camaraderie and support of group running/walking which is why Fitmums & Friends exists.

What if I move up to the next distance, or I’m in a group where I regularly can’t keep up?

If you find you are consistently much slower than the runners in the group, move down a mileage group but don’t be demoralised. Instead try and increase the number of times you run per week to build up your stamina (at least twice a week). At each re-group make sure you push hard when running back to the rear of the pack. This helps you increase your distance and the speed work will help to improve your pace.

Leaders may advise you if they feel it is beneficial for you to move groups, either up or down, this is for the benefit and safety of both you and the group so please do not be offended.

What if I am already an experienced runner & want to improve?

Our systems also support more experienced runners/walkers. Leaders are able to make sessions appropriately challenging to ensure that everyone gets an effective workout. The shepherding system means that experienced runners may end up running/walking further than their chosen distance. Coached sessions are also available at some clubs which offer an opportunity to improve technique, endurance and pace under the instruction of a trained Athletics Coach. These sessions are all part of the membership fee. Coaches are also available to write individualised training programmes to support particular training goals.

Where is my nearest group?

For details of current Fitmums & Friends sessions please see here. If there is not a session currently in your area but you are keen to see one develop then why not contact us to see if there are any plans for set up near you.

What is a Buggy Session?

We have two types of buggy sessions. Buggy bootcamp is an indoor session which offers a cardiovascular workout and includes toning and resistance work. Buggy walks are a walking workout over a distance of 1-3 miles depending on the ability of the group. These sessions are also suitable for anyone who just wants a workout (no buggy & child required) and are an ideal way of keeping fit during pregnancy. This is a great way of meeting other parents who understand the challenges of keeping active with the demands of caring for children. No need to worry if babies need feeding/changing/attention – just relax, it’s fine. These sessions are usually term-time only – no need to book, just turn up. They are open to non-members with a cost per session. For existing members there is a reduced session fee for indoor sessions only (due to venue hire).

Are there sessions for children?

Yes. Fitmums & Friends offers athletics sessions in some areas for children from 5-15 years of age. These are facilitated by England Athletics trained coaches. There is an emphasis on fun whilst also supporting the development of agility, balance and co-ordination skills. All athletics disciplines are included; run, throw and jumps.

If you need any more information please email or call 07870 654586

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