Run Guidelines

Guidelines for Club Social Runs – Coaches, Run Leaders and Runners

These guidelines are for Coaches, Run Leaders and runners to follow for the safety and enjoyment of all runners on club runs.

Please note that whilst the run leaders are responsible for the safe operations of the group, individual runners are still responsible for their own safety and the safety of fellow runners.

Social Run Ethos:

  • The aim of Club runs is to encourage and motivate Club members (and potential new members who are thinking of joining) to run.
  • Club runs are social sessions and so there is an explicit responsibility to support each other and the Run Leader.
  • Sessions are welcoming and friendly but are also training sessions, so all runners are expected to support the Run Leader delivering England Athletics good practice in respect of warm ups, drills, cool-downs and stretching etc.
  • Looping back is mandatory and key to working as a team. This supports slower runners (we’ve all been there) and should not be seen as a chore.
  • Remember, we have all been the slowest in the group at some stage, please treat these runners with the same consideration that you would wish to be treated.
  • Run Leaders have the final say on runs. If you are asked by the run leader to slow down, double back or look after the group, then please do so.

The Basics:

  • All groups should look to complete a dynamic warm-up where possible.
  • Groups should be split into appropriate abilities so that the pace and distance guidelines from the associated booking page on the website can be met.
  • Groups should be kept to sensible and manageable sizes and there should ideally be one Run Leader for every 12 runners and no group should exceed 20 runners in total without a second Run Leader
  • All runners should arrive at least ten minutes before the advertised start times so that groups can be organised and can warm-up/leave at the advertised times.

All runners should:

  • Wear reflective clothing in the darker months (run leaders reserve the right to ask people to leave the run if they are not wearing appropriate reflective clothing.)
  • Not wear headphones.
  • Before the session starts, inform the Run Leader of any illness or injury concerns or if you are new or have recently moved up a group.
  • Not run if feeling unwell.
  • Take note of the advertised pace and be advised by the Run Leader(s) as to which group you should run with.
  • Notify the Run Leader if you are leaving the run for whatever reason (or if that’s not possible, notify another member of the group).
  • Stay within contact of all members unless a split has been agreed with the Run Leader.
  • Faster runners should loop back at regular intervals or when requested to by the Run Leader.
  • If you choose to run with a group that is slower than your usual pace, do not run at the front of this group, stay back and help the leader otherwise your pace will dictate the group and make it harder for others in the group.
  • Give way to other pedestrians/path users when necessary.
  • Warn other runners around you of impending hazards, pedestrians, dustbins, low hanging branches, etc.
  • Look after the other runners within your group, if someone is struggling make sure that they are not left on their own and inform your Run Leader.
  • Report any incidents unseen by the run leader to the run leader.
  • Should a welfare matter arise no matter how small then please report this to the welfare officers by emailing  The welfare officers are there to help safeguard them health and well-being of members. This ranges from day-to-day good governance to members conduct or how members are feeling.

Run Leaders should:

  • Encourage and motivate the runners in the group by being friendly and welcoming.
  • Provide a fun and safe group running experience for the whole group.
  • Plan a route in line with the expected pace and distance, taking account of external factors such as the weather.
  • Dynamically reassess risks during the run and adapt as necessary for e.g. weather, group size, individuals ability or issues, distance and speed.
  • Brief the group on any hazards likely to be encountered.
  • Check with the group for any injuries that may affect them during the run and advise any runner who they feel is not well enough to run to not run.
  • Carry a mobile phone for emergencies or when this is not possible ensure that someone within the group has one.
  • Ensure that the pace of the group is determined by the needs of the slowest runner.
  • Ensure that EVERYONE in the group doubles back to keep the group together.
  • Note the number of runners at the start and finish of the run.
  • Not leave anyone behind for any reason.
  • Ensure that someone escorts runners who are unable to continue due to injury or illness, back to the start.
  • If the group is becoming unmanageable due to a wide range of abilities, split the group by asking other experienced runners/leaders to lead one of the sub-groups.
  • Stick to routes with adequate lighting when time of day/night dictates and be prepared to slow the group if lighting becomes inadequate to run safely.
  • If running off-road, be aware of trip hazards such as roots and be prepared to shout warnings.
  • Report any incidents to club committee member using the Club Reporting form.
  • Should a welfare matter arise, no matter how small, then please seek guidance from and report this to the welfare officers by emailing welfare officers are there to help safeguard the health and well-being of members. This ranges from day-to-day good governance to members conduct or how members are feeling.
  • If a Run Leader feels a group member is consistently not following the guidelines, discuss the circumstances with the Coaching Coordinator, Welfare Officer or Chair as appropriate.

If you have any comments or suggestions for this document or feedback regarding how the club does or does not implement and stick to these guidelines, please contact the Chair. On training runs you are responsible for your own safety. These tips may be useful but are in no way exhaustive.