How to start a running club

How to Start a Running Club Online – Start Selling Memberships Today!

Starting your own online running club is a great way to turn your passion into a profitable business. Not only can you bring together a community of like-minded runners, you can also provide valuable services like training programs, 1:1 coaching, route recommendations, private podcasts, and more. 

In this blog post, we’ll walk through the how to start a running club online in just five steps. Whether you want to offer virtual coaching to athletes or build a worldwide community for beginner runners, this guide will set you on the right path. 

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Start an Online Running Club!

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Step 1: Define your club’s niche

First, determine what sets your running club apart. As the founder, what unique value can you provide to members? For example:

  • Training programs for specific race distances
  • Connections to expert coaches
  • Guidance on injury prevention
  • Running routes across different cities
  • Community support and camaraderie for new runners
  • Training for ultramarathons or trail running

Here’s an example from Rogue Running, an established running community, on their specialty in training programs:

From beginners prepping for their first 5K to advanced marathoners and trail ultra-marathoners training to go the distance, we train over 3,000 athletes per year with programs for nearly every person and race distance.

Communicate what makes your running club unique so members know what to expect from their membership!

Step 2: Build your running club website

Rogue running club
Rogue Running is a running club membership that provides training programs and community for runners of all experience levels.

Your website will be the home for all things related to your running club. This is where new members will learn about your mission, join the club, access training programs and route recommendations, connect with other runners in the community, and more.

To get your site launched quickly, use a user-friendly website builder like Squarespace, and choose one of their pre-designed templates that are easy to customize.

Make sure to have dedicated pages that speak to what makes your club unique. For example, showcase your specialty training programs, highlight member spotlights, and share race discounts or partnerships. 

Step 3: Set up a membership management plugin

While your website will function as the face of your running club, you need a way to manage memberships, payments, content access, and member communication. This is where a membership management plugin comes in handy.

MemberSpace is a plugin built specifically for managing memberships and selling digital products. With MemberSpace you can:

  • Accept one-time or recurring payments
  • Create membership packages
  • Gate access to premium content
  • Communicate with members
  • And more!

The plugin integrates with your website so you can protect any pages, posts, downloads, etc. behind a membership paywall. This lets you easily monetize the value you’re providing runners.

Step 4: Choose a membership model

Relaxed Running club Membership
Relaxed Running is a running club membership that offers personal coaching, training programs, and technique coaching to athletes.

When setting up your membership packages in MemberSpace, you need to land on the right membership structure that aligns with the value you provide.

Common options include free memberships, monthly or annual memberships, and one-time entry fees.

For example, you might offer:

  • Free: Access to a basic training schedule or guide 
  • $10/month or $100/year: Access to private Facebook group, 8-week 5K and half marathon training guides, route recommendations, discount codes, etc.

Test different models to see what works best long-term. You can always change this later on!

Step 5: Protect your exclusive content

Protected page running club
When someone goes to access your protected content, they will see a pop up like this that prompts them to either sign into their account or register for your running club.

A key step in building your online running club is deciding what content will be exclusive only for paying members. As the club founder, you’ll put in significant time and effort creating training plans, curating route suggestions, coordinating group runs, recording podcasts, and more for your members.

So what should you make exclusive to paid members only? Here are some suggestions:

  • In-person running groups
  • Training programs
  • Video courses
  • 1:1 coaching/feedback
  • Route recommendations
  • Member forums
  • Discounts

MemberSpace makes the process super easy by letting you gate access to pages, posts, downloads, forums, etc. behind your membership paywall. 

Running club protected page
To protect a page on your website, simply add the page URL to MemberSpace. When someone goes to access the content, they will have to log in or sign up for an account and pay first.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have the foundation to start your own online running club, it’s time to launch and get the word out! Start by letting your personal network know through email and social media. Share what makes your club unique and how you’ll help fellow runners reach their goals.

Some easy ways to promote your new running club include:

  • Creating a Facebook Group to foster community
  • Joining local running Facebook Groups to introduce yourself
  • Offering discounts to the first 50 members who sign up
  • Creating a simple lead magnet, like a PDF guide, to earn email list subscribers that you can market to
  • Sharing photos of running routes, races, etc. on social media and using targeted hashtags

The most important next step is to launch your membership site with MemberSpace! With MemberSpace, you’ll have the toolkit to turn your passion into a profitable online running community. Get started for free today!

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