Joining a walking club can serve several goals:
- Safety in numbers.
- Good choice of group walking routes.
- Meeting other walkers and walking partners.
- Sharing tips on walking technique, shoes, gear.
- Participating in organized walking activities, trips, social events.
AVA/IVV clubs: Non-competitive volkssport walking clubs host and participate in 10K walking events. The IVV is the largest walking club organization in the world, with thousands of member clubs, including over 500 in the USA and Canada. These clubs vary from mom-and-pop clubs to those with hundreds of members. If you find more than one in 50 miles of you, give each a call to see which one best suits your needs. You may also want to form your own club. For a flavor of AVA walks and walkers, read Kevin Shaw's walk reviews. Walking with Kevin Shaw - the Walrus.
Racewalk clubs: If you need speed, racewalk clubs will assist you in learning legal racewalk technique and finding competitions. You will experience the thrill of passing runners during 10K fun runs. The club search at Racewalk.com can help you find clubs that don't have web sites, or individual racewalkers around the country.
Mall walking clubs:These clubs are organized individually, so call or visit your local mall to see if they have an organized program for walking. These clubs will generally concentrate on walking indoors for exercise.
Running Clubs:Many running clubs also accept walkers as members, and some have a large contingent of walkers and many events organized for either runners or walkers. Road Runners Club of America: Hundreds of clubs throughout the USA.
Other Places to Look:
- Medical centers and HMO's are good places to contact to find local walking clubs, as many sponsor walking groups.
- Check your local running shoe stores for brochures and publications which list walking and running clubs.
- Health clubs may sponsor walking and running groups, and be sure to check their bulletin boards for brochures or announcements.
- Participate in a local charity walking event and ask others where to find walking clubs.
- Club Net Links: Links to club websites of many kinds.
- Meet-up Groups: Search for local walking groups on the Meetup.com web site.
When you can't find any groups in your area, but you would still like the support of a club, consider these options
Walking Bulletin Board Post messages here to ask questions of everyone and share information, announcements of upcoming events, discuss the weekly feature article. To post messages you will need to enter an ID. You can just read and lurk without registering. Keep to the topic of walking - no postings on great business deals, etc.
Walklist Email Group: Walklist has over 600 members worldwide. Members may post messages to the list, but you can also read the messages via a web interface without joining. This friendly list is a good place to get support. About half of the members are volkssport walkers. You can search past messages for keywords of interest.
Racewalk Email Group: Racewalk has over 350 members worldwide and it is run in the same way as Walklist. Visit the web interface to join, read or search the archives. The members include world-class walkers and coaches as well as beginners, a place where both serious competitors and interested participants can learn more about the sport and share questions, answers, and ideas.