Team in Training Alternatives?
September 25, 2011 11:36 PM   Subscribe

I love the idea of Team in Training (especially the community and goal-oriented exercise aspects) but am really not a fundraiser and don't want to become one. What are some alternatives for goal-oriented group fitness? I am in the Bay Area (specifically Marin)

I am new to the Bay Area and looking to meet people, and also to get in better shape (well, any shape at all). I was drawn to TNT because they offer some non-running programs, like a Yosemite shoe-showing hike (oh my god that sounds amazing) and a Tahoe century ride, and also it sounds like they are very friendly for beginners. I seriously hate the idea of fund-raising though -- I mean, I know it's for a good cause, but I'm an introvert and am kinda incapable of asking people money.

So I was thinking there must be clubs/sports stores/other programs in the bay area that hold group trainings for cool events like this that don't require fund-raising, though I know that means I'll probably have to pony up some money myself. I am up for hiking, biking, walking and swimming. I really can't run -- my butt jiggles too much, if you must know :)

posted by imalaowai to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Every single cycling club everywhere has group rides several times per week. They tend to have A/B/C groups for different skill levels, from beginner through amateur racer. I don't know what's in Marin, but there is a *lot* of cycling up there, both road and mountain, so I can only imagine there is no shortage of cycling clubs.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 12:29 AM on September 26, 2011

Check and also Google around for name of city + sport +club and the like to find message boards - there are running clubs, cycling clubs, triathlon clubs, and on and on. Masters Swimming is available in almost any city where there are pools, and it's low-cost and pretty beginner-friendly. Also, drop in to a cycle store or sports-shoe store - a good, independently owned one, not Dick's - and ask this question. THey'll usually have a bulletin board or rack with flyers and calendars, and you will probably be able to find training groups and clubs pretty easily through them. Good luck!
posted by Miko at 4:52 AM on September 26, 2011

N-thing the cycling clubs. However, with the acknowledgement that TnT is very low pressure and supportive and step-by-step to get to your goal, where a cycling club is generally friendly to beginners (in my town, the Petaluma Wheelmen have regular beginner rides), but is often run by people who think a hundred miles is a nice Saturday morning (hello, Marin Cyclists, whom I do love dearly).

The aforementioned Marin Cyclists have rides almost every day of the week, and Grizzly Peak Cyclists and Santa Rosa Cycling Club also have rides nearly every weekend. There is also a group with blue jerseys whose name I'm forgetting right now that seems to be more in the "people who want a coach to train hard" category, but they've got a couple of different level groups and are absolutely out every weekend and pushing hard.

And every one of those groups has also got people for whom a century (or a double) is a big deal, and who will be looking for other people to do a stepped training program to complete it. Love TnT dearly, the two years when I was volunteer coordinator for the Marin Century it was great to be able to say "Okay, TnT has that rest stop covered, on to the other 97 things looking at my attention", and they get people out and exercising, but their members are not jocks, for many of them a Century, or even a Metric Century, is a huge deal, for some of them it's something they'll do once in their life. Most club riders will advance beyond that fairly quickly.

I've got a friend who's into the Marin Masters Swimming scene, but that doesn't put you in Yosemite (it could put you swimming relays across Tahoe).

My informal hiking group, which hasn't been very active since a primary member moved to Berkeley, has been threatening for years to do the Yosemite Toulumne to Clouds Rest to the Valley hike, if you think that'd be a good next summer kind of hike memail me and let's get a plan together. We've done a couple of other hardcore Sierra hikes, and have hiked probably every bit of fire road in Marin and most of the trails, including the 32-35 miles (in one day) from Samuel P. Taylor to the Golden Gate Bridge as part of the Bay Area Trails Council Ridge to Bridge hike.

And as Miko suggests too, the triathlon folks are their own group, only intersecting with the bikers occasionally, and there are plenty of them in Marin.
posted by straw at 7:47 AM on September 26, 2011

San Jose Fit is a friendly marathon training club, meets in Los Gatos, about 500 members and a large number of walkers. It's oriented towards beginners, though there's a wide spread of fitness and experience.
posted by orangejenny at 7:43 AM on October 2, 2011

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