What to expect?
Our training sessions are split into pace groups to enable runners to train with others of similar ability and ensures that everyone is appropriately challenged during their training. Runners should select their group based on their current 10k race time. If you are not sure, go for a slightly slower group at first. We encourage prospective members to attend one or two sessions to get a feel for the club before deciding whether to sign up.
Occasionally the training plan may be changed at very late notice e.g. due to weather, but we try to limit this as much as possible because we are aware some members join us late at the training venue itself.
From time to time we may need to merge groups – this will be due to very low turnout or a lack of leaders. Whenever groups are merged they will operate at the pace of the lower group.
Our Run Leaders
What is a Run leader?
Each of our sessions has an identified leader. The role of the leader is to ensure the sessions run according to the training plan, for members’ safety and enjoyment.
Who are they?
We have a number of regular and occasional Run leaders from amongst our members. It is important to note that they are volunteers, and that our training can’t go ahead without them; they often forego their own training to help others get the best out of a session.
What is their role?
The Run leaders are familiar with the route, any risks on that route (e.g. traffic) and the requirements of the particular session. They will carry a mobile phone for emergencies (or ensure another member in attendance has one). They are announced at the meeting point at the beginning of the session where they will explain the route and how the session will work.
During the session the Run leader will make sure the group maintains the appropriate pace and that everyone stays together by identifying places where runners can regroup and run back (‘looping back’) to the last runner. The Run leader will not always run at the front of the group but instead instruct the front runners of appropriate places to loop back.
What is my role at a session?
Before joining one of our groups
Make sure you have selected the correct group, if you are not sure of which group to run with ask any Committee Member or Run Leader.
Groups are based on your current 10k time. Don’t worry – that doesn’t mean the training is run at race pace! Apart from efforts, all running should be done at ‘conversation’ pace (i.e. you should be able to run and chat). Note that the correct group may change for you month by month as your fitness level changes, you should be aware of your pace and make adjustments to which running group you attend accordingly. You may attend a different group from your current race pace, for instance, if you want an easy night or are racing at the weekend feel free to drop down a group, but you must be prepared to run at the pace of that group. However, you should not attend a slower group and then expect to push to a faster pace, please be considerate of other runners.
It is a members responsibility to ensure that they are adequately prepared for the session, taking into account visibility, weather and the nature of the session attended. For the darker months we insist runners wear reflective clothing and lights if possible.
At the beginning of the session
New members should identify themselves to the leader. The group leader will explain the night’s training. Please pay attention; you may have done the session before but others may not. Sessions may need to be altered for example due to weather or roadworks. Groups leave promptly at 7pm (or at the advertised time for off road running) so please arrive on time to avoid missing out.
During the session
It’s important for those running at the front to loop back and support your fellow members when instructed to do so by the leader. If you notice you are significantly in front of the group (>100m) loop back and re-join at the back of the group and reset your own pace to that of the leader. If you find yourself consistently at the front, you should consider moving up groups at the next session. Similarly, if you find yourself behind, consider dropping down a group for a while. Everyone has a responsibility to keep to the pace set by the leader.
How can I help?
We are always in need of new leaders. If you are interested in becoming a leader, even if it is for only on an ad-hoc basis have a chat with your Run Leader or message a member of the Committee. Guidance and a mentor will be provided for new leaders.
Do you have a new route idea? Please contact a member of the committee to discuss.