New speed work session
Date:19 Oct 2007
Article:From 23 Oct., Anita and I will be co-ordinating an informal speed work session on the Marston Ferry Road on Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm. The session will be aimed at medium-to-slow paced runners (approx. 42 mins. 10K or slower) who want to get faster, and particularly at those who are new to speed work. If you've ever looked at the track session outlines in the back of the newsletter and got scared, this is for you! (Faster runners are welcome to join us, but as we'll be doing time-based repetitions you may find yourself a lot further up the MFR than the rest of the group).

We'll meet at the telephone box at the Oxsrad end of the MFR at 6.30pm, and will start with a warm-up, but you might want to consider parking at Oxsrad and jogging to the start for a longer warm-up. You need to bring a watch, and you might want a drink too. To see results, you need to be able to commit to coming regularly.

We will be following a schedule written by club coach Mark Hirst, but neither Anita or I have coaching qualifications. The emphasis will be on a group of runners wanting to improve their times, and committed to supporting each other. Anita and I will lead the sessions initially, but would hope that over time all the group members will take responsibility.

Mark's advice is as follows:

Iíve assumed that most people are running at least 20 miles a week. To be effective at having a significant impact upon peoplesí race times, the other runs in the week need also to be looked at. In general, everyone should be aiming to cover:

- Long-Easy paced runs, easy meaning being able to talk quite happily, ie not breathing hard. Anything from 60 mins to 90 mins (unless marathoning in which case progressively longer according to a schedule)

- Tempo: This is steady running, something like 20 seconds per mile slower than your current 10km pace. Best done over a set distance so you can estimate your pace accurately, so 2 x 2 mile reps, club 5km or club 4m timetrial courses.

Try and always mix runs so that you work on a hard-easy principle, never two hard sessions on successive days.

If a person Is not running over 20 miles per week, they should do only the tempo run each week as their hard sessions and should not do the speed sessions.

There is also some useful information on page 13 of the March 2005 newsletter:

If you have any questions about speed work and whether it's right for you, please talk to Mark or one of the other coaches before you come along. If you have any general questions about the session, speak to Anita or I at club, or email us at or
Entered by: Adrienne Hopkins

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