We have training sessions every Monday and Thursday evening, except for bank holidays. It is good to try to make as many sessions as possible, to help you become a better runner. We do a variety of different sessions that will cater for everyone within the club.
For every Monday session, and most Thursday sessions, we meet at 6:45pm at the Feather sculpture in the Millenium Garden, Woolston.
On the first Thursday of each month, we have an "away day", starting at 6:45pm - 7:00pm at various other locations in the Southampton area - See the club calendar for details.
This will form your base time so we can see if you are improving over a six week period, usually a 3k or 5k timed run in the same place each time
These sessions are superb for novice runners as well as seasoned vets, they push your body harder than what its used to, Speedwork doesn't just make you run faster. It makes you fitter, increases the range of movement in your joints, makes you more comfortable at all speeds, and it will ultimately help you to run harder for longer.
Hill work results in the calf muscles learning to contract more quickly and thereby generating work at a higher rate, they become more powerful. The calf muscle achieves this by recruiting more muscle fibres, around two or three times as many when compared to running on the flat. The "bouncy" action also improves the power of the quads in the front of the thigh as they provide the high knee lift that is required. For the athlete, when competing in their sport or event, it can mean higher running speeds and shorter foot strike times, these are excellent strength sessions.
Tempo runs are an excellent way for runners to build speed and strength. They're runs that are done at a steady effort level, usually just a little slower than your 10K race pace. Tempo runs help you develop your anaerobic or lactate threshold, which is critical for running faster.
Fartlek literally means "speed play" in Swedish (the ideas was invented by Swedish coach Gosta Holmer). It means the introduction of faster bursts into a slower run. The purpose of fartlek is to increase your fitness. Fartlek recruits your fast twitch muscle fibres during a longer run, so ensuring that the whole muscle is getting a good workout. Fartlek also helps to build speed and strength. Fartlek runs can be done as an unstructured session (ie running faster as you feel inclined); or in a more structured way (for example, 10 surges of 400m). The best place to do fartlek is generally on a trail run or in a park.
The long run is a staple in almost every runner's weekly training schedule. It doesn't matter if you're training for the 5K or the marathon, more than likely, you have at least one day designated as your long run day each week. However, despite the near universal application of the long run, many runners don't know how fast they should be running for optimal benefit. If you run too slow, you won't produce significant stimulus and adaptation. Run too fast and you run the risk of not being recovered for your next run. We usually advise that you can comfortably hold a conversation on a long run.