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WSFRL Hickstead Gallop

Development & Performance Groups

The Club is based in the gym at Burgess Hill School, Keymer Road, Burgess Hill and meets there every Wednesday at 1830hrs for the Beginners Groups, 1900hrs for a Development Group and 1930hrs for an alternative Development Group and the Performance Group. There are some exceptions to this (see below) so please check this website or phone another member to be sure. Changing and showering facilities are available at the School. This is our usual venue.

Winter (mid August - May)
  1. From Burgess Hill School out to a variety of destinations in Burgess Hill (well lit and quiet where possible)
  2. There are monthly sessions at the track at Lewes Leisure Centre, Mountfield Road, Lewes (1945-2100 hrs). These are usually the first Wednesday in the month but this is confirmed by email/website/Facebook/Google Groups. Track sessions are primarily for speed or speed endurance. Changing and showering facilities are available at the Leisure Club. We also meet afterwards at The Swan, Southover High Street, Lewes.
Summer (May – mid August)
  1. From Burgess Hill School out onto footpaths to a variety of destinations in the countryside surrounding Burgess Hill.
  2. Meet at the school but then drive to a variety of countryside locations 5-10km from Burgess Hill.
  3. Three WSFRL races, preparation for our own WSFRL race and an annual handicap race also fall on summer Wednesdays and training sessions are adapted on these occasions.

The format for both groups will usually be: 
  1. A 15 minute full warm up during which time club announcements are made; this is followed by a gentle/steady run.
  2. The training session itself; this will usually consist of two or three components followed by a run back to the school.
  3. A ten minute stretch/warm down during which time any (reminder) announcements are made.
  4. Meeting at a local hostelry to socialise and compare notes on the evening’s experience!

The Performance and Development groups operate as follows: 
  1. All members arrive at the same time and voluntarily split into squads usually after the warm up session. The Performance squad is usually out for about 1¼ - 1½ hours, the Development squad for about an hour.
  2. The Development Squad is primarily for those who have progressed beyond the Beginners groups, runners returning from injury, runners who are unfit or those who simply want a shorter, less intensive session.
  3. The Performance Squad is primarily for those who want a longer more intensive session.
  4. Juniors will normally participate in the Development Squad.
  5. It is possible to pick ‘n’ mix between squads every week – members are free to stay with any squad or try to progress from Development to Performance or go to whichever takes your fancy!
  6. On certain Wednesdays we revert to a single squad – notably for track nights and shortened training sessions before social events and certain indoor gym events.
  7. On summer Wednesday evenings where there are WSFRL races or the Club Handicap event there will be no club session.
  8. Both Performance and Development squads will receive the structured training programme as outlined above.

Your coaches plan sessions to follow a structured programme which will include the following: 
  1. Hill sessions; these are designed to build strength which is necessary for virtually any running event. The same effect can be achieved by weight or resistance training but this is less practical for a Wednesday night.
  2. Indoor circuit training; this will also build strength but using a wider group of muscles and helps more with general fitness. Typically this is done in the school gym on a more occasional basis especially with inclement weather.
  3. Speed Sessions; whilst the club is primarily for endurance running improvement can only be made by going faster! Speed sessions are therefore needed for the runner to get used to running faster particularly for race distances up to 5 miles/10k. These can be around e.g. 400m repetitions, fartlek (speed play pepping up longer runs) or fun events such as relays.
  4. Speed endurance; having pure endurance (from long runs once a week) and pure speed together are not enough. Speed endurance sessions are designed to get the runner used to faster efforts than normal (i.e. faster than say 10k or marathon pace) for significant periods of time. These sessions tend to follow one of the following formats: 
  • interval training e.g. several 1k or 1 mile repetitions followed by a short recovery period e.g. 100m walk or 400m jog.
  • Pyramids; set periods of effort progressing upwards in length of time then downwards again e.g. 2,3,4,3,2 minutes of effort with 1 minute walk in-between.
  • Mixtures of different paces e.g. jog/race/sprint between lamp posts or jog/effort every 100m on a track.
  • Tempo (or threshold) run; this is classically a comfortably hard effort for 2-4 miles with, say, 2 miles warm up and warm down. This is difficult to do in our group training format so will only be done occasionally and is reasonably easy to do yourself.
  • Timed Runs; these are done at full race pace but are only occasional and designed principally to measure progress. Examples are the once a year time trials on the track (100m/400m/1mile) and times for the Chanctonbury Road circuit.