Development & Performance Groups

There are Development groups each Tuesday (daytime) and Wednesday (evening) as long as there are no West Sussex Fun Run League races scheduled during the summer.

The Development group normally covers around 5-6 miles at around 9.5-10.5minute miles and the 7pm Development group normally covers around 6-7 miles at around 8-9.5 minute miles. The Performance squad is usually out for about 1¼ - 1½ hours at a slightly faster pace, sometimes covering up to 8-9 miles.

The Development group is primarily for those who have progressed beyond the Beginners’ and Improvers’ groups.

The Performance group is primarily for those who want and are capable of a longer, more intensive session.

It is possible to pick ‘n’ mix between groups every week – members are free to stay with any group or try to progress from Improvers to Development to Performance or go to whichever takes your fancy!

On certain Wednesdays we revert to fewer groups/sessions, notably for track nights between September to April.

On summer Wednesday evenings where there are WSFRL races or the Club Handicap event, there will be no club sessions. Announcements will be made via social media, emails and website updates.

Both Performance and Development groups will receive the structured training programme as outlined above.

Your coaches plan sessions to follow a structured programme which will include the following:

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.

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.

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.

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).