On Tuesdays we meet at the club at 7.30pm and announcements are made at 7.40pm, so we usually leave the club by 7.45pm.
Tuesday night is our effort session and is suitable for all abilities as we jog to where we are going to do the session, do the session and then jog back together afterwards. The sessions are general speed work aimed at improving everyone’s pace. In an effort session you will run sections faster than you would normally run, but will also spend plenty of time recovering at a slow or even walking pace.
When we arrive at the field or road where the effort will take place, what the session entails and the number of efforts will be announced. When the leaders have finished their last effort everyone else finishes the effort they are on and we return at a leisurely place to the club. This means that whatever your pace you won’t be holding up the faster runners and the faster runners also have people to chase and lap. If the session was of say 12 efforts and you manage 7 you now have a ready-made target for the next time we do this session.
The sessions generally run on a four week rota with different ones used in the Winter and Summer.
Hill training is a form of resistance or strength training and will help you with your climbing and descending. We don’t have many hills in Chelmsford but we have four different ones that we use on a regular basis. In the summer we use hills at Sandford Mill Lane and Mill Lane, Broomfield. In the winter we move to Chichester Drive and probably the toughest one which is the bridge by the Rugby Club.
We tend to only do these in the summer as they are over shorter distances and we can run them on an enclosed traffic free grass field. This is a session commonly done by athletes on a running track, but any circular course will do. An example of a pyramid is 100m effort, 100m rest, 200m effort, 100m rest, 400m effort, 100m rest, 200m effort, 100m rest, 100 effort. You can do a pyramid on a straight run maybe by using lamp posts or more accurately time i.e. 1 min, 2min, 3 min, 4 min, 3 min, 2 min then 1 min all with same recovery in between.
Taken from the Swedish words for speed and play Fartlek is a session that can be used just as a bit of fun or can mimic race conditions where you have to react to someone else’s pace or instruction. This is the only time we split into groups as with all the to-ing and fro-ing large groups are difficult to control. The way we do fartlek is as follows. Each group will have a leader who will choose the route and what you are going to do. He/she will shout out where you are to run to and off you go, when you come back and reform as a group you will be sent off again. Sometimes the leader will give you a lot of short bursts with very little recovery, sometimes it might be a really long effort of over a mile. The whole thing is unpredictable and is the only speed session where you sometimes won’t be allowed to get a full recovery as you do in the other sessions.
We usually do either 800m or 1000m efforts and sometimes in the winter with everyone upping their mileage for a marathon 1500m. In the summer we run on grass where possible.