Changes to Tuesday Evenings

Posted by Alan Mawdsley on 23 April 2018

As announced earlier this month, Duncan is stepping down from leading the Tuesday night speed and hills sessions. This has been a major part of the Straggler week and great respect to both Duncan and Ian Calendar for making this commitment over many years. You can read further reflections from Duncan and Kev Best after this article.

With any change comes opportunity, and here Kev Best – lead coach for the Stragglers – outlines his plans for Tuesday nights and they will support our Thursday sessions and prepares us  for the year-round competitive action we’re taking on. N.B. This will start from Tuesday 1st May.

 Kev says:

 What will happen on Tuesday evenings?

Some of you will be aware that, along with Sue Khan, I train a small group of athletes on Tuesdays at St Mary’s - a few of whom are members of the Stragglers. We will be merging the two groups for training purposes, which has the potential to benefit both SMRAC and Stragglers RC. The meeting time will remain 19:30 every Tuesday evening. This will be when the warm up starts.  The option to run to the venue where the training is taking place will still be available. Allowing 20 minutes for a good warm up including easy running, mobility and strides. Members will be able to manage their own pre-training routine in order to be ready to “GO” at 19:50 – so the option is to either be at St Marys at 19:30 for a group warm up, arrive by 19:50 to start the session, or whatever suits the individual. Track sessions are £3 per athlete.

The plan is to build a training programme of seasons with various venues to be used to achieve the training objectives as follows:

April through to August/September:


St Marys athletics track for track work interspersed with similar sessions on trails in Bushy Park.


April, May and June – Speed Endurance – longer efforts with good recoveries. For example, 6 x 1,200m off 90 sec recoveries or 6 x 4 minutes off 90 sec recoveries (depending on the ability of the group). Sue Khan and hopefully one of our other coaches will be available if we need to divide the group or modify the session.

June, July and August – this is the sharp end of the season for track and road, sessions will reflect that for some with more emphasis on speed and shorter recoveries, we will however be very mindful of who is attending these sessions and what may suit some may not suit others. So, sessions will not be set in stone.  We will not leave anyone behind, you have heard me say that before. Everyone can and will benefit from these sessions.

 September through to March:

Venue: Ham Common for road work and hill work.


September to December – Strength and Endurance – cross-country preparation using Riverside Drive and Nightingale Lane. A series of complementary Saturday morning sessions will also be available in Richmond Park, more details on this will follow.

January, February and March, the sharp end of the Cross-Country season and early road races and relays. So, Strength, Endurance and Speed. This is a good time for time trials and relays in training sessions and split tempo runs – leaving the longer tempo runs for Thursdays.

How will this help Thursdays?

My intention for Thursday evenings at The Hawker Centre is to develop the tempo run for all abilities. It will form part of the existing Structured Training Group (STG) in as much as it will be an organised quality session. We will still be able to provide an “early learning” STG if there is demand for one, and one of our coaches is available.


All the group training above will fit into the majority of individual training plans. The main focus for group training is working together and in this instance developing individual speed endurance - so ideal for 5k and 10k runners. These sessions also fit into the training plans for distances up to the marathon - if this is you then you will need to load your mileage at the front and rear of the sessions.

 I hope that this is seen as another positive step in the development of the competitive side of the club and our responsibility to provide the best possible training options for every single club member fast or slow. I also believe that by bringing the structure for Tuesday’s and Thursday’s under one umbrella we will see an improvement not only in ability but also in attendance and support for these sessions.

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