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Training Sessions
Training Programme

One of the key concepts underpinning distance running is that of progressive overload; gradually increasing the quality and intensity of your training in a controlled manner. The training objective for each of the sessions is explained briefly below. Anybody is welcome to join in, there are absolutely no qualifying or mandatory standards required. If you can put one foot in front of the other and get to the venue under your own steam you are most welcome.

Keep an eye out on our social media and website, as we are looking to update our sessions and locations. We will normally meet upstairs at Wodson from 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start. Any changes to this will be on social media and the website.

The sessions operate on a rotational basis, with the Tuesday session differing from the Thursday session, so you can choose to come along to one or both depending on your level of fitness or schedule. You can do as many or as few sessions as you want to – so if only want to do Kenyan Hills that's fine. You can also choose how much of the session you want to do – if you can only manage two laps then that's OK too. Please do not think that you are “not good enough” to train; all sessions are designed to be inclusive, and if necessary you can contact the coach to arrange to meet at the location if the warm up run is longer than you feel comfortable with. So if you've never done a training session, why not come along and try one?!

Other than the track sessions, there is no additional charge to attend training; it is covered by your annual membership fee. Evening track sessions are an additional charge and you pay directly at Wodson reception before coming onto the track, the current charges are £3 for Wodson Corporate Members, £5.50 for Non Members.

The club is currently trialling a Tuesday morning track session; this starts at 9.15am until 10am. It is a timed interval session, but it is not a coached session; you will be expected to plan your own warm up and cool down, and you will have the option to run and recover to the whistle. The cost for this session is £2 for club members and £4 for non-members; this is paid at the track and not at reception. Please do ask as we appreciate this can be confusing for those new to the club.

Speed Endurance

This session takes place at The Hyde, and utilises a hilly 1½m circular course. It's designed to improve your speed endurance by imitating the things you will typically experience during a race. The undulating nature of the course challenges your ability to maintain your speed at a slightly faster rate than your normal race pace (hence the speed, the endurance is provided by the number of repetitions you do). It will also help you improve both your physical strength and mental attitude for dealing with hilly courses. During the summer months, we replicate this session at Church Path near Thundridge.

One Kilometer Reps

This session is held on a circular course which starts and finishes in Fanshawe Crescent . It's designed to stretch or expand your aerobic efficiency while at the same time giving the body an “imprint” or memory of the feeling of running considerably faster than your normal 5K race pace. If you are feeling confident these can be treated as a series of time trials as the repetitive nature of this session encourages training adaptation to occur quickly and by running individual reps at a similar speed your body learns to deal with stress better. As a bonus, you can practise your sprint finish by trying to lift the pace in the final 100m of each rep.

Kenyan Hills

This session uses the hill around Thundridge village. It's designed to improve your strength and speed endurance while teaching your body to maintain an even pace so that you can run off the top of the hill (rather than slowing down to admire the view!). It also offers the opportunity to practice the mental and physical strategies for running both up and down hill. The rolling nature of the course replicates a number of local race conditions so that you can rehearse and practice your hill techniques. During the summer months, we replicate this session at Fabden Hills.

Timed Tempo

Held at Heath Drive this session uses two looks of the circular course of 1.2m to increase aerobic capacity in a gradual but progressive way. By repeating a number of runs of a specific distance slightly faster than your 10K race pace you become accustomed to increasing your pace during a race without feeling any undue pressure. Each repetition is made up of two circuits, which also gives you the opportunity to practice even pace running and negative splits.

Paarlauf Relays

This session comes from the Swedish training method and means running in pairs. It's a form of interval training that is conducted in a fun / competitive environment. The emphasis is on controlled speed, so we pair up or group runners of similar ability together to form teams. Time wise this is a short session but its also an opportunity to look at running form and tactics. This session can be offered across several locations: on the track, at GSK car park or at Tumbling Bay.

Track Session

We offer a variety of track sessions, which can be adapted dependent on who attends and what events are coming up in the club championship calendar. Popular sessions include Russian Steps and The Bondarenko, but we also offer a speed session designed to improve your one mile pace and another to calculate your 5km potential, which is great for parkrun. Paarlauf relays and Fartleks sessions can also be run on the track.
We meet at Wodson for the session briefing.

Up The Clock

This is a pure speed workout; with the aim to improve leg turn over, speed and running form. It uses either the flat section of pavement close to Moles Farm, or a farm track within the farm itself as the training venue. The session involves running at 75% speed to a marker and then a change of pace that sees the runner then run at 95% of their absolute sprinting speed to the second marker place approximately 50 metres away, before jogging back to the start as their recovery. They then repeat the process, this time running at 75% to the second marker and sprinting to the third marker, and so on until a sixth marker has been sprinted to (going up the clock). You then have the option to come down the clock by reversing the process, working back from the sixth marker.
We meet at Wodson for the session briefing.


From the Swedish interpretation of speed play, this session aims to improve your speed and aerobic fitness. The normal location for this is the GSK car park. It's a fun / competitive session and runners are grouped into similar abilities to run short intervals at a constantly changing pace. This helps develop varied pacing skills and the mental toughness needed to cope with surges when racing. The session normally culminates with some short sprints (lactate shuffle session) which aims to train the body to clear the build up of lactate acid. The session can also be run on the track.

Short & Long Hills

Aimed at developing strength endurance, cardiovascular fitness and technique this session is held in Thundridge in the winter, and at Youngsbury during the summer. Running up hill in a fast but controlled manner places extra load on the leg muscles while the repetitions teach the body to retain a good running form under pressure.

New Sessions

We are currently reviewing the training sessions in terms of their aims and their locations, and during 2023 we have introduced new sessions at Hartham Common and at Queens Road, Hertford.

Gentle Joggers

During the summer of 2022, we offered a six week Back to Running course for those club members who had lost their way with running during lockdown. There is a Facebook group for those keen to run at a gentler pace, and they can liaise with like-minded and paced club members to participate in shorter runs and attend the training sessions in the confidence that they will not be alone.

We shall continue to review the demand for Gentle Joggers, and any future Back to Running course.