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New Schedule Coming Soon! Races are coming

Posted on April 11th, 2021 by

It’s all starting to happen, Chasers…dreams of the Stag Mile, ParkRun, Summer League and Athletics are starting to become a reality! Our next schedule will continue to hone in on speed for shorter distances to get us ready for the summer racing season. The two target races will be our second 3k event on Saturday, May 8th and the Golden Stag Mile with a provisional date of Saturday, July 3rd. The schedule is still be tweaked at the moment, but will be posted soon!

In addition to our weekly Thursday Track sessions, we also now have the track officially booked on Saturdays from 10-11am, meaning you now just have to sign up on our website and no longer need to pay for a spot via Eventbrite. Watch the website and Facebook each week for when these sessions are posted so that you can book a spot. If the sessions fill up before you are able to book, please do let us know that you would have booked a spot if one was free. If there is enough interest we may be able to try and increase the numbers.

As a heads up, for this week, our first track session will be as follows:

Thursday at 7pm and 7:20pm:

5-6 x 800m at 5k pace with 400m jog recoveries. Total 4000-4800m hard 2000-2400m recovery

Happy Running!

Sarah

 

Week 5: The Gang’s Back Together!

Posted on March 28th, 2021 by

Rule of 6 is in – groups runs and track are back!

There are lots of exciting group runs happening on Tuesday already, but if you want to incorproate a session on Tuesday, this week is another progression run. There are also still some slots left for the 19:20 track session on Thursday as well as the coached session on Saturday (John will be leading that session!). Please sign-up via the calendare here and be sure to read all of the instructions. Thursday sessions are free, but you’ll need to book a slot and pay for the Saturday sessions.

Our sessions are all still building toward a 3k race that we are aiming to hold at Parliament Hill Track in April – exact date TBC, so stay tuned.

Tuesday:

  •  10 min of easy running to warm up
  •  40 minutes where you progressively get faster every 10 minutes. The guide for the pacing is your estimated marathon pace + 20 sec for the first 10 minutes, and then speed up by 10 sec for each subsequent 10 min. This is assuming you are calculating your pace min minutes/mile! If you’re calculating in min/kilometer, then it’s more like 6 or 7 sec every 10 minutes. This is a guide though; essentially you’ll want to go a bit slower than a steady pace at the beginning and then be going a bit faster than a steady pace by the end.
  • 10 min of easy running to cool down

Thursday Track:

  • 6-8 x 600m at your 3k pace with 3 min recovery between. Total 3600-4800m

Saturday Track:

  • 3 x 1 mile with 3 min recoveries

Looking forward to seeing many of you this week.

Happy Running,

Sarah

 

Week 4: Spring cleaning

Posted on March 21st, 2021 by

Happy first day of Spring, Chasers! We are continuing to clear out those winter cobwebs by focusing on threshold running and some 5k/3k pace work. This will serve us nicely for the 3k track race we are hoping to put on in April and start getting us thinking about all of those speedy Athletics races and 5k Parkruns that will start in June. And, of course, there is also the Chingford League 5k on Easter Monday.

So, for our last week of paired running before we can start groups of 6 again, the sessions are…

Tuesday Threshold

1 hour run, with ~15 min warm-up, 30 min at your threshold pace (10k to half marathon pace), ~15 min cooldown

Your personalized plan will show more accurate miles and timings.

Thursday “Track”

1600m (at your 5k pace) [400m jog/recovery], then 4 x { 400m (at your 3k pace) [400m jog/recovery] }. Total 3200m hard 2000m recovery

Warm up and cool down for at least 10 min each for the session.

It will be important to not go too crazy in that 5k mile so you have some speed left in your legs for 400m repeats.

 

Happy Running!

Sarah

 

 

Week 3: Run for your mother, but don’t stay up all night to get lucky

Posted on March 14th, 2021 by

Happy Mother’s day today to our UK mom’s (note to self – send Mother’s day card in May)! Our next holiday is one of my favorite’s, St Patrick’s day. So pick a Chaser, and go out for a nice easy run or walk for luck on Wednesday this week. You will need Wednesday this week as either an easy recovery run or a full day of recovery between this week’s Tuesday and Thursday sessions.

On Tuesday, we have another progression run. This type of run is especially good for those of you training for a spring half marathon. As a guide, like several weeks back, you will speed up those legs every 10 minutes. The breakdown is:

  •  10 min of easy running to warm up
  •  40 minutes where you progressively get faster every 10 minutes. The guide for the pacing is your estimated marathon pace + 20 sec for the first 10 minutes, and then speed up by 10 sec for each subsequent 10 min. This is assuming you are calculating your pace min minutes/mile! If you’re calculating in min/kilometer, then it’s more like 6 or 7 sec every 10 minutes. This is a guide though; essentially you’ll want to go a bit slower than a steady pace at the beginning and then be going a bit faster than a steady pace by the end.
  • 10 min of easy running to cool down

Be sure to start easy enough so you can conitnue to push yourself at the end of the 40 minutes.

For your speed session this week, we are moving to 1200m repeats. This session should feel a bit more relaxed than the 800m at 5k pace you did two weeks ago. You will still be going at a good clip though, so the longer distance/time will be the challenge. Therefore, focus on not going out too fast so you can stay relatively steady on each repeat and have enough energy to kick it up a notch on the last one. The session by distance is:

3-4 x {1200m (10k pace) [400m jog recovery]} – total 3600-4800m hard, 1200-1600m recovery

For a time-based variation, you can do:

3-4 x {5min (10k pace) [2min jog recovery]} – total 15-20min hard, 6-8min recovery

Remember to warm up and coold down with at least 10 minutes of easy running before and after the session. Incorporating drills before like we typically do at track is also a good idea. If you need some inspiration for drills, give me a shout!

Happy running!

Sarah

 

Week 2: Keeping pace

Posted on March 7th, 2021 by

It’s week 2 of the new schedule, Chasers! This week is going to be all about pace, keeping it and changing it.

First up we a have a threshold run on Tuesday to go along with our Thursday speed session. For the Threshold run, you’ll start with some easy running to warm up, then do the specified mileage at your threshold pace (keeping the pace you can sustain for ~1 hour, i.e., somewhere between 10k and half marathon), then you’ll do some easy running to cool down. You’ll need to look at your customized schedule for the exact mileage and timing.

For this week’s speed session, we have another set where we will be varying the distances and the paces, getting shorter and faster as the session progresses:

1600m (10k pace) [400m jog] 1200m (5k pace) [400m jog] 800 (3k) [400m jog] 400m [1 mile pace] = 4000m hard, 1600m recovery

This is another set that is best done by distance as opposed to time. Message me if you’re having trouble figuring out how/where to do the session by distance, and I’ll help you troubleshoot. As always, warm up and cool down prior to the session, and incorproate some drill before!

Finally, since Monday is International Women’s Day, I’ll leave you with a quote from Wilma Rudolph, the inspiration for the Chaser logo on our vests.

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion. The potential for greatness lives within each of us.”

Happy Running!

Sarah

 

Week 1 of the new schedule! – but really it’s Week 9

Posted on February 28th, 2021 by

Congrats on all of those fast miles this week, Chasers! This week, we will be starting part 2 of the schedule, appropriately named The Great Lockdown Escape. We are continuing with paired runs over the next few weeks, but then we will be able to start back with groups of 6 and track from March 29th! The next 6 weeks will be leading up to a 3k race, which we are hoping to be able to schedule in at Parliament Hill Track in some shape or form – stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed.

This week’s speed session (or workout of the week), will be a pretty straightforward but challenging one:

5-6 x {800m (at your 5k pace) [400m jog recovery]}. Total of 4000-4800m hard with 2000-2400m recovery

If you don’t feel like measuring out 800m or treking way over to Paddington Recreation ground where the track is still open, then you can either do a time-based option based on what your customized schedule on the website says (preferred option!!) or try the following:

5-6 x {3 min (at your 5k pace) [2 min jog recovery]}. Total of 15-18 min hard with 10-12 min recovery

Get at least a good 10-15 min of easy running before and after the session to warm up and cool down.

Happy Running!

Sarah

 

Week 8: Spring and speed is in the air

Posted on February 21st, 2021 by

You’ve made it to the last week of Part 1 of the Speeding up for Spring Schedule, Chasers. Congrats! What better way to celebrate than a mile time trial?! 😉 (and hopefully some easing of restrictions; fingers crossed for tomorrow). There is still a bit of work to do this week before the time trial though, so let’s get to it!

First up, we have a progression run, which will help you with some eventual longer distances. The total length of the run is 1 hour, broken down as follows:

  •  10 min of easy running to warm up
  •  40 minutes where you progressively get faster every 10 minutes. The guide for the pacing is your estimated marathon pace + 20 sec for the first 10 minutes, and then speed up by 10 sec for each subsequent 10 min. This is assuming you are calculating your pace min minutes/mile! If you’re calculating in min/kilometer, then it’s more like 6 or 7 sec every 10 minutes. This is a guide though; essentially you’ll want to go a bit slower than a steady pace at the beginning and then be going a bit faster than a steady pace by the end. Don’t go crazy, because you’ll need those legs for the mile time trial!
  • 10 min of easy running to cool down

For your usual Thursday speed session, you will be warming up the legs for the mile time trial. It’s just an easy 3 miles run followed by 4 sets of 100m strides at the end to get those legs ticking over.

You can obviously choose to do the mile trial at a time that suits you best, but the schedule is optimized to give you a several days after the progression run of easy running before “race day”. As a reminder, the two “official routes” for the mile are either in Regent’s Park or Victoria Park. See the Strava links below.

  • Regent’s Park – https://www.strava.com/routes/2789261528418718246
  • Victoria Park – https://www.strava.com/routes/2796131768464354712

Good luck with the time trial this week, have fun and run safely! This means being cautious of others as well as warming up and cooling down appropriately.

Part 2 of the Speeding up for Spring Schedule will be posted soon.

Happy Running!

Sarah

 

Week 7: All you need is love…and hills?…and speedwork?

Posted on February 14th, 2021 by

This week you will be using those leftover valentines chocolates and candy to fuel the last set of Kenyan hills and some more mile speedwork…all gearing up for next week’s mile time trial!

First up we have a 2 x 20 minute Kenyan hill session with 3-5 minutes recovery between the sets. This is a tough one, but the prior 10 and 15-minute sessions have laid the groundwork. Again, try to do it on the same hills that you did the prior sessions; it will be the best way to guage your improvement.

For this week’s speedwork, we will be building on the mile-pacing session you did this past week, just adding a bit more distance with fewer reps. After at least a 10 minute warm-up and some drills, the session is:

6-8 x {600m (1 mile pace) [3min rest/recovery]}. Total 3600-4800m

I know 600m can be an awkward distance to measure out, but some of the straightaways in Regent’s Park around the Hub are around the right distance and will give you good pactice for one of our official mile routes for next week! So about that mile … 🙂 There are currently two route options for you to choose from:

  • one in Regent’s Park – https://www.strava.com/routes/2789261528418718246
  • and one in Victoria Park for those located further east – https://www.strava.com/routes/2796131768464354712

Have fun this week – I know I’m looking forward to seeing who tops the leaderboard! Looks like our Chaser ladies are tough to beat.

Happy Running!

Sarah

 

Strava Link-Up and Training Competition

Posted on January 27th, 2021 by

I’ve hooked up the Chasers website to Strava so we can download your training data and use it for club competitions without you having to lift a finger. This has allowed me to put together a leaderboard of the best training sessions this week.

Leaderboard

This screenshot (taken at an opportune moment when I happened to be at the top of the leaderboard) shows you what to expect.

Every run has been given a percentage ranking. A score of 100% means that it matches the handicap we have computed for you (which in turn depends upon your recent best age graded performance and the time elapsed since you achieved it). To be precise, we take the time and distance for your run, use our calculator to compute the equivalent time for a 5K and then take the ratio between this and the 5K time predicted from your handicap as an age graded percentage.

So the ranking shows who has made the best training effort this week taking into account your ability, and how far you ran.

Each run is categorised either as “with recoveries” or a “continuous run”. If the time you spend running is more than 90% of the elapsed time, then it counts as a continuous run. I’ve allowed 10% so that you can cross roads safely, stop for water and so forth without worrying about your ranking.

When computing your performance, it ignores any laps where your pace drops significantly below your fastest pace. This means you can use the interval setting on a Garmin watch, press the lap button at the end of each fast interval, and then use your watch to time your recovery. This gets rid of the annoying problem that you can’t time your recovery laps if you press the stop button. However, if you are doing jog recoveries rather than timed recoveries you should press stop.

As well as the leaderboard, you can view all your recent runs together with their scores. Because of the way we calculate your pace for interval sessions, this is probably more useful information than that displayed by Strava (though I say so myself). You can click through to the full Strava data.

You don’t need a GPS watch to be on Strava. In principle you can enter your own training runs manually. So if you want to take part in the leaderboard and don’t have GPS you can.

This is all part of an evil long term plan of mine to capture all of your data and perform loads of analysis. For example, I hope that in the future we will be able to kick people out of the club who achieve better times than me without even trying. It is possible that we may even be able to do this automatically. For this reason, you can expect more analysis of your data will turn up – this is very much a first draft. Similarly the handicapping system will probably be refined to punish anyone who ever does particularly well and to make sure everyone has a decent chance of topping the leaderboard if they are willing to run till they puke.

Anyway, this brings me to the competition for this week (week ending 31 Jan 2021). This week’s key session is 10-12 times 300m with 100m walk recoveries (at least 50% of the time should be spent recovering so walk slowly). The competition is: who can get the best score for this session. The top 10 will be posted in next week’s newsletter. Note that it doesn’t matter to your score whether it is exactly 300m or whether you do 10-12 reps, so do the number of reps that’s right for you in terms of your training.

 

 

Week 3: The Myth of Kenyan Hills and Practicing Pace

Posted on January 17th, 2021 by

Now that you have a nice little time trial under your belt (or at least some of you do!), we are going to start digging in and working on 2 important elements of any training plan: hill training and pacing.

Let’s start with hills – there are loads in North London! “What if I am planning on running a fast and flat 5 or 10k?”, you ask. “Why should I care about hills?” Well, hill training is also strength training in disguise. Even if your target race is flat, getting in some hills in your runs will strengthen your legs and help with fatigue even over shorter and flatter courses. So, what exactly are Kenyan Hill sessions? Kenyan Hills are interval runs where you run with the same effort up and down the hill. This differs from hill sprints where you sprint up the hill and recover going down. For this week’s session, we will be starting with 2 sets of 10 min. So following a good warm-up of at least 10 minutes, choose your hill (or hills – Primrose is always good to do a figure 8 up and down) and run up and down with consistent effort for 10 minutes. Then recover/rest for 3 minutes. It’s ok if you need a little longer! Then repeat the 10 minutes up and down, and be sure to cool down afterwards. You can then pat yourself on the back, because that is a tough session. If you want to know where the name came from…well…it’s not as obvious as you may think [https://www.traininkenya.com/2020/04/18/myth-busters-kenyan-hills/]

Next up is this week’s speed session where you’re going to need to tune into several different paces. This is good practice for understanding what it feel like to run at different efforts so you can hone into the right pace during a race. The original session is:

4 x {200m (1m pace) 200m (3k pace) 400m (5k pace) 400m (10k pace) [3min rest/recovery]}. Total 4800m

Remember you can always see the approximate times by customizing the schedule and using the pace calculator, but you can also try this time-based variation:

4 x {30s (1m pace) 1min (3k pace) 90s (5k pace) 2min (10k pace) [3min rest/recovery]}. Total 20 min fast running with 12 min recovery

Warning – for some the time-based variation may be a bit tougher!

Happy Running!

Sarah