New members are always welcome, and we encourage you to come along to try a couple of sessions before committing.
Where and when
Our regular sessions start from Brackenbury Sports Centre in Felixstowe on a Tuesday evening at 18:45.
We congregate on the tennis courts and you will usually find people warming up with laps of the courts beforehand. The session starts at 18:45, so best to get there 10 minutes or so before that.
As a new member, please make yourself known to the leader in charge of the session (if it’s not obvious who is in charge, just ask another runner) – they will give you a briefing, or may direct you to an assistant to brief you. They may also pair you up with another runner to ensure you feel comfortable throughout the session.
As we train on the road, throughout the winter months we insist on participants wearing highly visible clothing – if you turn up in black, you will be not be allowed to take part. At a minimum this means a brightly-coloured T-shirt, but something reflective is preferred. If it’s a cold evening, dress appropriately – there’s generally somewhere you can leave jackets at the session base, but remember that these need to be highly visible for the runs to & from that location.
What to expect
These sessions are generally interval-based, so hard effort followed by a recovery and repeated. This is the best way to improve your running ability and boost both speed and endurance. The sessions are arranged such that faster runners do more repeats than slower runners, so everyone benefits the same irrespective of ability.
Generally we have a short briefing on the tennis courts, followed by some warmup exercises/drills and a gentle run to the session location (which varies each week). The core of the session tends to be 2 or 3 variations from the same location, so you do an activity for 15 minutes and then change to the next one (this bit varies a lot though). We then jog back to Brackenbury and do some cool-down stretches in a group.
Total mileage for a training session will vary between around 3½ to 7½ miles, depending on individual’s speed and the nature of the session (5-6 miles is most common).
We don’t specify a minimum ability as such, but participants are expected to be able to run to/from the session location without much difficulty – this is normally up to 1 mile away at a pace around 10-12 minutes/mile (faster runners loop back or chat amongst themselves and there’s always a dedicated tail-runner so nobody is left behind). We don’t have the coaching capacity to accommodate absolute beginners in these sessions, but anyone who runs recreationally should be OK.
Our members will generally run 5k (3.1 miles) in anything between 17 minutes and 40 minutes, so that defines the range of speeds that we cater for.
We permit 2 trial sessions, but if you wish to continue training with us you will then need to become a member. Membership is detailed on the membership page, but please note that the membership year runs from 1st March – anyone joining in January may feel short-changed when asked to renew in March! We will generally hold applications in February and not register you with UKA (the governing body) until the next membership year.