7 posts

Voice of the runner: what you want from your club

Thanks to everybody that took the time to complete our recent members survey.  Our original plan was to get this summary out to you in the very next Relay, but with everything turned upside down that clearly hasn’t happened.

But even though we can’t meet and train together right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t plan for all the amazing stuff we’re going to do together once’ we’re through this.

What we need more than ever right now is positivity, and you delivered in your droves with the amazing and constructive suggestions you gave us.

Overall, I think it’s fair to say we are diverse bunch of runners, but what ties us all together is a love of running and a desire to retain the heart and soul of what makes us Romsey Road Runners. The challenge for the committee and session leaders comes from the fact we have members on both ends of a number of spectrums:

  • Some want shorter session, others want longer ones
  • Some want more change and variety, others want consistency and familiarity
  • Some want more fun and social running, others want focus and structure

The secret will be in trying to offer choice, whilst not fundamentally changing the nature of the club – a challenge we accept!!

Training: When it comes to Mon and Thu training the preference is, just marginally, to try and keep to these two days but offer more variety of session types.

In terms of the types of new sessions we could add they all seemed popular; but strength & conditioning, winter-track, coached sessions and cross-country come out top.

Looking for quick wins we are planning to some new session types, when we are able.  As ever we encourage you to give them a go and provide feedback:

  • A return to meeting at Woodley Hall for Mon Braishfield sessions now we can run out on the new pathway
  • An optional cross-county training session every other week run alongside regular sessions, led by James Battle and Steve Geary.
  • A 10-week strength and conditioning course led by Becky Tovey
  • And for later this year/early next year some structured training programmes for particular races/distances led by coaches Becky and Ian

Social: The clear theme around social events was for us to just try some different things and a larger number of smaller events throughout the year.  Lee & Steve has some great ideas, including combining the cross-country sessions with some social elements in the summer – look out for the run/pizza/beer combo!

Relay: Whilst Relay is clearly loved, a number of you raised the issue of going digital and asking if there was a more modern way to share news from across the club.  Well, they do say that necessity is the mother of invention and the new blog that has evolved over the past few weeks is evidence of that.  And we are already trying to accommodate some of your suggestion for content; recipes, book/podcast reviews and a focus on a wider range of distances and event types, etc.  I am sure Relay will be back before too long, but maybe in a slightly different format??

Kit: It would seem that on the whole you are happy with the kit offered by the club, but Tam is going to look into options for some sort of zipped/hooded top to be worn over our running kit for travelling to and from training and races.  We also loved the idea of a sew/iron on badge so we could customise our own pieces of kit.

Couch to 5k – Romsey Get Running!

Our 2019 Couch to 5km (C25K) programme will be starting on April 30th at 6.30pm at Hunts Farm Sports Centre, Timsbury.

The link to the main registration website is here: RunTogetherRomsey

More info:

If you’re looking to start running, or have been a runner in the past and would like to get back to it, this is the programme for you.

In 10 weeks we aim to get you from alternating running and walking for 20 minutes to being able to run 5km! You will get a technical T-shirt and course completion certificate at the end.

Course leaders and programme

The Romsey Couch to 5k course has been set up by Romsey Road Runners and is run by England Athletics LiRF certified session leaders to guide, support and encourage the group.

We will follow a tried and tested C25K training programme designed to take you from non-runner to 5k runner in ten weeks. The first session starts with alternating 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes, gradually increasing the running element over the ten weeks.

Each session includes a guided warm up at the start and cool down at the end.

Our final session will be at 9.00 on a Saturday at a parkrun (exact location to be confirmed) to celebrate your achievement.


To cover the cost of the venue hire, T-shirt and contribute to session leader training we ask you for a £30 contribution.

A few tips

Please factor in the need to run twice a week on your own or with friends in addition to the Tuesday guided sessions to get the most out of the programme. Everyone taking part will be given instructions on how to do this at the first session.

We strongly encourage you to sign up for all ten sessions at the outset. This will help you stay motivated and maintain the focus and determination necessary to complete the course.

Please come wearing trainers and a t-shirt, tracksuit bottoms/ shorts/ leggings and bring a jacket in case of bad weather. It’s also a good idea to bring some water to drink after the session.

More info

For more info and to book, please visit RunTogetherRomsey, or contact us using the form below:

    Coach Nick and the EA Club Run

    A big thank you to all of you that came and got involved in our recent flying visits from (top coach) Nick Anderson through England Athletics’ Club Run initiative. For those attending I’m sure you’ll agree it gave us lots to think about, provided three thoroughly enjoyable club nights and has left us pointing onwards and upwards as runners as well as a club as a whole.

    So what’s the EA Club Run all about?

    EA have a clear goal in mind with their Club Run initiative…

    “The England Athletics’ Club Run programme is a free initiative specifically aimed at supporting road running clubs to support runners, leaders and coaches in working towards improved performance at a specific event or race distance. Since launching two years ago the programme has supported over 100 clubs up and down the country involving over 5,000 club runners, over 800 club leaders and coaches and a team of around 40 experienced coach deliverers”.

    And you can now add Romsey Road Runners to this list!

    What did we do with our three sessions?

    For those that weren’t there, Nick ran three sessions for us across February and March. Session one was a threshold session round Abbotswood estate with warm-up and form drills followed by 5 x 5-min intervals run at ‘3-word conversational’ pace. The aim being to train the body at the zone at which we should be able to sustain our speed over a reasonable distance/time. Nick talked to us about the importance of doing these sorts of sessions on a regular basis to get our bodies used to working in this zone and, over time, being able to run quicker without running harder.

    The second session was focused at VO2-max, or that pace above our Threshold where we can no longer hold any sort of conversation, and should be out of breath at the end of it. This took the form of 6 x 3-minute efforts; 90s out along one of the Abbotswood paths and 90s back, with a relatively short recovery. Those in attendance on a cold Feb evening can testify to the steam coming off all our bodies, proving just how much harder we were working than the previous session. Nick positioned this sort of session as ‘the icing on the cake’ that should be done as we get closer to race day for those key 5km, 10km, RR10 and CC6 races.

    The third and final session was a talk at Woodley Hall from Nick about the importance of the three key elements of performance running – TRAINING, RECOVERY and NUTRITION. Over the course of 2.5 hours (and a lot of pizza) Nick took us through his theories on these three elements, backing them up with personal experiences as well as data and case studies. I for one went home with my head swimming with information that I am already beginning to make sense of and think about how I can apply it to my own training.

    Really positive feedback

    Thanks to all of you who provided feedback following these sessions. Here are just a few of the positive things you had to say:

    “(Nick) was really engaging and authoritative, and gave us loads to think about.  I’m really looking forward to adjusting the way we run sessions to benefit from what we’ve learned.”

    “A very inspirational talk from Nick once again… I think the whole 3 sessions from Nick has been a good turning point for the club.”

    “(Nick) has a great ability to enthuse and inform people in a way that makes sense and is easy to follow.”

    “This was a brilliant set of sessions and we have all benefited so much from Nick’s expertise and dedication.”

    So what are we going to do now?

    As the EA mission for these club runs explains, the aim is not only to inform and assist runners but to up-skill run leaders amongst the clubs. And your very own session leader team have already met to discuss how we might be able to apply some of these principles Nick has brought to us in our own training, as well as build in the great feedback many of you have sent us since these visits started.

    Our Spring training schedule will be out soon and hopefully you will this come to bear. But we are very aware that whenever you try anything new, some things will work and some might not, so please let us know what you think and if necessary we can try something different next time.

    And a big thank you to everybody who made this happen; Karen for kick-starting the whole thing, Becky for writing our application, the session leaders for helping to plan and of course Mark and Liz for sorting out the pizzas.

    Here’s to even better training, recovery and nutrition for us all…

    England Athletics: Coached Sessions

    We are proud to have been selected by England Athletics for a series of FREE sessions with a leading endurance running coach; Nick Anderson.

    Nick is the national marathon lead and regional endurance lead for England Athletics, as well as a part of the Winchester & District A/C. So both experienced and local!

    Nick will host three sessions during Feb and Mar, each of which can be booked (for free!!) using the links below. The focus will be on preparing for the spring 10km races (e.g. Eastleigh) but will be relevant for all distance training.

    You don’t have to make it to all three, but we encourage you to try as Nick will link each one to the other as he guides us through the why, how and progression of a structured training programme.

    Each of the first two sessions will consist of both a full training session as well as a Q&A session with Nick back at Woodley Hall afterwards.

    The third session will be a talk from Nick on endurance training, with an opportunity for us to probe Nick with all those questions we’ve always wanted to ask. Food will be provided to make this a truly fun & social (as well as educational) evening.

    So, what are you waiting for?  Click on the links below to find out more about each of the three sessions and sign-up!

    1. First session: running economy (threshold)Mon 4 Feb @ 18:30 
    2. Second session: aerobic endurance (VO2 max)Mon 18 Feb @ 18:30 
    3. Third session: A theory talk on training, nutrition & recoveryMon 4 Mar @ 18:30 

    Please do book your attendance so we have an idea of numbers and can make appropriate arrangement for the venue, session leader support and refreshments.

    Message from the Session Leaders

    Just a reminder from the session leaders that it may be necessary, from time to time, to make late changes to the advertised training session. This is usually for safety reasons – a recent example of this was changing the Industrial Estate session following the opening of the new climbing wall. Our usual congregation point for this session is now a car park.

    While changes are rare, they are more likely to happen in winter months so please be aware of this if you are planning to join the group at the session itself (rather than at Woodley Hall or the Sports Centre).