Leicestershire clubs and running groups get together


The first Leicestershire clubs and running groups get together which was held on recently at the Hallgates end of Bradgate Park in Cropston  was literally a” runaway success” with an estimated 200 runners from across the county attending.

Representatives from many clubs, some of which  had cancelled their regular training night to attend, took up the opportunity of mixing with fellow runners and no doubt to exchange ideas and anecdotes about races they had run and the training that they do.

Following a mass warmup which took place encircling the car park, runners were then allocated into pace groups which in turn were then split into smaller groups, each with a leader, and proceeded to go off for an hour’s run and experiencing the delights of an unusually warm and sunny summer's evening around Bradgate Park.

For those that wanted something a little different than just going for a run there was a coached hill session taking place which formed the athlete and coach development part of the evening. This session attracted around 40 runners ranging in ability from a former international athlete, top-quality club runners, beginner runners and all ability ranges in between.

The session looked at the various types of hill training that  might be done at particular times of the year to fit in with peaking for a particular event or period of the year.  The session started with looking at strength drills running up a fairly steep hill then moved to another hill close by to demonstrate how the different energy systems are used by doing different types of hill using various gradients, distances, and speeds. The session then concluded by utilising some slight inclines to show how out and speed-work can still be combined with strength work using the hill, the group also experienced a short spell of practising running downhill as well as this is often seriously neglected part of training.

John Skevington, the Network coach and coordinator who had arranged the evening, commented, "When the Network was founded five years ago our objectives were very much to bring clubs together and to work together - this is something that we have achieved over time and this new type of event is very much the next step forward in this process. As part of our support for the local running community we are involved in many of the less exciting tasks such as chip timing at racing and helping to arrange traffic closure orders for road running races in the county. This support, we believe, helps to maintain the vibrant running scene that we have here in the county which is the envy of many other counties.

John continued, "I was absolutely thrilled by the number of people that turned up for the event and  session and the support that clubs gave in making it happen.The more that we get to know each other as runners and clubs and the closer links that we can form between ourselves can only ensure a stronger sport and great foundation for progressing  runners across the county."  He also went on to add, "As a coach I have led many warm-ups but tonight was a truly inspiring experience warming up around 200 people at the same time!"

Feedback from the evening has been extremely positive and there have been many requests for a repeat of the occasion, unfortunately the darker evenings will not allow this to happen on a weeknight however there are plans afoot to bring together a Sunday morning session before the end of the year. The network is certainly looking at programming in several more of these activities during 2016.

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