Club Run is England Athletics’ programme aimed at road running and off-track running club. It is a free offer for affiliated running club and supported nationwide by a pool of specialist endurance coaches. A Club Run coach will work together with participating clubs and deliver three coached sessions within the club’s familiar environment. Club Run is not just for runners. Coaches and Leaders in Running Fitness within the clubs will be supported and join in delivering the coached Club Run sessions. Club Run coaches provide best practice, assurance and clarify questions. Since the launch in 2016, more than 100 affiliated England Athletics clubs have taken up a Club Run with more than 5000 runners benefiting from coached running sessions.

One of the clubs applied for the 2019 England Athletics Club Run was Ealing, Southall & Middlesex AC (aka ESM). ESM is a sociable, friendly, community-based club open to everyone located in Ealing, West London. The club offers road running and senior and junior track & field athletics to suit all abilities, from beginner to seasoned regular.

While the club has already a healthy athletics section, the road runners welcomed additional coaching support. Ealing’s road running section consists of 150 England Athletics affiliated runners, qualified coaches and run leaders. ”The Club Run sessions has given us an outside-in view and has assured us that we provide the right training platform for our members.”, said Ealing Membership Secretary Fiona Kennedy. Endurance Running coach Urban Bettag delivered three coached sessions and a training seminar for athletes, coaches, run leaders and officials. Over three months, three coached sessions were scheduled at Ealing’s training base in Perivale, West London. During the first session, using a loop course around Perivale Park athletes practised pacing and establish their training paces. ”It was a pleasure delivering the Club Run programme to Ealing, Southall & Middlesex. It was great to see all ages, abilities and aspirations coming together and enjoy training on a warm summer evening.”, says Coach Urban Bettag. The subsequent sessions built on the structure of the first session and were performed on the Perivale Track. With the club’s focus on the Summer 10k Series, the volume of work was slightly increased, though paces have been aligned towards the 10k. Road running coach Lynn Wilson summarised, ”I did enjoy participating in the sessions and liked the variation of reps on offer, together with the structure of the evenings. It was good to get everyone working together on those drills and the group stretching worked out well and gave us a chance to ask questions and reflect on the workout”.

During the training seminar, Coach Urban Bettag guided training progressions and adopted a long-term plan supporting seasonal and annual club targets. ”Often, runners adopt a more tactical approach and train for the next weekend race only. During the seminar we took a step back, looked at the performance demands of the 10k event in a broader context and explored what opportunities clubs have to tailor their training to help athletes peak.”, said Coach Urban.

Most of the road runners took part in the Summer League 10k Series and saw the Club Run initiative as an opportunity to sharpen up. The sessions have been attended on average by 30 athletes at all ability levels. The main 10k specific workout was tailored based on ability level. With a group warm-up and stretching component, the Ealing road runners had the opportunity to give feedback and ask questions at the end of the session.

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