(scroll down for sample Half Marathon training schedules)
The Road Running group trains every Tuesday and Thursday from 7pm to 8pm. We meet at the Jarman Park athletics track clubhouse from 6.30pm onwards for a 7pm start. There is ample parking at Jarman Park, and runners are able to leave their bags and kit safely in the clubhouse. Showers, tea, coffee, sweets and a friendly chat with fellow runners are all on hand afterwards!
Each club night we offer several different groups, based on speed, training and the number of runners in attendance. In the summer months, we try to stay off-road as much as possible, keeping to the wonderful footpaths and trails of Hemel, Apsley, Kings Langley and Leverstock Green. You’ll be amazed at how many fantastic running routes there are in the area, and how much parkland and countryside we’re able to access, only a mile or two from the clubhouse.
In the winter months, we stick to well-lit roads ands paths, and stay in large groups – safety is paramount. And for fun, we do a head torch run once every month or six weeks, returning to our well-trodden footpaths for a bit of fun. Watch out for the infamous Cow Run – bound to make you run a personal best!
We also train on the track once a month year-round. All our members, from our experienced marathoners to our newest runners, will tell you that these sessions are, for better or for worse, very beneficial to those wanting to improve their stamina, times and style. We also have a lot of fun on these sessions, often doing relays or games to keep us going, and then it’s back to the clubhouse for a cup of tea.
Each session is tailored with all our athletes in mind. A typical Tuesday night, when we do ‘speed training’, may involve either a track session, a hill training session, a parlauf run or timed reps on the canal towpath, for example, and every runner, of all levels, is catered for and looked after. Thursday nights tend to be longer, steady runs: Group 1 will do up to 7-8 miles, at a 6-8 minute/mile pace; Group 2 will do 5-7 miles at 8-9 minute/mile pace; and Group 3 will do up to 6 miles at approximately 9-10 minute miles. Each group has at least one group leader, and no one gets left behind.
Our head coach, John Jales, is highly experienced, having coached dozens of athletes to personal best times over the years. He regularly provides tailored training schedules for our members for any distance, from 5kms to the marathon, and he’s full of advice and running wisdom which we’ve all benefited from over the years.
In addition to training together, we regularly compete in a number of events, ranging from the 15 athletes who ran the Virgin London marathon in 2014 to group weekends away, to run in events such as the gruelling but brilliantly fun Exe to Axe fell running marathon in Devon to the Spitfire Scramble 24-hour marathon relay and the Bournemouth Running Festival. We also get together on a regular basis to run our local Parkrun in St Albans, and for the notorious Ivinghoe Beacon run on weekend mornings.
Come down and try us out – you won’t be disappointed!