Endurance track training for under-15s, seniors and veterans.

In this group, the level of ability is not important but a positive attitude towards training and competition is expected. The group consists mainly of athletes in the under-15 age group and upwards and includes seniors and veterans. The younger athletes will normally have already had some background training, either via the club’s fundamentals and transition group system, or in other athletics clubs or other suitable sporting disciplines.

Some athletes in the under-13 age group also work with us on a part time basis, usually once per week or once every two weeks. These will be in School Years 6 and 7 and generally will have already competed regularly for the club in cross country or in distance events on the track. These athletes would normally spend any other club sessions doing general development work, because it is unwise to specialise too much at this stage. Some specialist endurance sessions might not be suitable for new athletes or younger members of the group, and in such cases, they would do general development and conditioning work instead.

When and where

The endurance group trains outdoors throughout the year. Sessions are held at Tilsley Park track on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and vary considerably so as to cover the different requirements of competitive distance running (sustained speed, stamina, all-round strength endurance etc).

We make use of the track and the surrounding grass areas. In winter, some sessions take place out on the nearby cycleway (with safety being of paramount importance), switching to the local countryside in summer. Athletes are expected to begin their own warm up with gentle jogging, to be finished by about 6.50pm.

Mobility and drills are then done together and the main session starts shortly after 7pm. We also offer an optional, more extensive session of drills, led by Sarah Davey. This takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning at 6.30pm and finishing in time for athletes to join the main session. Cool-down is normally over by about 8pm.

During the winter, depending on the competition schedule, cross country training takes place on Saturday mornings, usually at either Ardington woodland, near Wantage or Wittenham Clumps near Didcot. Whatever the venue, sessions start promptly at 9am and are normally over by 10.10am. As with all sessions, attendance is not compulsory.

The coaching team

The group contains a wide range of ages, training backgrounds and event preferences. Sessions may involve more than 30 athletes and are carefully planned so that each athlete gets training that is effective for them. We may split into subgroups for all or part of a session.

We manage the programme by having a flexible coaching team, all of whom have extensive experience in competitive distance running.

The team is as follows:

  • Bernard Wilkins (UK Athletics accredited Level 3 performance coach)
  • Sarah Davey (Level 3)
  • Liz Purbrick (Level 3)
  • Jon Bones (Leader in Running Fitness)
  • Sarah Lackman (Assistant Coach)
  • Gina Lodowski (Level 1)
  • Phil Egerton.