The next step after 5k (also known as Improvers) January to April 2019

Have you completed the club beginners’ programme or are otherwise able to run 5k?

Want to maintain your running or even to run further and faster?

Improvers will aim to progress Eagles from running 5.5k to running 10k (or to keep running at around 5 to 7k) and to provide an introduction to hills and speed work.

It is difficult to write a generic training plan because people will have done different amounts of running and have different availabilities. Here are some useful tips

·        Start where you are and increase the amount / intensity of the running gradually.

·        Listen to your body - if you are tired or have a niggle, then rest or reduce the amount of running.

·        If you have time, it is good to progress to running three times a week with a rest day in between.

·        Try to include some strength work - squats, lunges etc  - or other cross-training to reduce the risk of injury – this will be included in the Monday 10am sessions for daytime Improvers while evening Improvers will be offered hill sprints on Wednesdays 16 and 23 January at 7.30pm

·        If you are aiming to increase your distance, the most important training run is the "long run"

o   evening progression using club runs is 6k, 7.5k and then 10k on a Saturday

o   daytime progression using runs around the beginners session on Thursdays at 10am has more flexibility to do a gradual increase

o   guidance for progression is to stay at the 5.5k level for January, increase to 7k at the end of February and progress to 10k around 23 March

·        It is also good to do some sort of speed or hills session - shorter distance but higher intensity.

·        The third run could be parkrun - not as long as your long run but possibly run slightly faster.

·        "Drop-down" weeks in which you reduce the amount of running are a good idea.

·        The list of club training options is precisely that – so don’t try to do everything

o   choose from the available list

o   or do your own thing, on your own or with other people.

·        Daytime runners can do Mon 10am, Thu morning (exact arrangements depending on whether or not you want to be involved with beginners) and parkrun, with the option of a weekend run to try out 10k near the end of the programme

·        Evening runners can do Mon 7.30pm, parkrun and ONE of Wed evening (exact arrangements depending on whether or not you want to be involved with beginners) OR Thursday 7.30pm hills (unfortunately, new Improvers are probably not yet ready to run on two consecutive days so Wed 7.30pm run cannot be combined with Tuesday track or Thursday hills), with the option of a weekend run to try out 10k near the end of the programme

If you’ve already done a few short club runs or parkruns and are free on Wednesday evenings or Thursday mornings, then the combination of beginners and a club or daytime run can also help to extend your distance (evening Improvers will be encouraged to start the beginners + club run combination in February so that they can do hill strides for strength in January).

There will be opportunities to discuss options at workshops after a short club run on Monday 7 January – 10am run for daytime runners (with the workshop at FarmW5 at 11am) and 7.30pm club run for evening runners (with the workshop at the Rose & Crown at 8.30pm for 8.45pm). If you can’t make those times or have questions during the programme, please feel free to chat to Wei Hei or other Improvers (past and present) in facebook, at club socials or by email to

Daytime Improver sessions will be on Mondays at 10am (apart from Mondays 18 and 25 February) with a mixture of hills and track (exact arrangements will depend on forecast as it can be frosty at 10am). There will also be options to do another run on Thursdays.

Specific evening Improver sessions will be hill strides on Wednesdays 16 and 23 January at 7.30pm. Because there are so many evening sessions organised for the whole club, there are fewer sessions organised specifically for Improvers.

The target for both daytime and evening Improvers will be to achieve 10k by Saturdays 23 March or 6 April so that you are in a good position to run Ealing Eagles 10k on Saturday 11 May or Osterley 10k on Saturday 15 June  

If you are on facebook and want a forum to discuss topics at a suitable level for you, from training plans to diet, from strategy to the best clothing and also to arrange training runs with others, please join the Improvers facebook group