Improvers or the next step after 5k

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 aims 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 have been doing some strength work at their 6.30pm Lammas intervals.

·        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, perhaps 5miles and then 10k at the weekend

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

·        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.

·        Thursday beginner graduates can also do Mon or Tue 7.30pm, Thu 10am (or thereabouts) and parkrun

·        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 Lammas intervals (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)

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

Possible targets for both daytime and evening Improvers, depending on your current level of endurance are:

·       Ealing Eagles 10k on Saturday 11 May

·       Dulwich summer league (5miles) on Sunday 2 June

·       Osterley 10k on Saturday 15 June  

·       Harrow summer league (5miles or 10k tbc) on Sunday 23 June

·       Perivale summer league (5miles) on Sunday 30 June

·       Regents Park summer league (10k) on Sunday 21 July

·       Wedding Day 7k on Friday 26 July (evening race)

·       Battersea summer league (10k) on Sunday 4 August

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