BY MATT KEOGH

Staying On Track…

Another rep squeezed out, heart now pounding, lungs bursting, legs screaming, hands resting on the knees, trying to inhale air like its soup. “TIME” shouts coach. Surely not already?

How can you get the most out of your running?

Another rep squeezed out, heart now pounding, lungs bursting, legs screaming, hands resting on the knees, trying to inhale air like its soup. “TIME” shouts coach. Surely not already? I can’t do another 400. Whistle goes, off we go again, high on the toes, hanging on for dear life to the heals in front, this is hideous, through the line and the last rep done. Collapse to the floor, contemplate life, try and keep your lunch down and vow to never do this again. Then, 5 minutes later… “See you same time next week!"

A pretty accurate description of a normal Tuesday evening at the track with Belgrave Harriers. You might wonder what keeps you coming back for more, but the list of benefits is endless and I’ll touch upon a couple below –


Nothing drives performance more than training in a group with athletes better than you. I have been lucky enough to train with other Belgrave Harrier members such as Nick Goolab, previous British 5K record holder on the road and personal bests of 13:27 (5,000m) and 28:20 (10,000m). Being on the same track as athletes quicker than you only improves and drives you more. An example of this comes in one memorably horrific session of 12x400m, 90 seconds rest (or 90 seconds lying on the floor in my case). If I was doing this session solo, then I would be pleased to consistently hit 70 seconds a lap, but chuck me in a group of other athletes, and my average is 65 seconds. Holding onto the heels in front really squeezes every ounce of effort out of you. From a mental point of view, just completing a session like this, in good company, with good athletes, boosts your confidence massively! Plus, we can all be quite competitive…

Group training also gives you the opportunity to have a session away from your watch. We triathletes are sticklers for staring at our watches, either during a rep or a rest interval. However, having a coach on the stopwatch timing reps and rests, leaves you to put maximum effort into pounding around the track with the hope of matching the style and grace of Kipchoge!


Now that I have made it all sound so appealing, do join in with the weekly track sessions at the Farm Club every Tuesday at 6pm, where you can train with a quality group and follow the lead of the coach.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer 1:2:1 coaching approach, then many of our coaches will always put an interval session in the plans of the athletes. For me as a coach, I will try and attend these sessions with a group of my athletes as much as possible, to look after the clock and let them focus on the intervals.

Finally, if the above has scared you then remember “All progress takes place outside the comfort zone”.


Written by Matt Keogh.

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