At the track or on the hills or where you can. Do speedwork at a time that works for you while we are unable to coach track sessions. 

Who is this for?

Runners should have a good base before attempting speedwork.  That means a few months of doing three runs a week (like the club runs). You don’t need to be fast to do the speed sessions, they will help you to improve whatever your level, but your body does need to be used to running.

Any questions ask one of our coaches, Lin Skinner, Lynne Drummond, Chris Axon, Carol Hayes or Chris Dyke in person, on facebook or via cpfunrunners@googlemail.com

Club track sessions

Monday night track sessions at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre are running again.  Please check the schedule to see if track is running, or if it is hills or something else. If track is showing on the schedule then you are very welcome to attend whatever your pace, please do just make sure you have got a good endurance base before starting, which means having run for a few months a few times a week at your own pace. 

Although Crystal Palace Fun Runners makes no charge for attending a track session, Better (who run CPNSC) do charge each person for use of the track. This means that if you are planning to come to track you need to download the better app onto your smartphone, and set up a pay as you go account that allows you to book and pay for a particular timeslot on the app.  For Monday 7pm you book the 7pm slot and that allows you to enter from 6:50 pm onwards. 

Information on the Better App can be found here https://www.better.org.uk/news/download-the-better-uk-app  The best place to direct any questions on this is actually the CPNSC Better reception team, as we don’t have any control over it. However we have negotiated a Monday night discount and if you would like to take advantage of this please email into the club email cpfunrunners@gmail.com with your name, date of birth and the email you used to create your account on the app. We will then pass those details over to Better and they will automate the Monday night club discount on your account.

We currently have 3 training programmes for club members to download and following depending on their goals. You will need to be a club member to access these pages.

Programme 1 – Developing speed endurance and pacing (To run a fast 5k or gradually improve speed over longer distances).

Programme 2 – 10k race cycle: if you’re comfortable running >10k but want to run it faster. 

Programme 3 – To reduce injury risk during a speed or race cycle. Developing strength, flexibility and coordination.

Warming up

It is really important to warm up the body very well before doing speed work. That means getting your body ready to exercise by: 

  1. Raising your pulse (e.g. with a 10-15 min jog)
  2. Mobilising your joints and activating your muscles (e.g. with Dynamic moving stretches and drills)
  3. “Potentiating” – this really means some more explosive movements to really wake your body up on a muscular level (e.g. strides, skips)

Warm ups not only get the body in a state where it is ready to exercise, but also contain the movements you will be practicing in the session so as to prepare your body for using good technique while training. Warm ups are critical for getting the best out of your body and for avoiding injuries to tight muscles.

We’ve included example warm ups in our cycles, but listen to your body, for example if you are an older athlete you might need a bit more easy running or might need to go easy on dynamic stretches.

After your session

Remember to do an easy jog for at least 5 mins, but ideally 10-15mins after your session to gradually bring your heart rate down. It is also a good idea to stretch well. After a hard session you should be doing “maintenance” stretches, to return the muscles to their pre-training length. That means holding the stretches for 10-12 seconds and it should not feel too uncomfortable (a little bit uncomfortable is fine).  

It is wise for runners to also do a weekly developmental stretching session, like pilates or yoga, but if you attempt developmental stretches after running very hard, there is a risk of tearing the muscles. Remember the goal is to bring them back to a pre-training state, not push yourself for more flexibility!

Lastly, eat something sensible as soon as you reasonably can afterwards, your muscles need the fuel to begin the recovery and adaptation cycle so that you can be ready to run again soon!