Winter training

Sep/Oct to end Mar

[Check at Club for exact dates]


Tuesday training

All Groups
Meet at 6:45pm at Victoria Park Track (for the whole of Sep & Oct).


Thursday training
Meet at 6:45pm at Birchwood Community High School.

Muster run along pavements
   on local roads with street
   lighting (6-7 miles).
• Shorter runs for beginners.


Saturday training
Cross Country sessions

• At Birchwood Forest
   Park, meet at the Ranger
   Centre at 9:15am.
• Sessions are agreed on the
   day and without formal
   coaching supervision
• Sessions are varied to suit all
   club members who turn up.
• Sessions last about 1 hour
   including warm up
   & cool down.


Sunday training
Please check at the club on Thursdays to confirm times / details.

• Long run (10-15 miles) for
   medium paced runners: 9am
   from Grappenhall. Sometimes
   longer for marathon training.
• Fast paced run (5-15 miles):
   usually 8am from Padgate.

Training with us

There is a wide variety of training activity within the club and a wide range of coaching capability.  Most of our coaches are UK Athletics (UKA) level 2 or above and have many years of coaching experience between them.  Sessions are seasonal and mainly focussed on races coming up in the club race calendar.

There are primarily 3 different coaching groups and these are based on athlete capability.  Athletes can move between groups as they feel or as ability improves.  Coaches will advise on the most suitable group if an individual is unsure which group they ought to be training with.

The 3 main groups are split based on approximate times for either 5k, 10k or half marathon as detailed below:

 Group5k 10k Half Marathon 
 Yellow
 < 16 mins – 22 mins < 33 mins – 44 mins < 1:09 – 1:34
 Red  21 mins – 28 mins 42 mins – 55 mins 1:29 – 1:55
 Blue 27 mins – over 30 mins 54 mins –  over 65 mins 1:53 – over 2:00

Click on the group name for more details of group training sessions.

For our regular club training runs, we meet twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday year round, meet time 6:45pm.  Sessions vary according to the time of year, winter (Sep-Mar) and summer (Mar-Sep).

We meet either at Birchwood Community High School or at Victoria Park Running Track (occasionally elsewhere if the track is needed for a special event - details will be posted in the "Latest news" on the front page of this web site).  The specific dates for changing over between summer and winter sessions will also be posted on this web site.


Tuesday training

Tuesday training is usually focussed on speed and strength.  This can be core, sprint reps, lactate threshold, hill work or a combination of these.

For Tuesday training, meet either:

  • at 6:45pm at Birchwood Community High School or...
  • at Victoria Park track depending on the time of year

Check with coaches or any committee member for the latest information.

Thursday training

Thursday nights are when all 3 training groups combine to run what is called the "muster", a run of about 7 miles.  There are markers at even stages along the route where we regroup to avoid the group becoming too spaced out, so the faster runners do more distance than the slower runners.  There is also a shorter muster for runners if required and this is tailored to suit the runners involved.

For Thursday training, everyone meets at 6:45pm at Birchwood Community High School.

Important note for Winter training

Wear reflective clothingPlease note:  It is compulsory to wear a light coloured top or (preferably) a proper reflective bib or jacket after dark for winter road training with Spectrum Striders, otherwise you will not be allowed to run with the group.
This is for obvious safety reasons - you know it makes sense!  Please note that black clothing with a few limited reflective stripes is not acceptable.  The Kit Secretary has stocks of reflective bibs for sale at very reasonable prices. Alternatively each coach has a small selection.

Weekend training

In addition to our regular midweek sessions, there are also usually informal sessions on many Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year depending on racing commitments.

Cross Country Training - Saturdays

Cross country training starts a few weeks before the cross country season, usually in early October.  It carries on each Saturday until the last cross country race which is usually end Feb/early Mar.

We meet at 9:15am at the Birchwood Forest Park Ranger Centre car park and the session lasts about an hour.  Sessions are suitable for all abilities.  If it's not too wet, you could probably manage with trail shoes in the first few weeks.  As it gets wetter, fell shoes or cross country spikes will be needed.

Cross Country Training - Sundays - trial

For those who want to do cross country training but can't make Saturday morning, Andy Gaskell is running a Sunday morning session.  This is on a trial basis for now to see how it works - first session on Sunday 18-Oct-2015.  Same arrangements as for Saturday.


Spring Training Initiative

For some years now, the Club has organised a Spring Training group.  This is designed for complete beginners and for runners returning after a long period out of action.

Qualified coaches will help you prepare to run a 5k race during the summer.

Click here to find out more about the Spring Training Initiative.

Summer training

1-Apr to Sep/Oct

[Check at Club for exact dates]


Tuesday training

All Groups

Meet at 6:45pm at Victoria Park track
(for whole of Sep & Oct)


Thursday training
Meet at 6:45pm at Birchwood Community High School

Muster run along traffic-free
   paths in Birchwood Forest
   Park and Pestfurlong Hill
   (7 miles).
• Shorter runs for beginners


Saturday training
Track sessions at Victoria Park, usually 9:30am, occasionally 4pm (check at the club on Thursdays to confirm times / details).

• Sessions are agreed on the
  day and without formal
  coaching supervision.
• Popular with the fastest and
   slowest groups, but sessions
   can be varied to suit all club
   members who turn up.


Sunday training
Please check at the club on Thursdays to confirm times / details.

• Long run (10-15 miles) for
   medium paced runners: 9am
   from Grappenhall. Sometimes
   longer for marathon training.
• Fast paced run (5-15 miles):
   usually 8am from Padgate.