Some changes for the Road Runners

Pontyclun Road Runners is first and foremost a community running club, established to promote running for residents of Pontyclun and the surrounding villages and help people get the most from the sport, whether that is pushing yourself to run that bit further or faster, or finding a like-minded group of people to run with and having a laugh. In the past 18 months the group has expanded beyond all expectations, and we are keen to look at what the Road Runners offers its members and ensure that we continue to provide the best service we can.

Following our meeting last week, the run leaders have decided that we need to introduce some changes which will improve your experience and allow us to make use of our available resources. These changes are detailed below and will come into effect the week commencing 15th July.

Runner to Run Leader ratio:

In future, all runs will operate a to the Welsh Athletics rule rule of a minimum of 1 run leader for every 12 runners. By doing this, you and the run leaders will all be covered by insurance.

Events:

The weekly roster of runs will be posted every Sunday evening both to the Facebook group and to the website. This will be a normal post to the page. Facebook ‘events’ will only be used to advertise social events and organised races that we think may of interest to the Road Runners for example the Cardiff Half Marathon, a special Parkrun or local race (e.g. Pentyrch Hill). These will be posted by run leaders. If non-run leaders want an event posted, please contact one of the above and ask them to list the event. If you want to flag up that you are going for a run and want to invite others to join you, please just post this as a normal message.

We will be reducing the number of weekly organised runs. This has been a tough call to make, but we don’t have the number of people available to keep posting 6 runs each week and ensure we have sufficient run leaders. We’ve also noticed some misconceptions creeping in, such as “6pm runs are only for fast runners”. Additionally the administrative overhead is too great for a group which doesn’t have the formal structure of most fee-paying running clubs.

From 15th July we will have the following:

  • Tuesday 7pm – miles/effort session, rotated each week
  • Wednesday 6:15pm – regular 5k run
  • Thursday 6pm – effort/miles session, rotated each week
  • Sunday – long run

What does this mean?

Miles Session – This will be a run on a planned route, usually of between 5 and 8km. There will generally be at least 3 run leaders in attendance – one to lead the session, one to run at the tail, and one to run at a middling pace as required by the group. All runners who can run at least 5km (irrespective of speed!) will be able to attend these events. We operate a rule that no-one is left behind to run on their own, and run leaders will always be happy to tailor an event to suit the runners who attend.

Effort Session – This will be a training session to help develop running skills. This may take a variety of formats; hill sessions, interval training, fartlek, etc. Again, all runners will be able to attend these events – they will be implemented so as to help you improve your skills, we’re not trying to find the next Usain Bolt or Mo Farah here! Everyone can and does benefit from these sort of events, irrespective of their current level.

Regular 5k Run – Also known as the ‘Wednesday Womble’ and usually led by Kay Lawless, this run has regular summer and winter routes. This event is also open to runners of all abilities. Note however that this is not a ‘couch to 5k’ session – the Road Runners will periodically organise such training sessions and advertise them separately.

Long Run – Organised slightly apart from the weekday runs, these sessions will usually be at least 10k/6 miles or longer and are geared towards those looking to push themselves a little further. Sunday runs are to help people run longer and are ideal for anyone looking to complete a half marathon (or further). Once again however, pace is not an issue! These runs are specifically to help people develop their distance running skills and will often be deliberately paced relatively slowly.

All of our regular run routes will have maps/directions etc prepared. These will be available for download in the Facebook group and on the website. We would ask runners to make sure they familiarise themselves with a route before turning up on the night. This becomes particularly important during the winter months, as we don’t want runners making wrong turnings and losing the rest of the group.

In addition we will periodically organise specific training sessions. I’ve mentioned the ‘couch to 5k’ above. Vicky is going to be organising a series of training events for those new to half marathon distance ahead of the Cardiff Half. These will generally be over and above the standing events listed, but sometimes we’ll bring the two together where it makes sense.

If anyone has any questions regarding these changes, please feel free to post a comment to this message, or chat with a run leader at the next run.

Thanks, your run leaders:

Becky Brumbill
Steve Burrell
Christophe Chambost
Mike Donnelly
Neil Jones
Kay Lawless
Jo Marshall
Vicky Mead
Kate Mortimer-Jones
Steve Paskell

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