October 4


What to do if your Group’s Target Speed is Too Slow?

By Conor Graham

October 4, 2017

If you’re running in a Speed Group with Cheltenham Running Club you may find yourself in a speed group which simply feels too slow to provide the workout you want.

The solution is NEVER to gradually run faster without any communication of your decision to do so. This is the most common cause of disharmony in a group as it encourages others to try and keep up, sabotaging their planned workout and potentially the structure of their training week. Those who cannot keep up quickly become disheartened and end up having to run slower than they would if they’d stuck to the group’s agreed target speed.

If you haven’t been running with us for many weeks then you may still be figuring out which speed group is best for your ability. In this case, your safest option is to stay with the group, chat to the members and enjoy an easy run.

If you’ve completely underestimated your ability or miscalculated the group’s target speed and need to run faster to stay sane then you have some other options.

If you can see the faster group ahead then tell someone in your group that you’re going to run up to the next group. Ideally you’ll have seen or taken a copy of the map to avoid taking a wrong turn, should that group go out of sight. This is something we suggest everyone do regardless of whether they expect to stay with the group.

At the end of the run ask the head coach or senior club members about the speed of the next group up.

Chances are that you’ll be able to keep up with them fine if you found the latest run a 5 out of 10 or below in intensity. If you don’t think you’re ready to move up an entire group then have a chat to the head coach or senior members about whether there is a “Half Group” you could run with the following week. We often set these groups up when we have multiple runners feeling like they’re in between groups.

There are no dedicated maps for Half Groups so the idea is to use the map from the group below but add on a small detour so that your run works out the same time as everyone else.

When you have found or created a group which provides an intensity of 7-9 out of 10 intensity by the end of the run, your best option is to stay with that group’s target speed at all costs. If that speed is every too hard, especially when the duration or distance increases, then your decision to change groups was a mistake.

Our 10 Week Progressive Programme is setup to develop your fitness with runs which either increase in duration, or drop back in duration. The point of the drop back is to provide an easier run. One which encourages your body to repair from previous weeks and prepare for the next two runs which will increase in duration or distance.


Conor Graham

About the author

Conor is the Head Coach and Founder of Cheltenham Running and Walking Club.

His experience as a Strength & Conditioning Coach, Triathlete and Personal Trainer ensure members are educated on best practice in regards to training progression while also nurtured through the early stages of fitness development.

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