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The Marathon Training Camp – Part 2 Saturday

So at the end of February our annual ‘weekend away’ took place and this year the emphasis was on long distance and marathon training. I thought I’d write a review of the weekend, given that I organised it and everything (not biased). The review is split into 3 – so this is 2/3 (Saturday)

Saturday 27 February

I woke early and remembered I was organising this thing and should probably get up. The kitchen was already a hive of activity with a rather enterprising tea refilling system in place that meant the pot was always full. Wonderful.

First on the schedule was an easy club run. Everyone got kitted up and we were joined by a few of the ‘day trippers’ who were just attending for Saturday’s fun and games.

Streatley is perfectly located at a crossing between the Thames Path and The Ridgeway – giving countless opportunities for off road runs in almost all directions. With this in mind we set off on the 5-6 mile route that we have done every year for as long as I have been attending! The morning was absolutely perfect for running. Sunshine, a light breeze and lots of people! There was lots of happy chatter and the group kept together – despite a huge range in abilities. We couldn’t resist stopping for this great picture at the top of a (small) hill.


Extended breakfast was enjoyed after the run before our highlight of the schedule – the three expert workshops.

The first workshop was given by Debbie Coughlin of Performance Sport and Nutrition, who spoke about proper fuelling and the importance of maintaining a good diet. A lot of questions from the group were about the best type of fuels to use during a long distance race – the answer is that you have to try different things before the big day and find out what works for you.  However, most people seemed to take away the message that supermarket own-brand chocolate milk is perfect as a recovery drink. I don’t know why this stuck more than the stuff about balancing cakes with veg…

The second workshop was given by Ben Barwick of Full Potential [Click here]. I sadly missed most of it because I was helping to make lunch, but I managed to catch Ben’s summary – always make sure you know why you are going out for a run – whether it’s a particular session or just for a social chat and make sure you mix up your training and paces (there was a bit more to it than this but I’ve tried to make it short). After so much food for thought everyone was keen to get food for their bellies! Lunch seemed to go down very well, even without chocolate milk on offer.

After lunch the third and final workshop was given by Vicki Styles of The Body Reset clinic [Click here]. Vicki had everyone on their feet and separated by the number of injuries they had had. She then focused on some of the more common issues (ITB anyone?) and self-help methods to ease them. Her parting message was that prevention is better than fixing once the damage is done – so lots of stretching everyone! Vicki was kept busy after her talk with lots of questions about specific injuries – I think we could easily have extended her session!

However- intervals with Coach Casey awaited! Jim conducted a brilliant session that highlighted pacing skills – rather than speed. Running out for two minutes in one direction and then turning around and trying to hit the same start point on the way back…some were better at this than others (not naming names!).

Finally it was time for the unconventional treasure hunt. Splitting everyone into teams of four and releasing them on the village of Goring armed with a handout of photographs. The idea was to find where the original photograph was taken and then take a team selfie in the same spot. Points were awarded for getting the right location, but disproportionately larger amounts of points were given for things like originality, props, photobombing other people’s pictures and managing to involve random residents of Goring. What was I thinking? It was probably carnage for most of the village but the teams seemed to love it.

I uploaded the five best selfies to the facebook page and asked people to vote for their favourite. I’ve included a team collaboration shot below – I couldn’t stop laughing when each team brought back their photographs for me to review. Special mentions for:

One team managed to get SIX different residents in their photographs

Two teams convinced landlords in pubs to let them behind the bar to pour their own pints

One team not only found Goring Village hall but went inside whilst a Ceilidh dance was about to start and ended up making a donation to the dance charity.

Jonny Gubb found the old phone box…and then called my mobile from it.

One lady resident of Goring who appeared in several team photographs with her two dogs and was clearly enjoying walking around and finding our teams. She should have been her own team and she would have got many points for photobombing.

I really hope you all enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed ‘marking’ the results.


Pyramid in the middle of the road? No worries – we’re training in road closures


The group then enjoyed the pizza and pasta party – with some of the best lasagne I have ever had (Nicki informs me it was assisted with lots of red wine). There was a little talk about what the chairman’s evening social event was going to entail…

..Turns out old school party games! I think ‘Pin the batten on the runner’ should be a staple game in my house from now on. A note for future weekend awayers – don’t wear skinny jeans to the evening social event. It makes playing ‘spoon and string’ exceptionally difficult. I’ll leave it to those who attended to explain… My favourite memory of the evening is possibly the overly enthusiastic man hug between Dave and Jonny when passing an orange between them.. again, no words will do this justice.

We all then enjoyed some drinks from the YHA bar and lots more cake before retiring to bed before the long run in the morning…

…cont in Part 3, Sunday

About Nikki

General member for Thursday runs at Sandhurst Joggers

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