Weekly News – Sunday 28th June

Sunday 28th June

Westbury Harriers – Weekly News

Editor’s Piece

Blimey, it’s been hot the last few days! I did an interval session last Thursday and thought I would die! Fancy a cooling breeze instead, why not try getting out on the bike? Perhaps after reading Laura’s article below, you may even like create your own ‘virtual’ duathlon by combining the two?

Treasure Hunt 

This couple have been completing Sarah’s treasure hunt for a while now so it was due they had their spot in the limelight. Congratulations to Ken and Ann who are this week’s winners, nominated by the Selfie Queen herself. The sports team are the Coombe Dingle hockey club called the ‘Westberries’.

And a reminder of last week’s ’somethings’. Theme was guess the sport or sports team.

  • Something white
  • Something beginning with N
  • Something metal
  • Something double
  • Something that flies
  • A sphere
  • A treasure hunt selfie

Your treasure hunt something’s for this week are below:

  • Theme: Guess the song title/lyrics 
  • Something gold
  • Something beginning with ‘A’
  • Something spiky
  • Something you can catch
  • A cone 
  • A number
  • Something plastic
Interval Session – There and Back Pyramid

This week’s suggestion is a there and back pyramid. 

After a good warm up and some dynamic stretches and drills, mark where you are starting your effort – you will be returning to this point on a regular basis and resting so if it is hot and sunny consider starting in the shade!!

Run out for 30 seconds, stop and recover for 30 seconds remaining in the same place, when the recovery time is up turn around and run back for 30 seconds. You should get back to your start point if you are running at a consistent pace. Now rest for a minute.

Repeat for 40 seconds, 50 seconds, I minute, 90 seconds, 1 minute, 50 seconds, 40 seconds and a final 30 seconds.

The rest periods remain the same each time – 30 seconds after the effort out and 1 minute after the return effort.

I hope that makes sense – we did do this session on the track at Coombe Dingle last summer. If you are after a slightly harder challenge do 2 sets of 90 second efforts rather than just one.

Any queries drop me a message or email the coaches on senior.coaches@westburyharriers.co.uk. Please remember to warm up before you start your pyramid and to do a cool down jog and stretch afterwards.

Remember……all training must follow current government guidelines.

Good Luck – have fun and take care.


Westbury Harriers Iso Challenge 2020 – Consistency Challenge

As it looks like being a scorcher this week, we will have another consistency challenge. Same as last time, a 6 mile run, your 2nd – 6th mile pace should be as close as possible to the 1st mile pace. Best to avoid steep hills if possible and also large trees etc which can affect the GPS reception. 

There will be prizes for this challenge! It will end 28th June. That’s today!!!!


England Athletics Virtual 5k Road Running Championship 11-13th July

Entries to the 5k championships are now open. The details below are taken from the England Athletics website. Who fancies joining me along the Portway?

With the original 5k Championships cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, England Athletics has launched a free-to-enter virtual version of the race for 2020 to enable runners nationwide to compete at a time when many road race events are on-hold.

As well as creating an exciting platform for performance-focused runners to challenge for the national 5k title, the fact there is no minimum entry standard means the Championships also provide a fantastic opportunity for many runners to gain their first experience in a national competition.

The Championships offer plenty of chances for glory – with medals awarded to runners finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall in both women’s and men’s categories plus further possibilities to grab a podium spot in a Club competition and winning medals in the Age Category competitions.

The Club competition, across both women’s and men’s categories, requires three runners to score with the final results decided by the accumulated time of the fastest three runners for each club. With the minimum entry age for the Championships set at 16, the Age Category competition across both women’s and men’s categories incorporates: U17, U20, U23, SEN, V35, V40, V45, V50, V55, V60, V65, V70, V75, V80, V85 and V90.

The virtual element of the race means that runners sign up using the OpenTrack virtual running platform and are then required to evidence their run post-race using GPS data. England Athletics and OpenTrack have created new rules for the Championships which help make racing as fair as possible. Entry to the event is free and open exclusively to runners registered with England Athletics via an affiliated club. Participants must complete their run between 00:01 Saturday 11 July and 11:59 (am) Monday 13 July.  

Evidence of the run must then be uploaded by 23:59 Monday 13 July, with official results to be announced on Tuesday 14 July. So whether you’d planned to compete in the original 5k Championships, or you’re looking to enter your first national 5k race, now’s the time to get registered, pick your route and lace up those running shoes!


Fancy a Duathlon?

I’ve noticed from Strava that many of us in the club are combining our running with more cycling. Cycling is a very effective cross training sport or recovery from running. It is also a great alternative to running when the weather is really hot as you benefit from the wind effect and carrying fluids is easier on the bike.

Some of us have attempted Robyn’s cycle challenge, the aim was to cycle as far as you can in 1 hour (Robyn herself rode an impressive 18.7 miles). We can’t all belt along at that speed but some still enjoy getting out and about on the bike. Sarah’s Treasure Hunt is something many have enjoyed and finding the ‘somethings’ using the bicycle is a nice option.

I enjoy both disciplines, but only if there was a way to combine the two? Well there is, and it’s called a Duathlon! When things return to normal I may even enter an event! It’s for that reason I asked Laura, who has competed in many duathlons, to provide us with more details. Perhaps some of you would also be interested in trying an event in the near future? If so take a look below.

Many thanks for the article Laura (pictured).

What is a duathlon? A duathlon is a multi-discipline event consisting of a run, cycle and then another run. Like a triathlon, there are transitions between each discipline, which is when you switch over from one to the other. The transition is the area where you store your kit for changing over. 

What distances can you do? According to the British Triathlon Federation website, the most common distances are “Sprint” which is 5km run, 20km bike and 2.5km run and “Standard” 10km run, 40km bike and 5km run. Although you’ll find lots of different varieties of distances (some events where the first and second run are of the same distance) and some off road events too i.e. a trail run and mountain bike ride. 

What kit do you need? The basic kit you require are running shoes, a bike and a helmet. You don’t need anything particularly fancy to have a go and just your usual running/cycling kit would be fine. The majority of people do the entire race in the same clothes and do not change during the race, so it’s best to check that you feel comfortable doing both disciplines in your chosen outfit. 

A cheap piece of kit that you may find useful is a race belt. In duathlons you are typically required to have your race number on your front during the run and on your back during the cycle ride. If you have two race numbers then this is fine and just pin one on your front and one of your back. Although if you want to (and the race allows you to) use only one number, then a race belt can help. Essentially it is a piece of elastic which you wear around your waist and onto which you pin your race number. Then you can swivel the number around so that it’s on your front during the run and on your back during the bike. 

If you do use bike shoes, it’s also worth considering swapping your normal laces in your run shoes for elastic laces. These are also cheap to buy but will save you a lot of time in transition.  

 What should you practice prior to the race? Apart from increasing your running and cycling, it’s good to also practice the following few things

  • Running straight after cycling: After your legs have been in a pedalling motion on the bike it comes as quite shock to them to start running again and you get what is known as “jelly legs”. Although it feels very strange at first, just keep running as your legs soon get back into their running motion. Another tip to help with this is to switch into a slightly easier gear in the last kilometre of the bike. This will allow you to increase your cadence i.e. spinning your legs quicker and will help to prepare your legs for running again.
  • Practice the transition: Even if you just use your run trainers to cycle in, practice getting off your bike and undoing your helmet. The small clip on your helmet can be surprisingly fiddly when you’re in a race! If you’re used to using bike shoes with clip in peddles, practice changing your shoes as well. 
  • Drinking and potentially eating: if you’re doing a sprint distance race, just taking on some fluids during the event should be sufficient to get you through. If you’re doing a longer distance you may wish to consider eating something too. Either way, it’s best to check what agrees with you while both running and cycling. 

Are there any rules? There are a few rules in a duathlon (a full list can be found here), though I think the key ones are:

  • Your helmet must be fastened before you pick up your bike and not unfastened until you have racked your bike. 
  • You’re not allowed to ride your bike in the transition area and hence you must run with your bike to the mount line before starting to cycle. Similarly, you must get off your bike at the dismount line, prior to re-entering the transition area. 
  • Drafting: This refers to how close you can stay to the person in front of you during the bike section and you get both draft legal and non-drafting races. I think the majority of races are still non-drafting, so you must stay at least 10 meters away from the cyclist in front of you. Full details can be found here and it’s worth checking what your race is. 

What’s my experience of duathlons? I got into triathlons when I was 13 and shortly after that I did my first duathlon. It was at Thruxton race circuit and I went along with my junior triathlon club. As it was a fairly short race, we tried to think of many ways to save us time. One of which was do the first run with our helmets on so that we were already ready for the bike leg. Though we soon found out (during the race!) that it wasn’t particularly comfortable running with a helmet on your head. It was from here I learnt a good race lesson- don’t try something new during a race! Since then I have competed in several duathlons. The majority of which were on racing tracks, which are good as you don’t have to worry about cars. Though I also once did an off-road duathlon, realising off road riding is not for me!

Local races Although there are only virtual races happening at the moment, below are a few local races to look out for in the future. 

https://www.dbmax.co.uk/races/duathlon/ They run a few duathlons a Castle Coombe race circuit and also one at Westonbirt.
https://toughrunneruk.com/ a few different duathlons, some of which are off road.

Workout Session with Jason

Many thanks to Jason for sharing a 30 minute fun workout session, with a pack of cards! This is an all over body session and once finished you will know about it. https://www.facebook.com/jjmfitness/videos/3002507749866540/?t=690


Great running by Sandra Williams who achieved 2nd place female in the virtual 10k Longest Day in a time of 47:41. A victorious Sandra is pictured below.

Well done to Chris Newby who has found another virtual race called the Twister Half Marathon. He also took joint first place!

Runners had to run 13.1 miles, any route, but losing 1 minute from your finish time for every 25 metres of height gained. Chris basically ran loops of Stoke Bishop with 8 ascents of Stoke Hill to make up 508 metres of climbing to deduct 20 minutes from his 1:33 time.

The next Twister event in on July 4th, same rules but a 10k this time. https://davetalbot.net/virtual-race-series-2/

Strava Results of the Week…

Impressive running by Alex Hambin who described his 7k run to the west of Bristol as steady. I just wish I could hold a 3:56 km average pace on a ‘steady’ run! Alex achieved a personal record on segment ‘Griffin Hill’ in a time of 1:21. A lady called Sue holds the crown in a time of 30 seconds but I have a sneaky suspicion this was achieved on a bike, if not she should be signing up for the next olympics!

Diary Dates

29th-5th August Weekly Interval Suggestion. This weeks intervals are ‘There and Back” Pyramid.

22nd-28th June. ISO Challenge Series. Consistency Challenge.

11th-13th July. England Athletics 5k Virtual Championships.

23rd May -26th July. Bristol and West Virtual Challenge. Event 3 (29 June -12 July) SW Bristol multi-terrain 20k and Event 4 (13-26 July) Surprise finale.


Saturday 21st November. Club Awards Night at Westbury Village Hall.

Further (non-virtual) events have been removed until further notice, pending outcome of Coronavirus.

Editor this Week

Ian Gawinowski is Westbury Harriers Communications Officer