Thursday Night Training Groups
Thursday night runs which start at 7.00 pm sharp give Harriers the opportunity to do steady pace runs of between 6 and 8 miles with specific built in shorter routes for those who do not wish to do the full run distance. There is also the option of running the last approximate mile at a significantly faster pace for those who want to, finishing at the footpath after Station Road West with a final 650 metres approximate warm down back to Birleys. There is a wide range of running abilities within the club and we normally split into three pace groups. The middle group is invariably the largest of the three and has the widest range of standards. On occasion the coach/leader for the evening may decide to offer the option of a further “in between group” for the slower runners within this middle group if numbers allow and an experienced Harrier can be found to lead them. It is important for individual runners to choose a group which reflects their current level of fitness and running ability as this will make it easier for them to maintain contact with that group. The coach/leader on the evening will take responsibility for the main “Middle” group and will seek to identify leaders for the other groups before runners set off from Birleys. Individual group leaders will continuously monitor their own group and will carry out loop backs as and when required to allow time for the runners at the rear of the group to catch up if they have fallen behind and also to give them a little bit of time to recover before the group sets off again.Those members who are running comfortably within their group are encouraged to actively jog around during the regrouping phases.
As a general guide the approximate pace of each of these four groups is:
Improvers @ 9.30 – 10.00 minute mile pace approximately
In-between group (if numbers permit this group to be formed) @ sub 9.00 minute pace approx.
Middle Group @ sub 8.30 minute pace approx..
Fast group @ 7.30 minute pace approx..
Always loop back for slower runners when requested to do so by the group leader as we do not want to leave any runner behind on the route and do become familiar with our four main winter running as routes set out below.
Please note that if you believe that you would not be able to sustain a 10 minute mile pace over the distances involved you should come along to the club Tuesday sessions only until you feel that you are able to run confidently at the Improver group pace. In the summer (between April and September) the routes can vary and focus on off road trails and routes, going westwards along the Stour Valley Walk or up on the North Downs Way or north and east to Tyler Hill, Broad Oak, Sturry and Fordwich. In the winter the routes are around the city . We have the following winter routes, as drawn up by Gerry Reilly and Steve Clark, with a map below each description:
Route A (medium/tough – approx 7.5 miles / 12.1km) : Birley’s – St Stephen’s Road – St Stephen’s Court – Footpath to St Stephen’s Footpath – Footpath across Beverley Meadow – St Stephen’s Road – Beaconsfield Road – Forty Acres Road – Whitstable Road – London Road – Underpass to Rheims Way- Rheims Way – Underpass to Castle Street – Castle Row – City Wall – Pin Hill Footbridge to Canterbury East Station – Footpath to Lansdown Road – Nunnery Fields – South Canterbury Road – Hospital – Nackington Road – Junction with Old Dover Road – Up to top of Old Dover Road – New Dover Road – St Augustine’s Road – Footpath alongside Canterbury College – Spring Lane – Longport – Burgate (Optional start last mile fast) – Cathedral Christchurch Gate (main entrance gate) – round the east/far end of cathedral & along flagstone path to Dark Entry to Cloisters – round King’s Sch Green Court – through gate to Borough – King St – Knott’s Lane – St Radigund’s – Causeway – Station Road West – Under Railway Bridge – Footpath right immediately after railway bridge to St Stephen’s Court – St Stephen’s Road – Birley’s.
Route B (easy / medium – approx 7.8 miles/ 12.5km) : Birley’s – St Stephen’s Road – Broad Oak Road –Vauxhall Road – Sturry Road – Reed Avenue -Dickens Avenue – Shelley Avenue – Forrester Close – Brymore Road – Military Road – Council Offices – Chaucer Road – Law Courts – St Martin’s Road – North Holmes Road – Littlebourne Road- Spring Lane – Footpath alongside Canterbury College – St Augustine’s Road – New Dover Road – St Lawrence Road- Up Old Dover Road – Nackington Road – Back of Cricket ground – Through Hospital – South Canterbury Road – Nunnery Road – Oxford Road- Guildford Road Footpath to Hollowmede – Hollow Lane – Wincheap: use pelican crossing to the right of the end of Hollow Lane – Cow Lane – Simmonds Road – Wincheap – Underpass to Castle Street – Rosemary Lane – Stour Street (start optional last mile fast)- St Peter’s Street – St Peter’s Lane – Causeway – Station Road West – Under Railway Bridge – Footpath right immediately after railway bridge to St Stephen’s Court – St Stephen’s Road – Birley’s.
Route C (easy/medium – approx 6.4 miles / 10.3km) : Birley’s – St Stephen’s Road – Pedestrian crossing – Footpath behind Kingsmead Pool = Cross Sainsburys Car Park – Northgate – Footpath to Ring Road – Military Road – Chaucer Road – Law Courts – St Martin’s Road – North Holmes Road – Littlebourne Road – Spring Lane – Pilgrims Rd – Pilgrims Way – Mount Road – New Dover Road – To top New Dover Rd – Down Old Dover Road – Nackington Road – Hospital – South Canterbury Road – Nunnery Fields – Lansdown Road – Footpath to East Station – Pin Hill footbridge – City Wall – Castle Row (optional start last mile fast) – Castle Street – St Margaret’s Street – Cathedral Christchurch Gate (main entrance gate) – round the east/far end of cathedral & along flagstone path to Dark Entry to Cloisters – round King’s Sch Green Court – through gate to Borough – King St – Knott’s Lane – St Radigund’s – Causeway – Station Road West – Under Railway Bridge – Footpath right immediately after railway bridge to St Stephen’s Court – St Stephen’s Road – Birley’s.
Route D (medium / tough – approx 6.3 miles / 10.2 km approx) : Birley’s – St Stephen’s Road to St. Stephen’s Church – Birdcage Walk footpath alongside Birley’s Field – Farleigh Road – Tenterden Drive – The Terrace – Manwood Avenue – St. Stephen’s Hill – steps up hillside to footpath to University Campus – Darwin Road – Giles Lane – Parkwood Road to University Sports Fields Pavilion – – Loop Round Parkwood Estate – Footpath to University Sports Centre – Giles Lane – Whitstable Road: can use pelican crossing right of Giles Lane junction to cross – Clifton Gardens – Harcourt Drive – Westgate Court Avenue – Fisher Rd – Path Leading to Victoria Hotel/End of London Road –Cross to path to Queens Avenue (Start option last mile fast) – Whitehall Railway Bridge – Whitehall Bridge Road – Whitehall Rd – St. Dunstan’s – Kirby’s Lane – Station Road West – Under Railway Bridge – Footpath right immediately after railway bridge to St. Stephen’s Court – St. Stephen’s Road – Birley’s.