Blackhill Bounders are a fully affiliated member of England Athletics.

Club Coaches

Joy Bell – Coach Assistant

Maresa Bell – Coach Assistant

Stewy Bell – Athletics Coach (Endurance)

Geordie Hughes – Coach Assistant

Michael McDonald – Coach Assistant

George McKay – Athletics Coach (Endurance) (Guide Runner)

Ian Young – Athletics Coach (Off Track Endurance) (Guide Runner)


Role of a Coach

  • To identify, plan and evaluate the development needs of runners.
  • To supervise Assistants or Leaders in the delivery of sessions or part sessions.
  • To manage the safety and welfare of those under coach supervision.
  • To educate runners about all aspects of competition.

Club Run Leaders 

Dave Anderson – LiRF

Stacey Bell – LiRF

Nigel Cook – LiRF

Rachael Hopps – LiRF

Aidan Hughes – LiRF

Amanda Phillips – LiRF

Stu Smith – LiRF

Mike Swainson – LiRF

Role of a Run Leader

  • To plan sessions and deliver a safe and fun warm up and a cool down.
  • Demonstration and supervision of effective stretching.
  • The different types of activity that can make running varied and enjoyable.
  • Leaders are qualified to lead sessions to athletes aged 12 years and older.

Further information about the various Coached Sessions available 

Fartlek:  Swedish word for speedplay, workout includes faster running mixed with slower running, adds variety to training and can be performed in any setting. A mix of short, fast running and longer, steady stretches will tap into your anaerobic system and increase your aerobic capacity, improving your ability to maintain a faster pace.


4 x 60 secs, 4 x 30 secs, 4 x 15 secs and 4 x 10 sec at 5K race pace scattered throughout with 60, 30, 15 and 10 sec recoveries.

If some in the group are faster they run back to rejoin the others during the recovery then everyone starts the next effort together.

Intervals:  Are an excellent means of progressively developing efficiency and fatigue resistance at fast running speeds. Type of workout where a set distance is run repeatedly with a slow recovery jog between, regardless of your ability, level, track work in the form of interval training is one of the most precise ways to keep your speedometer in check on race day. Track workouts are very demanding on the body, so be sure to treat them with the respect they deserve.


1 mile easy jog warm up with drills, 8 x 400m at 5K race pace with 200m jog recoveries, 1 mile of easy jog cool down.

1 mile easy jog warm up with drills, 10 x 300m at 5K race pace with 100m jog recoveries, 1 mile of easy jog cool down.

1 mile easy jog warm up with drills, 5 x 800m at 5K race pace with 2 min jog recoveries, 1 mile of easy jog cool down.

Tempo/Lactate Threshold: The running intensity where lactic acid begins to rapidly accumulate in the blood. Also called anaerobic threshold, lactate threshold speed is your 10K race pace or a heart rate zone between 85-89% of maximum, usually consists of 15-30 minutes of running at the lactate threshold speed. At the very least, make sure that you are running hard during these workouts, you should not be able to carry on a conversation with someone next to you. If your breathing becomes labored and you start losing your running form you’re going too fast, work hard but not flat out.


1 mile warm up, 5 x 3 minutes at tempo pace, 60-second easy jog recovery, 1 mile cool down.

1 mile warm up, 4 x 5 minutes at tempo pace, 90-second easy jog recovery, 1-mile cool down.

If some in the group are faster they run back to rejoin the others during the recovery then everyone starts the next effort together.

Hill Reps:

Hill repetitions are repeated short segments of hard uphill running. They increase aerobic power, high-intensity fatigue resistance, pain tolerance, and run-specific strength. The ideal hill on which to run hill repetitions features a steady, moderate gradient (4-6 percent).


2 mile warm up, 15 x 10/15 sec uphill with jog down recoveries, 2 miles easy jog cool down.

2 mile warm up, 10 x 1 min uphill with jog down recoveries, 2 miles easy jog cool down.

If some in the group are faster once they get to the top of the hill the whole group turns back and jogs back to the bottom during the recovery then everyone starts the next effort together.


Whether you regularly rip through mile repeats or you’re new to speed work, you probably pay more attention to the time, pace, and effort of the hard work than you do to the rest in between. But recovery intervals are just as critical to performing your best. Rush or drag out this period, and you might not reap the intended benefits of your session. How you rest is up to you walk, stretch, or jog, just don’t sit down, as blood can pool in your legs and turn them to lead.

Short Rest: 30 to 90 Seconds

Short recovery intervals keep the intensity of the workout elevated, teaching you to run through fatigue. Your body gets more efficient at clearing the lactic acid that causes muscles to burn, so you can run harder or longer. Because the intervals are so short, your breathing will be heavy and your heart rate will remain high throughout.

Use it: To build speed and stamina. New runners can build endurance by running easy for one minute, resting for one minute for up to 30 minutes. Novice runners can alternate five to 10 sets of one minute hard running with one minute jogging or incorporate short rests into a fartlek workout. Advanced runners targeting 5Ks or 10Ks can do hard repeats of 400 to 800 meters with short rests in between.

Medium Rest: 2 to 4 Minutes

Stopping short of complete recovery teaches your body to sustain its lactate threshold longer. In other words, it helps you build stamina, so you’re more comfortable running at goal pace. At the end of the rest, you’ll feel 80 to 90 percent recovered, as if you were in the middle of an easy run.

Use it: To improve endurance at race pace. Advanced beginners may run two or three quarter-mile repeats at a comfortably hard pace with four minutes rest. Runners racing 5Ks and 10Ks should take medium breaks during 800-to 1000-meter repeats. Half and full marathoners can use them to break up long tempos into two-or three-mile segments. You can stay on the road longer and simulate your race without doing the complete effort.

Long Rest: 4 to 10 Minutes

Extended rest allows your heart and breathing rate to return to resting levels, which helps you attack the next repeat with the same effort you ran the previous one, thereby ensuring a quality workout. The extended downtime should leave you refreshed, and without the fatigue that contributes to poor form and injury. You should feel 100-percent recovered and ready to go.

Use it: To build speed and running economy (the ability to comfortably handle faster paces) or to boost aerobic capacity. For speed, pair long rest with two to three minutes (or a quarter-mile) of hard running. Jog between longer repeats of 1.5 to 3 miles to build volume. What would only be a four-mile workout of intervals, rest, warm up, and cool down can turn into eight miles.

Running Drills

If you want to improve as a runner, you’ve got to do more than just run. You’ve got to make time to do the extra stuff, too. Taking 20 minutes to do a handful of drills can dramatically improve your running form and economy (or the ability to run fast efficiently) and increase your stride cadence and racing speed.

Benefits of Drills

Running drills help build strength and flexibility in your legs.

They increase your range of motion, your stride length and frequency making you a faster runner. Many sprinter’s use drills to increase their reaction time and fast twitch muscles. Distance runners often use them to improve their finishing kick.

Whether you’re running for fun or to race, try out a few drills to pick up your pace and improve your running form.

When to do these exercises

When you first do running drills you might feel a bit silly, even self conscious. You’ll get the hang of them after a few times.

Start with a good warm up of easy running. You might want to do these drills before your speed work. Or you can cut your easy run short and include some drills at the end. If you’re very save them for another day as you want to feel rested enough to have some bounce in your step.

Include some of these exercises once a week especially if you’re planning to enter some races. Always finish with an easy jog or walk to cool down. Then follow up by stretching your lower legs and back.

Where to do these drills

Choose a flat and soft surface e.g. a grass field or a running track.

Examples of Running Drills

The butt kicks and high knee lifts are usually done over 25 to 50 meters, two to three times. The skipping drills and running backwards are done over 50 to 100 meters, two to three times.

Heel Flicks: These are just as they sound. Jog forward with small strides while swinging your lower leg behind so your back heel hits your buttock. With each step kick your heels to your buttocks. Your arms are in a relaxed running action and your knees stay low. After you’re comfortable with the action increase the speed of this drill.

High Knees: This one is a quick marching movement. Raise one knee at a time up to your chest while lifting the opposite arm. Try not to lean too far forward or back. You’re landing on the balls of your feet and moving your knees up and down rapidly.

You can do these high knee lifts on the spot and as you get the hang of it move forwards running at a slow pace.

Skipping: This drill helps develop calf and foot strength needed during the toe-off phase of the gait cycle while also stimulating neuromuscular timing for running with high cadence. It also accentuates the high-knee action of the lifted leg during a running stride. Skip with a moderate leap off of one foot and return to the ground and immediately leap off the other foot, main- taining a compact arm swing as if you were running. This slow-action skipping drill should have a staccato rhythm. Do two or four 50-meter reps.

Skipping with High Knees: This drill is a playful way to work out. Skip lightly, stepping from one foot to the other with high knees. Focus on lifting your arms and knees high in an exaggerated action while skipping.

Hamstring Extensions: This drill increases mobility of the hamstring and gluteal muscle groups and enhances forward hip extension necessary for running fast with efficient form. With an upright posture and straight legs, alternately flick one leg forward while reaching with the opposite hand to lightly tap the extended foot. Focus on form, not speed, as this will wind up being a variation of a slow-moving skipping drill. Do two to four reps of 10 extensions on each leg.

Fast Feet: Standing on the spot take as many steps as possible in 10 to 20 seconds. Move your feet up and down quickly and lightly, keeping them low to the ground and lean slightly forward. Move your arms in time with your feet. You’ll be breathing hard at the end of the 20 seconds.

Walk around and catch your breath for a few minutes and then repeat two to three times.

Fast Arms: This running drill is a great way to practice your fast arm action standing with feet hip width apart drive your arms forward and back in a sprinting action. Make sure your arms don’t cross your body. Work on speed while relaxing your arms, shoulders, hands and face. You’ll be moving your arms much quicker than you do when running. Count out 25, have a break then do another 25. Repeat this two to three times.

Counting your Strides: Try this drill to get quicker leg turn over. You’ll be using your sports watch to time yourself. The theory behind this drill is that you should be able to run 17 strides in 10 seconds.

After a good warm up, run as quickly as you can for 17 strides. Each time your foot hits the ground that is one stride. Start your watch, count out 17 strides and stop your watch. Aim to run the 17 strides as quickly as possible.

Think about exploding from the start, lifting your legs up and down as fast as you can. Repeat this drill 8 to 10 times, working up to a set of 15. It can be a fun game to play with yourself trying to get all your repeats under a certain time.

Running Backwards: As we spend all our time running forward certain muscles can end up being overdeveloped. This drill can help restore some balance to your body with a counter movement. Running backwards does a great job of strengthening your hamstrings and helps with stiffness in your lower back and knees.

Do this running drill on a flat surface. Make sure you have a clear place to run, free from obstacles to avoid trips or running into anything.

Run in place and then start moving slowly backwards. Run with your back straight, head up, shoulders back and looking straight ahead. Run with a slight bend in your knees. Run on your toes and try not to land on your heels.

It can take a while to get your confidence with this drill so focus on form and don’t worry about speed.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.