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Mike Dowds is our coach and training coordinator. If you have any comments, suggestions or feedback regarding our coaches or training sessions, please let Mike know.

Training - Running

CPT in action

Our weekly running session is uncoached with members meeting to train together in Crystal Palace and the surrounding areas. The Club is spoiled for choice when it comes to great locations to train in – whether it’s the iconic Crystal Palace Park and world-famous athletics track, challenging hills or scenic local woods and parks.

Runners meet every Wednesday and some Saturday sessions with a mix of run / bike focus. See the training schedule for dates. We also participate in the Kent County Cross Country League.

Fitness levels and ability
We are open to all abilities but you should be fit enough to run for an hour. It doesn’t matter if you are fast or slow, as long as you bring a positive attitude and a desire to run!

Before attending a run session

Please complete the attached Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire and email to the coach coordinators before your first CPT session.

Fitness levels and ability
We are open to all abilities but you should be fit enough to run for an hour. It doesn’t matter if you are fast or slow, as long as you bring a positive attitude and a desire to run!

Please ensure you dress appropriately for the weather and wear suitable running shoes.

Racing and pacing

We encourage members to take part in competition. The Run Coordinator will email out any races of interest and we also aim to keep the website updated with upcoming race entries, so keep a look out for these. If you do enter a race, remember to email Chih/Karen so the race matrix can be updated.

Use the race time predictor chart.

Rob has also provided a track pace chart which includes min/km pace and shows what the 5/10k half/mara finish time would be for that pace/lap time.

Wednesday - 19:30-20:30 - Crystal Palace

The Wednesday runs are coached and are suitable for all abilities as long as you can run for an hour, no matter what speed. We have sessions on the athletics track and hill reps on the road. Please see weekly emails for details of the week's session.

Hill reps - Meet outside Crystal Palace Railway Station at 19:30

Track sessions - Meet on the track at 19:30. Pay your entry (currently £3.80) at reception before meeting on the track. You can check prices and opening times on the GLL CPNSC website.

View the full training schedule.

Track sessions: please use the pacing chart to determine your target 800/1000 or 1200m pace for the session
Tempo sessions: please use the race time predictor chart to determine your ‘slightly slower than 10K pace’

Saturday brick sessions

The training schedule also contains some Saturday brick sessions (with a mix of run / bike focus). Details can be found on the training schedule. (Dates can be seen in the right-hand column)

Where there is no Saturday session we recommend members do the Crystal Palace parkrun.


parkrunCrystal Palace 5k parkrun
We support the Crystal Palace parkrun, as well as other parkrun locations around the UK. The parkruns are free but you need to register in advance to ensure that you get a recorded finish time. The parkrun is held every Saturday at 9am and replaces our Club training sessions some weeks (see training schedule) or when there isn't an official coached Club session.

(Note: The parkruns are free but you need to register in advance to ensure that you get a recorded finish time, and don't forget to enter CPT as your Club)

Kent County Cross Country League

Kent County Cross Country League
The Club participates in the Kent County Cross Country League during the winter. All races are held within easy reach of Crystal Palace with all abilities welcome and encouraged to compete. In order to race you must be registered with England Athletics (Contact and registered for the league through the club (Contact Racing Coordinator). Eligible members can also race in the Kent County Championships and Veterans Championships (Note: the League and Championships are independent of each other and one is not a pre-requisite of the other).

The 2016/17 season is almost done, so watch out for more information on the 2017/18 season.

England Athletics

England AthleticsThe Club is affiliated to England Athletics but you need an individual race licence to able to tick this on any relevant entry forms for a reduced entry rate. If you would like a licence please contact Audrey.

Links and maps

Vdot and training pace calculator

This site is useful for mapping run routes

Runner's World have an interactive training tool, SmartCoach. Simply submit a handful of details about your running habits and it will generate an easy-to-follow, proven training plan uniquely suited to your racing objectives and lifestyle.

Use the Calorie Calculator to find out how calories you burn whilst running.

Training zones guide

The zone figure 1 to 4 is a guide to the type of training intensity targeted by the session. Low intensity is represented by 1 increasing to higher intensity with a figure of 4.

Zone Intensity
Zone 1
  • Represents efforts a comfortable, easy conversation pace.
  • Purely aerobic work.
  • Builds strength, endurance and economy.
Zone 2
  • Represents efforts at 10 mile or 1/2 marathon race pace.
  • Part aerobic and part lactic effort, above lactic threshold.
  • Sometimes known as tempo runs.
  • Improves lactic threshold, pace endurance and economy.
Zone 3
  • Represents efforts at around 10k down to 2M race pace
  • Part aerobic part lactic, up to lactic turn point.
  • Sometimes known as VO2max training
  • Improves lactic turnpoint and VO2max, pace endurance and economy
Zone 4
  • Represents efforts outside aerobic capability, short sharp efforts
  • Speed and power.
  • Improves lactic tolerance, lactic turn point, speed, power and range of movement.

The zones may be used as an indication of which heart rate (HR) zone should be targeted during the session. Some HR regimes use five or even six zones so some personal adaptation may be necessary.

Alternatively you may wish to map these numbers to a perceived effort method.

Work on a fraction of flat out:
zone 1 = ½ or less
zone 2 = ¾ pace
zone 3 = 7/8 pace
zone 4 = 9/10 pace

You should aim to complete the training at an intesity that is right for you. Best training effect is not gained by training in Zone 4 all the time!


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