PR Covid Relays

Penkridge Runners will be taking part in a 12 hour relay session on Sunday 28th June.
Let’s stay Motivated, Run Safe and look forward to when we can all run together again.
Follow us on Facebook to see how we get on !

Training from home during COVID 19

Training from home.

5-10 mins read – grab some rays !!

Extremely pertinent topic for this months article ….How to maintain and some areas improve whilst we are all experiencing the unique and unprecedented restrictions that COVID-19 has brought to our lives!!

To start then your running based training (unless you have viral symptoms or you are in full isolation) shouldn’t be hugely impacted upon as you are still permitted to exercise daily and running meets government recommendations as this form of exercise.  But this can also be where we have an issue !!

Due the effects of the virus you may have been furloughed or simply have more time on your hands and secondary to this, often to ease boredom you have actually INCREASED your weekly mileage in what is quite a short space of time (refer back to the article on load progression I wrote in August 2019).  One of my colleagues has termed the phrase ‘COVERLOAD’ when he describes acute training overload from the effects of COVID-19.  Essentially too much volume too soon with an increased training frequency per week/month.  

The flip side of this coin is de-conditioning effects when people alter their normal training excessively i.e stop running or if they take an aspect out of their normal training plan i.estrength and conditioning due to gyms being closed.  Or finally the effects of low motivation and people just feel lethargic/low in mood which we know people are beginning to experience at this stage of the ‘Stay at Home’ guidance. 

A lot has been spoke of ‘flattening the curve’ at the momentwith respect to virus transmission but the same principle can be allowed to the ‘training load curve’.  If we alter the training load curve too aggressively up or down it can increase injury risk …So  a few points to help you all remain fit, healthy and un-injured !!!!

1. Focus on the opportunities not the problem – use this enforced time of altered lifestyle and training to spend time addressing the things you normally don’t. For example I hear many runners tell me they have ‘shocking mobility/flexibility’ …Well use this time to address this and come out of lockdown in a more mobile position.The same can be applied to strength/balance/nutrition…Happy to help in any way I can !!!

2. Vary loading patterns – mix up runs with longer walks/cycling to avoid loading spikes caused by excess runs per week.  You can maintain ‘physiological fitness’ with lower ‘mechanical loads’ 

3. Address niggling injuries !! – it probably seems I’m biased but so many runners run on niggles/injuries and never address them fully…Now is the ideal time to get an injury assessed and rehabilitated fully (I am very busy providing online video consults with people all around the UK and even Abu Dhabi !!!) – see

4. Sleep – we all lead such busy lives and this is an ideal opportunity to monitor and regulate your sleep pattern…Dysfunctions in sleep are linked to an increased injury risk and illness…So working on ‘sleep hygiene’ helps keep you healthy during the virus pandemic but also re-sets the system ready for resumption of more normal life…. A great reference for this is Dr Matthew Walker who is an internationally recognised expert in the field…Look him up in amazon/You-Tube…

5. Nutrition – not only to build a healthy immune system but also to address those areas of nutrition you know are contributing toward poor sleep, excess BMI, fluctuating energy levels, recurrent injury and/or pain….There is a handy group of tips in this leaflet

I hope you have found this article interesting.

Active Therapy is a specialized clinic of The Running Clinic who are world leaders in the field of injury risk reduction and treatment of running injury. We have completed intensive training over several years and we are experts in running injury assessment and treatment. We have a high level of clinical competence and serve as a reference to other health professionals and contribute to advancing knowledge through scientific research and education.


20% off initial assessment & 10% off follow up appointments

For appointments please contact Jo (Practice Manager)


Coronavirus – How we can continue to train.

Following the Government’s latest instructions, we have suspended all large group training sessions until further notice. Athletes are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active but do so whilst complying with the social distance measures.

We have put in place a number of options for you to continue with your own fitness and well-being. 

  1. Home circuit sessions are available on request.
  2. Virtual training sessions for the loan runner available on request. 

Please share your runs and workouts on our Facebook posts so we can all retain our motivation and maintain our positive mental well-being whilst  keeping our running spirit alive. 🇳🇺


Train Hard! Recover Harder!

Train hard and recover harder

The often overlooked aspect of training !!

(5 mins read  – grab a protein shake for recovery !!)

Many runners are currently preparing for spring half and full marathon events including Manchester, London and Brighton Marathons, Ashby 20 miler and Stafford Half Marathon. And as those miles approach 40-45 miles per week evidence informs us that there is an increased risk of injury….

So if we take a minute to look at the reasons this risk increases then we are better informed to mitigate this risk and in doing so make the event we are training for!! Unfortunatelydata suggests approximately 25% of runners who enter marathon distance events never make the start line due to injury…75%of which are cumulative and might have been avoided!!!

So the devil is in the detail, having the knowledge but most importantly TAKING ACTION AND EXECUTING THIS PLAN…. Every week in clinic I speak with runners, educate them on actions they need to take only for them not to execute our treatment plan and thus either suffer symptoms longer than they should or impair their ability to train or participate in evets they have entered…So they key aspect of this information (which is sooooooooooo easy to integrate) is to take MASSIVE ACTION immediately….. And the remain consistent…1. Nutrition – Lets start the whole cycle with fueling….You are burning HUGE amounts of calories during longer training efforts so you need to fuel your body correctly for the task. The scope of this article is way too short to discuss this but one of the biggest regions of conflicts online is nutrition. High carb versus low card versus Vegan (the new kid on the block since gamechangers documentary!!). My advice would be takesolid advice from a qualified sports nutritionist (we are very lucky to have Ryan Bristow MSc ISSN at The Chase whom I work closely with). But using nutritional strategies to optimize recovery is vital area runners often overlook is sufficient protein levels in their diet. It is thought that aiming for approximately 2g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day is correct for the majority with 40g bolus of this coming within 60 mins of intense training. A double scoop protein shake (40g) blended with a handful of oats and/or tablespoon of peanut butter (for those without allergy) works quite well!!!  This starts the process of recovery and regeneration off immediately in time for our next bout of exercise. 2. Training density – spacing and undulation… Too many runners I see red-line every session then stackthese sessions too close together this impairing their ability to recover between sessions. After intense exercise (circuits/HIIT) or prolonged periods of loading (long runs) the tissues in the body take 48-72 hours to recover and adapt. This process is called super-compensation and is well established in the literature… So if you train consecutive days you MUST vary your training load high-low-moderate-low-high intensity pattern in the week for example. This creates loading undulation and allows the body sufficient opportunity to recover and adapt to training sessions.  This is also one of largest contributors toward failed recovery and insidious onset injury I observe in injured runners!!3. Sleep – it’s easy… Close your eyes…Get enough… We now have a plethora of research which demonstrates how valuable sleep is for our bodies…So those who think they can survive with poor quality, low duration sleep patterns are in for a shock…Every piece of evidence we have demonstrates that sleep is vital for restoration and recovery but many don’t get enough hours but most importantly insufficient QUALITY of sleep…Sleep is a vital part of how our bodies recover from training as very important hormones which promote recovery are released mainly when we sleep deeply… So think of your room like a cave – dark, slightly cool, noise free and aim not to have blue light (TV/Mobilephone) entering your eyes for 60 mins before bed or consume caffeine, carbs or sugars and alcohol several hours before bed as all these are known to disrupt deep sleep patterns. 

For those who want to find out more watch this great TED Talk with Matthew Walker (world renowned sleep neuroscientist) – Soft tissue therapy – take your pick… Research informs us that soft tissue therapy can be useful to assist recovery from training sessions..But lets be clear it doesn’t SPEED UP this process it merely optimizes conditions for it to occur… And there is no clear evidence it reduces injury risk but it certainly has strong positive effects in runners perceived sense of recovery (which is an important factor).. Again evidence has not clearly demonstrated sports massage to have any more robust outcomes than use of foam roller, spikey ball, massage stick so take your pick and use whichever you prefer or my advice would be to combine all of them !!! Our bodies love variation and there are advantages and disadvantages of each…5. Remain strong !!!  So again if reverse engineer things for a second here… If we perform regular strength training (x2-3 per week for most runners) evidence suggests this provides protection against the risk of cumulative injury and enhances running economy and reduces times (no brainer right??).  The mechanism through which this is achieved is likely to be via more optimal loading of our tissues as we run.. Thus if we load our tissues more efficiently during training then we are likely to suffer with reduced post training soreness and RECOVER quicker… Quite simple really…So get those strength sessions in each week to maintain strength throughout your event training… 

This is just a small overview of some recovery strategies you can use to keep fit and healthy and fully recovered for your next training session.  I hope you have found this article useful.

Active Therapy is a specialized clinic of The Running Clinic who are world leaders in the field of injury risk reduction and treatment of running injury. We have completed intensive training over several years and we are experts in running injury assessment and treatment. We have a high level of clinical competence and serve as a reference to other health professionals and contribute to advancing knowledge through scientific research and education.


20% off initial assessment & 10% off follow up appointments

For appointments please contact Jo (Practice Manager)


Fantastic Start to 2020

We have add an amazing start to our 2020 fitness campaign with new enquiries reaching dizzy heights. Our Couch 2 5K programme has got off to a flying start with 28 new starters joining the Saturday morning sessions. Our Wednesday session is now FULLY booked due to the limited capacity in the sports hall. If you are interested in joining our mid-week session then please drop us an email and we will let you know when a space becomes available.

We have spaces available on our Saturday morning session if you fancy coming along, its not too late to start!

Kick-Start 2020

Penkridge Runners had a fantastic turn out for their first training session of 2020.
88 runners turned up for the “5 Step declining interval” session which included 28 runners taking part in the 12 week Couch 2 5k programme.
If you need that helping hand to kick start your training plan then it’s not too late to join.
Email now for further details.

Sponsorship Deal

Penkridge Runners are pleased to announce the latest addition to our partners discount scheme and main sponsor: Carolyn Parker Optometrists

Discounts available to all current members.


Starting on January 4th 2020.
Email for more information-

2020 – Time to start running

Reasons to Run

Getting started and keeping going !!!

(5 mins read  – grab some mulled wine and a mince pie)

So with Christmas and the New Year approaching it is the traditional time of year that people reflect and make change.  But we don’t have to wait for New Year to promise that 2020 is the year of ‘New Year, New Me’ !!!  Even more important once establishing the HABIT of exercise is maintaining the HABIT of exercise. Consistency is King !!

So in this article I’ll outline some great reasons which are all evidence based which help you to understand the health and wellness benefits of running.  Something you might need when you are putting in those runs in the cold winter weather whilst convincing yourself you are crazy for running!!1. Health – your mortality risk (risk of death) is significantly reduced – regular running is the single most effective way to reduce your risk of a whole host of illnesses such as stroke, heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes.  All of which can be a serious threat to health. Evidence has demonstrated that exercising 5 sessions per week of 30 mins duration has been found to reduce your risk of death by up to 64% !!!! Even in those who have a history of treatment for cancer and those who smoke….

So exercise truly is medicine as they say !!!2. Happiness!!! – Whilst you might not think it when Martin is asking for that last rep in circuits regular running, like most forms of exercise makes you feel gooooood!!!

When you run special substances are released such as endocannabinoids, endoprhins, encephalins and DHEA. All big long words but basically they are your bodies natural feel good factor and anti-depressants. This is whywhen you’ve had a tough day, your feeling sluggish or you just need to ‘clear your head’ that running makes you feel so good. For these reasons and point 3 below running (particularly at a friendly club like PRC) maintains positive mental health and can be valuable in the treatment of depression, anxiety an many other mental health conditions. 3. Friendships and relationships – joining a running club is a great way to forge new friendships and even meet a partner!!! Many friendships, relationships and even marriages have occurred as a direct result of attending a running club. This is also a great way to make you happier (see point 2!!!).  So if you are new to an area, want to meet new friends, get fit whilst having fun a running club is a great way to achieve this.  This can obviously have a ripple effect into other areas of your life and certainly helps you to be more effective in your occupation as ‘ripple’ effects…. 4. Positive body image – as well as feeling great (points 2/3) you will find that regular exercise combined with a healthy, balanced diet will result in positive changes to your body shape. Whatever your goal is such as weight loss, trimming up for the beach, getting in shape for your wedding or working off the fall-out from that all inclusive holiday or Christmas then running is a fantastic way to burn calories.  Even AFTER you have finished running your body continues to burn calories… Double whammy!!

People make weight loss very complicated but at the end of the day it is a basic numbers game!! Remember that calories in versus calories out needs to be matched to maintain a healthy BMI. Running burns calories and if this creates a calorie deficit each day of 300-500 calories then in most cases you lose weight in a gradual and healthy manner. 5. Strength – regular running strengthens and fortifies your body… As long as the training load (see my previous article on this) is sufficient to cause positive adaptations in the body. So for example regular running strengthens muscles – if you carry a higher lean muscle mass then this tissue burns more calories… See point 4 and you begin to appreciate just how powerful exercise is !!

For those with reduced bone density (typically but not always ladies) then running is a form of weight bearing activity which stimulates bone turn-over and this in turn strengthens bones. Regular running also ‘strengthens’ our heart – regular training results in a heart muscle which is stronger and more effective.. And finally it strengthens our mind – that last rep you push out when you didn’t think you could, that last squat you performed when your legs felt like jelly.. they are all examples of mental ‘challenges’ which over-ride our bodies safety valve  -the central governor…

This is just a small overview of some of the many health and wellness benefits of running. I hope you have found this article useful.

For those of you new to running then consider enrolling on the couch to 5k programme at PRC –

And for those who are already training regularly then maintain your consistency in 2020 and aim to push forward by setting new goals and progressively challenging your body to do more

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2020!!

Active Therapy is a specialized clinic of The Running Clinic who are world leaders in the field of injury risk reduction and treatment of running injury. We have completed intensive training over several years and we are experts in running injury assessment and treatment. We have a high level of clinical competence and serve as a reference to other health professionals and contribute to advancing knowledge through scientific research and education.


20% off initial assessment & 10% off follow up appointments

This article was written by Andrew Caldwell – Active Therapy.
Active Therapy are part of our partnership scheme and offer all Penkridge Runners discount.
Located within The Chase Golf Club.
To book or for further info, please contact Jo on 07970110526 or email