Run Together Group of the Year 2020 – West Midlands

RunTogether Group of the Year – West Midlands

Penkridge Runners

Winners of the RunTogether Group of the Year for the West Midlands, the group is known for the welcome, encouragement and support the members receive regardless of their experience. Martin and the other run leaders are always on hand to give advice and nothing is ever too much trouble which keeps the feeling of camaraderie going even when the groups can’t meet up. During the pandemic, the group was given weekly running and fitness challenges to complete as well as fun challenges so that no one was left out. Sessions are adapted for those with physical or mental health struggles so that everyone can achieve their goals for everyone to celebrate with them.

If you would like to join us please email for further information or visit our Facebook page

A new beginners course will be starting in January 2021 (subject to any Covid restrictions)

PENKRIDGE RUNNERS charity relay helps the local community.

Penkridge Runners charity relay event which was held last year has helped fund the Community Group AED. 

The AED was purchased by Penkridge & District Community First Responders using Community Resuscitation Funds donated by groups such as PR. 

The defibrillator is available for the community to use at any local event which includes Penkridge Runners having access to the unit on most training days. 

We would like to thank The Penkridge and District Community First Responders for making this unit available to us.

Gavin & Laura complete the Edinburgh Virtual Marathon

Congratulations to both Gavin & Laura who completed the Edinburgh Virtual Marathon today. They set off at 8.0am on Sunday morning from Laura’s home in Wolves, finishing at Gavin’s home in Stafford at around 1:45pm. The route took them via Coven, Gailey, Cannock, Huntington, Penkridge, Dunston & Stafford. What has made this run so special for them and me is the incredible SUPPORT they have received on route from many fellow PR members, family and friends. The pictures showed the amazing PR support throughout every mile of this 26.2 mile course.

This is definitely a truly #PR&PROUD moment. 🇳🇺🇳🇺

PR Covid 12hr Virtual Relay

Penkridge Runners Covid 12 hour Virtual Relay….. the Results !

Well the final results are now in and counted for the PR Covid Virtual Relay…. and in true PR style you have all given it 100%, pulling together and supporting each other remotely to totally smash it and achieve an outstanding 406.19 MILES in 12 hours, just short of Luxembourg City (as the crow flies).
71 runners took part in the non-stop relay throughout the day.

All credit and enormous thanks to Gavin for planning and managing this event which has kept us all involved throughout the day either performing or/and supporting our PR team mates …. MASSIVE WELL DONE to all who took part

Wednesday & Saturday sessions are back!

Following the strict guidelines issued by the UK government and England Athletics we are now able to train in restricted groups of 5 people plus one coach / run leader. We have limited spaces available so Pre-Booking is essential for Wednesday or Saturday.
We have received a great response and some encouraging feedback.

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)