Alton Runners Sessions Glossary

Thursday evening training sessions are normally split into ability or pace groups. However, you may sometimes hear them referred to as “levels”. These are:


Level 1: Parkrun/5k time = >30 Mins

Level 2: Parkrun/5k time = 25-30 Mins

Level 3: Parkrun/5k time = 20-25 Mins

Level 4: Parkrun/5k time = <20 Mins


Below you will find the names and descriptions for some of our sessions.


1 Mile Time Trial

This session is held on the first Tuesday of each month giving you a chance to track your improvements over time. During winter months it’s held on Newmans Lane, while on lighter evenings it’s held on Jubilee Fields.

1K Repeats

Run 1km at your 5km pace (or goal race pace you are training for!) then rest for half the time it took to run (or 3 minutes) and repeat. The aim is to run each kilometre at the same pace throughout the session.

Progression Run

Similar to 1K Repeats, however, the aim is to increase your pace each kilometre or mile. Start at a slower than normal pace and gradually increase your speed each kilometre until you are running faster than your 5km pace.

Parkrun PB

This session is aimed at improving your Parkrun time. One set is 3 x 1km (1.5 minutes rest between each),  6 x 400m (1 minute rest between each) and 2 x 200m (30 second rest between each).

800, 400, 200m repeats

One set is 1 x 800 metres (rest recovery – 60 seconds), 2 x 400 metres (rest recovery – 45 seconds) and 4 x 200 metres (rest recovery – 30 seconds).

Level 1: 1 - 2 sets,

Level 2: 2 – 3 sets,

Level 3: 3 – 4 sets,

Level 4: 4 – 5 sets.

Yasso 800

Yasso 800s are 800m repeats, the aim being to do each repeat at a time based on your marathon target time, e.g a 3 hour 45 min marathon goal would mean 3 min 45 sec 800. (hours = minutes, minutes = seconds). The formula calls for 10x 800M, with the same rep time as rest.

Flying 50s

Accelerate over 30m until you reach your maximum velocity (sprint) for 30m, then decrease speed over 30m. Walk/jog recovery and repeat. This is then repeated over 40m and then 50m. The amount of repetitions at each distance vary based on your level.


400m Intervals but ran progressively until you finish at near an all out sprint!

Super Six

A series of six agility and strength exercises (e.g. mountain climbers, ladders, hurdles, burpees etc.) followed by a recovery jog. Repeat the cycle until the session time is up.

Oregon Circuit

A circuit starting with a (short hard) run to a 30 second strength exercise focussed on arms, followed by a run to a 30 second strength exercise focussed on legs. Then a run to a 30 second exercise focussed on core, next you will run to a 30 second strength exercise focussed on full body. Finally you run back to the start and rest for 1 minute. You repeat the circuit until you’ve completed all the exercises at each station.


Tempo running is described as running ‘comfortably hard’, but a bit slower than your 5/10K race pace. It is running at your Lactate Threshold point - the point at which your body is producing as much lactic acid as it is producing. The aim of this session is for the body to adapt to clearing lactic acid and therefore enable us to run further or faster!


Tempo running (maintaining a set pace) for 40 minutes.

Pyramid Hill Sessions

In a pyramid hill session the idea is to put effort into the uphill run and recover (walk/run slower than usual) on the way down. We usually run 300m, (r), 200m, (r), 100m (r), and repeat continuously (if you can) over a 30 minute period.

Mount Pleasant Loops

A continuous hill session starting on Mount Pleasant running hard on uphill sections and recover (walk/run slower than usual) in between.

Beech Endurance Hills

Similar to other hill sessions but aimed at improving hill stamina by using a longer, less steep hill. A continuous loop of putting effort into the uphill section followed by a recovery (walk/run slower than usual) on the downhill. 


Fartlek - Swedish word for ‘speedplay’ is a middle/ long-distance runner's training approach developed in the late 1930s by Swedish Olympian Gösta Holmér. It involves predominantly running at an easy pace, mixed with alternating periods of faster running, e.g. sprint to the next lamppost.

Strava Segments

A mostly easy paced run broken up with ‘Segments’ in which your leader picks segments for you to run as fast as you can for that distance, and hopefully someone picks up the crown!

Naked Run

Guess how long it’ll take you to run either 4.25 miles or 3.25 miles, the runner(s) closest to their predicted time may win a prize. No watches allowed!


This is a pacing exercise where you run for 2.5 minutes in one direction then when the whistle blows you turn around and have 2.5 minutes to get back to exactly where you started. You then repeat this with 2 minutes out and 2 minutes back, then 1.5 minutes out and 1.5 minutes back etc.  You can also try to increase your pace as the running time reduces.

Train Run

Runners are in two lines slow jogging in pairs, when the whistle blows the last pair of runners race to the front. This continues until all the pairs have had a go at racing to the front.


Parlauf means ‘pairs’; Runners with similar speeds are paired up. Then starting on opposite sides of a track (or similar) Runner A goes around the track, running hard, until they meet Runner B. As soon as they meet, Runner B goes round the second half of the track while Runner A walks/jogs directly across the track to their original start point. Once the runners meet again Runner A will go around the track and Runner B will walk/jog directly across the track to their start point and so on.

Up the Clock

Starting with 1 minute of running increasing to 5 minutes in 1 minute increments, then decrease in 1 minute increments. Recovery between each interval is half the running time. 1 min, r 30s, 2 min, r 1 min, 3 min, r 1 min 30, 4 min, r 2 mins, 5min, r 2 min 30, 4 min, r 2 min, 3 min, r 1 min 30, 2 min, r 1 min, 1 min.

Third Thirsty Thursday

On the third Thursday of the month we have a social run that starts and finishes near a local pub.

Adventure Gym

A series of strength exercises using the equipment in Anstey Park (e.g. balance beam, sit ups, pull ups etc.) with a 400m jog between reps.

Power of 4

Intervals that total four minute blocks.

Banana Relay

A fun relay around Jubilee Fields in mixed-paced teams of 5. You run 4 segments of approximately 200m and your team finishes when each member is back where they started. No bananas are harmed.


Alistair Smith and Coaching Team January 2024