Thursday 4th October, 2018
Following last year's great success in Carmarthen and Swansea, the first West Wales Regional Endurance Day returned on Saturday (29th September) at Carmarthen Leisure Centre. This was ideal preparation for the Cardiff Cross Challenge / John H Collins Gwent League which soon arrives in a fortnights' time.
Held on a beautiful sunny autumn day in Johnstown, a big turnout of forty-two athletes from the region’s clubs and around ten coaches attended the first of the winter's regional endurance days. Like last year, these endurance days focus on offering information to athletes, coaches and parents. The aim was to provide young athletes with tips about how they can become better all-round endurance athletes. This year saw many regulars return from the previous season but saw a large tally of newer athletes in the under 13 age group join in this time round.
Being demonstrated across clubs in West, East, South and North Wales by qualified coaches, the day provided young athletes with learning on various strength and conditioning exercises, warm up drills and ways to develop their distance running in small groups.
Coming from the Carmarthen Harriers, Pembrokeshire Harriers, Swansea Harriers, Llanelli AC and Neath Harriers clubs, the first two hours took place indoors, with the second half of the day outside in the dry and relatively warm elements.
In the morning, following a brief chat in the sportshall, athletes took part in a strength and conditioning circuit indoors to challenge club runners as well as going through warm up drills and the importance of performing these correctly. After a lunch break, they then came outside and used the athletics track under a clear blue sky for some distance work.
Athletes split into three different groups based on age and ability as they worked over a variety of short and long distances. They were coached by groups leaders Neil Thomas, Pete Freeman and Delyth Brown along with support also coming from other experienced club coaches.
Another opportunity will arise in December (provisionally Saturday 15th Decmeber) when the next Regional Endurance Day will take place at Swansea University / Singleton Park. They will take advantage of Singleton Park in Swansea that day, focussing on hill work as one topic. A further one / two endurance days are hoped to be scheduled between January and April.
Delyth Brown, Pete Freeman, Sharon Leech and all the coaches reported that Saturday saw an excellent turnout and turned out to be an informative day. They thanked all the athletes, parents and coaches who travelled and attended the opening day of the 2018/19 winter season.
Thanks to Carmarthen Harriers' Nathan Jones for the report.