With track season over and the longer nights drawing in it can only mean one thing, the start of winter training. For us distance runners this involves a mix of long tempo runs, hills, and miles upon miles across the muddy soggy Cheshire and Manchester countryside.

Some of us thrive in the hills, but others arrive with anticipation on the days we have the hill sessions and on the hilly runs around Lyme Park. For me, hill sessions have always been my least favourite session and one I’d have previously done anything to avoid. But through the last year of working under Steve my confidence has grown when approaching the hills. Although not as enjoyable as a track session, under Steve’s guidance I can see the importance of hills, a key factor in creating strength in the base phase.

Today we had a mixture of hills, varying in length (1 to 3 minutes) and terrain in the centre of Lyme Park. Meeting at 9am, not far from the park gates, a group of brightly coloured New Balance Manchester runners set off on our warm up in to the park. As with every session it’s a nice easy warm-up followed by our routine drills and strides, and then we’re off.

It is sessions like these that having team members to encourage and work together up the hills really helps, especially the hills that are a long slog in to a strong head up towards the cage like we had today. And Steve’s presence is always much appreciated shouting words of encouragement and getting us to focus on our form.

Lyme Park is a large National Trust park on the edge of the Peak District. Within the grounds sits a Grade 1 listed palladian style country house, beautiful gardens and moorlands, and is also a deer park. Some of you may have noticed that our logo is a stag. With this park being central to many of our runs/sessions we thought it a very suitable logo for our team. At this time of year we see many a red deer scattered about the park as they enter in to their rutting season (see link below).


After the session today, all I can say is I’m glad its over and I got the hill work in for this week. I once more await the next set of hills with anticipation but for now I’m off to bed!

Exhausted but happy smiles post-session with the Cage in the background.




Race report – Northern Road Relays, Sportcity, Sunday 25th September

Jonny Mellor continued his fine return from injury taking fastest leg at the Northern Road Relays last Sunday helping lead Liverpool to an empathetic victory. In a time of 15:58 he was overall fastest by just over 10seconds. Well done Jonny!

Jonny racing past the City of Manchester Stadium.

By Lauren Howarth