Martyn Bell: Training

Training – Martyn Bell

Hopefully, the text below will provide you with a little insight into how I approach my training and the principles I have employed.

Back in March 2012 I made a promise to myself to focus on some essential areas – work on my body composition, and get the mix right across frequency, volume and intensity.

In 2009 when I turned 40 my weight was 17 stone and is currently 12 stone (as at October 2012) with a further 8lbs to lose by year end. The biggest single factor that has contributed to improved racing performance is getting rid of the lard – a further 8 lbs will ensure 15-16 secs /per mile faster with no changes to my training !!!

WKO – Performance Management Chart

I am mentored by my father who runs a coaching business for endurance athletes called Mercury Performance Coaching – I am also a coach and we have testing facilities across the UK (see

I keep a training diary in hardcopy and also comprehensive notes on Garmin connect – the data held on Garmin Connect is then downloaded into WKO software and essentially allows me to quantify my training – I have the means to know how “hard” or “easy” my sessions actually are by awarding “stress points” to each session – this would require sometime to explain but the chart below shows 3 of possibly 50 areas that MPC measures to monitor my training.

The blue line (Chronic Training Load) is my fitness and measures in batches of 6 weeks of training at a time – the trend I have been looking for is a steady and progressive line upwards – the angle of the line is also critical as I can ensure the ramp rate (loading) is sufficient enough to stress the body and get a training effect but without going into a sustained over reaching which can cause injury and high levels fatigue.

There are many times that I need to work hard but also allow my body to recover and this is shown by the yellow bar chart called a “training stress balance” – this shows my fatigue levels and ensures I can put in large dose of training but have the means to recover or taper adequately. The chart shows lots of “spikes” which are the times that I have reduced the training load to become more recovered. RECOVERY IS KING !

I also ensure that my personal circumstances are considered and having a young family and busy job. I train in the mornings and in my lunch breaks which works for me – I also train 30% of my time on my bike (a “cateye” turbo bike in the garage) and I currently do not do any speed work faster than 5k pace but train at an appropriate pace and intensity which has kept me injury free.

I generally structure my training in 6 week blocks and get tested at Mercury Performance Coaching to assess how efficient my aerobic base is – this will set my training zones for the next 6 weeks. My weight will hopefully continue to drop and this is supported by good nutrition and training in the correct heart rate zones ie: the lower zones / lower heart rate to burn a higher dosage of fat calories.

All this effort has contributed to me gaining selection for England in November.

Best of luck in your training


Alastair Murray: Training w/c 22.10.12

Alastair Murray: Training w/c 22.10.12

a.m. 6.5 miles. Over Winter Hill and around. Running slow so missed out 2nd climb of 2 lads. Tough morning run. Time 55:35. 1062 FOC.
p.m. Strength work.

Day off.

a.m. 6 miles. 2 lads, trig point, pigeon tower and pike. A slow morning run. Time 53:41. 1125 FOC.
p.m. 5 miles. On roads around Horwich. 33 mins. 320 FOC. Stretched.
Strength work.

a.m. 4 miles. 2 lads and pike. Very easy. Saving it for hills. Time 40:17. Stretched & Iced Achilles which had flared up slightly.
p.m. Hills. 0.5 mile warm up. Feeling a bit tired going into it, and it showed towards the end of the later reps. 3 x chorley old + 1 x claypool. Time 47:24. Ave Pace 6:50. 1000 FOC. Distance 7 miles. 1.5 mile warm down. Stretched.

a.m. 4 miles. 2 lads and pike. Felt light headed but fresh. Time 38:17. 900 FOC. Stretched.
p.m. No run – stuck at work until late.

a.m. 7 miles. WH, pigeon tower, pike and 2 lads. Feeling tired so a relaxed pace. Time 1:05:57. 1282 FOC. Stretched.

p.m. 14 miles. Flat on roads. Not feeling good and tired all day. Time 1:47:26. Ave Pace 7:40. 650 FOC. Stretched.

Additional Comment.

Weekly Total: – 55.5 miles. 6350 FOC. 7 hours 41 minutes.

A reasonable week considering. Was aiming for a solid 60 miles with two sessions, but missed a couple of runs and track. One or two niggles but keeping on top of them.

Gareth Booth: Training w/c 22.10.12

Gareth Booth Training w/c 22.10.12

Monday – 22nd Oct
6 miles – including 1,2,3mins hard reps twice with 3mins between each set. Tough as achilles playing up so tried to hold back

Lunch 5mile – 35mins
Eve – track session – 5*1k reps – 6mile. Held back to average 5.20 pace. Achilles getting better but need to be careful. Ice and easy running till Sunday now.

Spinning class – got to class 45mins early and onto the bike. worked harder on own then in the class Total 90mins

Decided to take day off to allow the achilles to recover. Need to be careful as dont want to risk it getting worse. Its only 1 day and the bigger picture is more important

Easy 12miles at 7.20 pace

Super cold so arranged to meet Martyn at 7am. Easy 10miles. Intro ride with Chorley Cycling club while Caz was working 33mile on bike.

15miles including easy 5, hard 5 sub 6mins pace and easy 5mile

Good week given the achilles niggle but Maria’s told me its nothing serioous which is a relief. I have let the inflammation get down with icing and now need to stretch it more….Plan to push hard next week and introduce more biking if Achilles is not improving by tue…

Total Running – 44miles. Biking time – 4.5hrs

Training Logs

Over the next few weeks we are going to be trialing a new feature on the club website.

A few club athletes have volunteered to publish a weekly summary of their training. It is hoped that this will be of interest to other club members and give an incite into the hard work and training that are behind the results of these runners.

If you would be interested in publishing your own training log on the club website, please send your submissions to

The first training logs will appear soon in the Training section of the website :

Greater Manchester Sportshall League

Greater Manchester Sportshall League

Well Done to All Our Athletes that Competed in the Greater Manchester Sportshall Event – October 21st 2012

On the 21st October Sportcity Manchester hosted the first of three Greater Manchester County League Sportshall Competitions. This was the first time that Horwich RMI Harriers and AC had participated in this League having traditionally been entered into the Lancashire League Sportshall events at Blackpool. Although venturing into un-familiar territory the athletes that competed for Horwich by no means appeared as novices. There were some excellent performances from our athletes against some very stiff and experienced competition from clubs such as Dash AC, Bolton AC, Wigan and Sale Harriers.

Worthy of note in particular were performances by Horwich Athletes:

Niamh Bowen (U11 Girls): 1 lap – 3rd (11.58 secs), 3 lap – 2nd (36.20 secs).

Katie Shingler (U13 Girls): 2 lap – 3rd (22.00 secs), 4 lap – 1st (47.19 secs), St Long Jump – 4th (1.96m)

Ella Harper (U13 Girls): 4 lap – 2nd (47.39 secs).

Isobel Dean (U13 Girls): 6 lap – 3rd (80.70 secs).

Katie Shingler, Ella Harper, Isobel Dean and Helena Norris (U13 Girls): 4x2Lap Relay – 3rd (90.91 secs).

Ellie Dacre (U15 Girls): 2 lap – 4th (22.36 secs).

Issac Parker (U11 Boys): 3 lap – 2nd (35.93 secs).

Owen Cole (U13 Boys): 2 lap – 4th (22.35 secs), 4 lap – 4th (47.81 secs), St Triple Jump – 3rd (5.68 secs).

In addition, for their contribution to the overall team performance and for proudly representing Horwich RMI and AC, many thanks to: Sally Caldwell, Annabel Flanagan, Richard Flanagan, Daniel Kay, Callum Mewes, Luke Bellew, Jack Aspinall and Mackenzie Dacre.

Details of all results can be viewed at:

Sportshall League is an excellent competition for our athletes to participate in during the winter months. It gives them a chance to compete in a fun event in a top quality sporting facility against athletes from the some of the best clubs in the County. It also gives them an opportunity to record their own personal best performances for future goal setting and progression.

If you are a Horwich RMI Harriers athlete aged U11, U13, U15 at 31st August 2012 and would like to be considered for the team for the next two Sportshall League Events, to be held at Sportcity on the 18th November and 9th December, then there is still an opportunity to register. Just download and complete the attached form and submit to Rachel Collington (club nights Monday and Wednesday) along with a cheque for £4.50 made out to Greater Manchester Sportshall League. Forms and monies should be received by no later than Wednesday 7th November.

Note: The cost for all three events is £4.50 in total. There is no reduction for participation in less than three League events.

Form :

Overall Tables

Overall Tables

The Overall Club Champs Tables are now up to date.

Apologies for the delay this year in the updating of all the tables. It appears there was some confusion over who was maintaining them this year.

Many thanks for the hard work of Karen Murray over the last few days in bringing all the tables up to date.

New Membership Fees

New Membership Fees

Following the AGM on 17th October your Club Membership renewal subscriptions are now due. England Athletics are to increase the affiliation fee on 1st April 2013 which the club pays for each competitive member. Until now this fee has been £5 a year and this has always been included within the individual membership fee. Next year this fee will increase to £20 for Senior Athletes who compete on the Track & Field, to £10 for non Track & Field athletes and to £15 for Juniors (upto U17’s).

At the AGM, it was proposed and agreed that the membership fees for the club had to reflect this increase, so an increase of £5 for seniors and £10 for juniors was agreed which is to cover the increased affiliation fees. Senior membership will now be £30 and Junior membership £25. All Seniors will initially be registered as Non Track & Field competitors and if they choose to compete in Track & Field League or competitions we will upgrade their Competitive Status at no additional cost to the athlete.

In line with these increases, the family membership to cover two adults and two children living at the same address will increase to £80. It is possible to pay this amount over a period of time – please speak to the membership secretary for details.

Should anyone feel unable to pay these new fees then please feel free to contact the membership secretary and every case will be confidentially and individually considered.

If you have any queries about any membership please contact the membership secretary at”

Many thanks

Andrew Storey

Horwich RMI Harriers and AC

Membership Secretary

Withins Skyline

Withins Skyline

Three HRMI Harriers ran this rather muddy & boggy fell race, but what fantastic weather graced us. Lindsey Brindle’s first race in months saw her fair quite well finishing pretty well up in the field. Great to see her back in the fold. Fingers crossed, no repercussions! Next was Brent Brindle trying not to let Suzanne take up the bet of ‘if I beat you, there’s a curry in it’ followed by loser of curry Suzanne. A great time in the pub after hosted by Dave & Eileen Woodhead with fab prizes all round.

Preliminary Results

Mid Lancs XC change of Venues (not dates)

Mid Lancs XC change of Venues (not dates)

The fixtures for the 2012 – 2013 Mid Lancs have changed from those discussed at the Fixture Meeting. There has been one main change – a cross-over between Kendal and Lancaster because this suited the organizers better.

The confirmed fixtures are as follows:

2) Liverpool Cross-Challenge – Sat 24 November 2012


4) Hyndburn – Sat 12 January 2013


6) Skelmersdale – Sat 2 March 2013

Please can you pass on this information to our club members.

Thank you.

Pete Ramsdale

RR XC Witton Pk, Blackburn

Plenty of red vests on show today. Four ladies had great runs with Debbie Campbell leading the way followed by Suzanne Budgett, Michelle Devine & Christa Whatmough. Comparably dry underfoot to previous years but still shoes lost during the race. The ‘Teaspoon’ was added as well as the ‘Saucer’ giving us all an extra climb. Looked like we had quite a few men out too but perhaps one of the men in on the action can enlighten on the mens section? Unfortunately Pete Ramsdale was proper sick and was bravely sat tucked away in his car somewhere whilst Christine Ramsdale stood in for him, so mega ‘thanks’ from everyone for all her efforts distributing numbers etc. We all wish Pete a speedy recovery. One to note for older Vet Category men – today some of the older vet men ran with the Senior Women, doing a shorter course than the Senior Men. Unsure whether this is a one off or a permanent fixture. Unable to see anything on Red Rose web but Paul Murray ended up missing his race due to this change. One to watch out for.

Heaton Park XC

There was a decent turnout of Harriers for the 1st race in this 100th year anniversary of the South East Lancs League. Although we weren’t able to field a Ladies team on this occasion our 2 entrants put in great performances – Debbie Campbell in 4th closely followed by Maria Lowe in 6th.

In the Mens event, the team finished 10th with the Vets team finishing 6th. Sean McMyler (32nd) was our 1st finisher followed by Mark Swindell (93rd ), Colin Wood(100th ), Michael Crook (107th & 3rd V60), Pete Ramsdale(126th ) & Gordon Stone (151st )

Bronze for Horwich

UKA British Fell & Hill Relay Championship – 14-Oct-2012.

Church Stretton.

A fantastic performance by the MV40 team saw them take bronze at this years FRA relays on the Long Mynd.

Gareth Booth got the team off to a great start on the solo leg 1 of 6.7k 500m climb, handing over to Martyn Bell and Dave Milliken for the pairs leg over 13k and 900m of climb. Martyn and Dave took the team into third place in the MV40 category, and it was nip and tuck for the rest of the race. On the navigation leg it was down to Brendan Bolland and Mick Green to keep us in the running, which they did well, coming back just a few seconds down on third place. Dave Jackson had the glory leg, another solo leg of 7.1k and 500m ascent, conclusively restoring the team to 3rd place, and securing the bronze medal.

FRA Vets Bronze Team

We also had an open team running on the day. Tony Hesketh got us started, handing over to Gary Chadderton and Doug Fleming. Reluctantly Alastair Murray and Mark Fuller took over for the nav leg, with Stuart Edmondson returning to racing on leg 4. The team was very happy with 58th position.

Big thanks to all who helped put the teams together, and to Tony Hesketh, Mark Fuller and Stuart Edmondson for stepping in at the last minute to run.

Results :


A fantastic day in the Lakes was the reward for the eight Horwich Harriers who made up the team for this years running of the Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay.

Kicking us off, in a hastily rearranged running order were the two Micks, Kay and Green, getting the team off to a fantastic start and handing over to Brendan Bolland and the ‘just in time arriving’ Alastair Murray for leg two. The unchanged pair of Chris Heys and Phil Dewhurst took over for the not so long, but tough leg three, passing the baton to Andy Porter and the ‘thought he was spending the day potholing at 8 o’clock that morning’ Colin Jones, to finish us off.

Despite all the moaning by the team captain, it was a grand day out. A big thanks to the whole team for pulling together when it seemed the team was in jeopardy, and in particular to Colin Jones for dropping everything as a last minute (well quite a bit after the last minute) replacement.

Results :

Swinton 10miles Road Race

 Swinton 10miles Road Race

The 3rd annual Swinton 10miles Road Race took place on a cloudy, breezy morning over the undulating course which replaced the original Swinton Half Marathon which was held for 30 years. The race incorporated the latest stage of the Central Lancs Grand Prix and attracted over 200 entries.

Horwich Harriers were lead home by Rob Jackson in 10th place overall and 2nd vet45. Amazingly this was Rob’s 26th consecutive Swinton Half/10m Race and he maintained his record of always finishing in the top 10. Strong runs from Dave Jackson in 15th place and 4th vet40 and Sean McMyler in 21st and a super 1st vet 50 gave Horwich 3rd team behinh Bolton Harriers and Leigh Harriers. Colin Wood 92nd and 5th vet55, Mark Swindell 111th and 20th vet40 and Dave Wagstaff 150th and 24th vet40 also competed.