Hello all

I hope you are all doing well through these difficult times.

The committee and coaches had a meeting last week just to catch up and share experiences of training in lockdown.

The following are a few snippets people have provided for information to share with the wider community and hopefully give information about what is happening in the world of Notts AC.

If you feel you would like to be involved in something that you see on here please get in touch with the office, info@nottsac.co.uk or on 0115 985 4289 where your enquiry will be directed to the correct person.

We are in consultation with the council about track and facilities reopening dates and the structure this will take. As soon as anyone knows anything we will advise.

Updates can be found on the EA website and Sport England. Their websites are updated with the latest information about training facilities and guidelines. Worth a read.

Please all stay safe and follow the guidelines we are asked to and I’m sure we can have a successful ‘come back’ when allowed.

A HUGE thank you to all who have taken the time to write something for me to include in the communication.

I hope it provides interesting reading


Vice Chair

Training during lock down – Fiona Palmer

I am no stranger to training by myself, but never in my 34 years in athletics have I ever experienced anything like this period of time before.

During this unprecedented time I have found the best way to help cope with the situation is  keeping my interest in training with the hope of some sort of competition later this year. I try to keep to my training routine as much as possible which is usually three track sessions, one strength and conditioning session and an easy run.

My track has become the trails in woods and a cricket ground locally according to the type of session planned. I take some cones as visual start and finish markers, though they do seem to attract attention as some passers by decide to kick them – very frustrating indeed, especially if you are in the middle of a repetition!!) My training partner is an I pod motivating me with a bit of Meatloaf.

For safety reasons it is always advisable to let someone know where you are going and how long you will be, or better still go with a family member. My gym varies between the back garden in the sunshine, we have an open area of a carport when it is less sunny and if raining a space is cleared in the front room. In the recent fine weather this has caused much amusement to the neighbours, especially as one is building an extension requiring the skills of builders, scaffolders and roofers. Resistance equipment is improvised from thera (elastic) bands, a couple of sand filled weights and the occasional couple of cans of beans or water filled plastic bottles. A garden wall or the back door is a step, an old plastic chair is used for arm dips and the luxury of an exercise mat allows  abs work or stretching whilst being in earshot of the kitchen radio playing.

Notes on the Virtual racing scene by David Oxland

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Notts chairman and men’s road team manager Mick urging us to enter a 5k virtual relay race which was to be held during the weekend originally scheduled for the ERRA National road relays. I was sceptical and originally declined, partly because I did not fully understand the technology. Also, I thought it would be difficult to run a respectable time (effectively a time trial) without competitors. However, I thought twice about it and entered the race along with many of the senior men’s team, a few ladies and a group of Masters runners.

Finding somewhere to run the time trial was not easy for a city dweller like me, during the lockdown when road travel for exercise was more or less banned. I ended up running around the Showcase Cinema car park nearly ten times, an uninspiring but flat course! Others must have found better courses but with social distancing a challenge, great care must of course be exercised at all times.

These races are being put on via Open Track’s platform and are now being licensed by English Athletics. You first open an account with Open track and then enter your chosen race-there are now loads of them. The genie is out of the bottle and I suspect virtual racing will remain big even after the Corona virus has been conquered. You need a GPS device and can upload your result onto Garmin Connect and/or Strava. You can try more than once to achieve a good time within the timescales allowed. I found the instructions how to upload my Garmin link to my map and timing very confusing and not appropriate for my watch, but I managed to email myself the link and then successfully upload it. The Open Track website was deluged, and some people took hours uploading their results. I am sure that they have now solved this problem-they were just overwhelmed by the huge number of entries.

The Open track results service is a dream for anoraks! Our Notts runners were automatically entered for any team which they qualified for by age or gender and Notts president Tim Hartley (M50) managed to score for all four of our teams! Our teams did not make the top three in any category, but we did well in each. It was also nice that, probably for the first time in our club’s history we had a mixed team (age-adjusted 12 stage). Is age adjusting going too far?-it means for example that a 35 year old has to run a little faster than a 36 year old just to be equal. I have never been much of a fan, but it is harmless.

Here are the Notts results from the Virtual National road relays held on 4th  to 9th April 2020:

Men’s seniors (12 stage)  Notts 24th 3:13.08

131: Patrick Townsend (15:08),  131: Alastair Watson (15:08),  131: Freddie Hessian (15:08),  226: Milan Campion (15:27),  245: Bruce Raeside (15:31),  334: Craig Taylor (15:48),  397: Matt Blunden (15:58),  439: Anthony Woodward (16:05),  454: Tim Hartley (16:08),  924: Jarratt Perkins (17:10),  998: Matthew Williams (17:18),  1487: Jonathan Hiorns (18:19)

Men’s over 50 (4 stage)    Notts 7th  1:17.00

454: Tim Hartley (16:08),  1982: David Oxland (19:29),  2100: Martin Simpson (19:46),  2736: Steve Leek (21:37)

Age graded mixed gender (12 stage)    Notts 13th 85.67% average

454: Tim Hartley (92.14%),  131: Alastair Watson (91.88%),  1982: David Oxland (87.77%),  245: Bruce Raeside (87.11%),  397: Matt Blunden (85.86%),  131: Freddie Hessian (85.79%),  131: Patrick Townsend (85.79%),  334: Craig Taylor (84.96%),  226: Milan Campion (84.03%),  1460: Katja Blunden (83.53%),  439: Anthony Woodward (82.93%),  924: Jarratt Perkins (76.26%)

Men’s vets (6 stage)   Notts 1:45.23

131: Alastair Watson (15:08),  397: Matt Blunden (15:58),  454: Tim Hartley (16:08),  1754: Marti Whitehouse (18:54),  1982: David Oxland (19:29),  2100: Martin Simpson (19:46)

Subsequently European Masters Athletics put on a virtual 5k race on mid  May. This was ambitious, not very well publicised  and as a result was not fully successful with most of the entries being from Great Britain and Northern Ireland plus a relatively few other European entrants. Some Notts athletes entered and several were part of successful GBR teams as well as making the podium for individual legs.

Forthcoming virtual races-you can see for yourselves on Open track’s web-site. Most are free to enter. Often you can make a voluntary donation to the chosen charity. Here are two races coming up:

British Masters Virtual 5k Relays 14th to 20th June 2020   This was instigated by me and it is intended to be a substitute for the BMAF blue riband road relays usually run at Sutton Park in late May. At the time of writing this an incredible 2147 people have entered and £6,897 raced for Macmillan. Any Notts AC athlete can enter, even those under 35 9although they won’t count for teams. So far 11 Notts athletes have entered and we have the makings of a winning M35-44 team (Important note: if you want to drop down to a lower age group, eg Tim Hartley, then email the organiser:


Notts AC Bragging Rights 5k     10th to 18th June 2020 Organised by Patric Clark for past and present members of Notts this deserves more support than it has had so far-only 4 entries. A bit of fun!

The PV group has been very active during lockdown – Maxine Robbins

At our last session before training stopped, we brought a bag of poles from HH. The athletes had the option to borrow a pole each to enable them to them to practice pole drills at home during lockdown. Many took up this offer.

The group has had an active Facebook group for several years now for communication purposes. This has been invaluable during our time apart in lockdown. Initially the posts were our regular warm ups and a list of various drills.

We soon realised we needed some structure and via FB polls and discussions we came up with the programme we are still using now.

From early April we have had 1x virtual session using Zoom. This has been a great way to keep in touch and keep the athletes engaged. This usually takes the form of strength & conditioning type exercise which we can all do together, at a time we would usually train. 

2 other sessions are posted on the FB group – 1 technical and the other more running mechanics. These are for the athletes to do independently. 

We were very fortunate that Holly Bradshaw (GB vaulter) and her coach Scott Simpson produced 3 fantastic videos of how to train for PV during lockdown with no equipment. These drills and exercises frequently appear in our technical sessions. 

As the restrictions are relaxing, we are just moving towards small group coached sessions. Unfortunately the England Athletics guidance doesn’t allow us to vault yet but we hope to meet up in the next week in a park, which we are very much looking forward to.  The existing remote sessions will remain until the track reopens. 

Again, many thanks to those that have shared their experiences. We can always share yours if you wish to get in touch




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