“Faster 5k” training, incorporating the John Roberts 5k Series

24 March 2024 - By Jodee Mayer

A combined effort of your Coaches and Captains, we present you with a “Faster 5k” plan to coincide with the John Roberts 5k series.

A massive thanks to DJ for the idea, and for putting the plan together.

Faster 5k plan

The plan will start on 25 April, the week before the 1st 5k (see further below). More details to follow here once the current plan has ended. Exact session details and location will be in the weekly posts as always.

The sessions include previous member favourites, including the return of the Rickstones’ track sessions. The sessions are all aimed at improving your 5k time over the course of 13 weeks.

John Roberts

For our newer members, John Roberts was a long serving member of WRC who sadly passed in 2018. For avid readers of the Club Records page he will be a well known name; he still holds:

  • three records in the 55-59 category
  • one in the 60-64 (Owen Dare having smashed another 2 of these in the last 12 months) and
  • three in the 65-69 (Mark Austin having taken another of these last year)

John was at one time WRC’s only qualified coach. You can thank him for over 30 years of Thursday evening speed sessions!

The series was named in recognition of his significant contribution and the introduction of regular internal 5k races and time trials into our training schedule. If you have a few moments you can read more here (and spot some familiar faces!): https://www.withamrc.org.uk/club-news/john-roberts/

The 5k series

The John Roberts 5k series consists of four 5k runs held across the summer. The final race is a handicap. Based on performance at the first 3 races, everyone is given a staggered start time. The runner recording the fastest time in the first 3 races starts last. The aim is all of the runners crossing the finish line together.

Awards will be given to the overall series male and female winners (from runners who participate in at least 2 races of the first three races and the handicap), but the handicap winner as well. WRC members will need to run at least 1 and volunteer at another of the first three races to be eligible to run in the handicap.

And there are club champ points up for grabs for all WRC runners and volunteers!

Who can take part?

The series is open to all members of WRC, and we will also be opening up the 5k race series to other runners, who are also welcome to join the club as a member to take part in the “faster 5k” training plan!

When and where

The 5ks will replace the Thursday Speed Development Session on 4 dates over the summer. We have slightly changed the format of the race series this year, with the first and last race taking place at our previous location in Kelvedon, finishing at The Angel and the middle 2 races taking place on the track at Colchester Northern Gateway.

  1. Race 1 – 2nd May – The Angel – 7.30pm
  2. Race 2 – 30th May – Colchester Track – 8pm
  3. Race 3 – 27th June – Colchester Track – 8pm
  4. Handicap finale – 18th July – The Angel – 7.30pm

The aim is that by spreading the races out and with 5k specific Thursday night speed development sessions it will allow a really great opportunity for everyone to improve on your 5k times.


As always these events wouldn’t be able to run without support from volunteers on marshaling, timekeeping, set-up etc. As above, WRC members will not be eligible to run in the handicap race unless you volunteer at least 1 of the first 3 races. Please look out for a volunteer post ahead of each of the races.

We look forward to providing you more details and seeing you there soon. If you have any questions before please speak to DJ or Jodee know.

Your Coaches and Captains


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