CDF Training Plan September 2022 to March 2023

What’s happening to our Monday and Wednesday sessions as the days get a little shorter and darker

As we reach the end of August and the nights start to draw in, we need to make some adjustments to our Monday and Wednesday sessions as Bute Park becomes unusable due to being (a) locked and (b) pitch black. We’ll lay out all our plans here so you know what’s happening! 

Monday Nights

On Mondays we’ll be running our 3km, 5km and 7km routes – maps of the routes are below, but we’ll also make sure we’ll have our run leaders guiding you around them. 

You can meet us at the statue of John Batchelor in the city centre (opposite TK Maxx on the Hayes) and run to the top of Lloyd George Avenue where we’ll warm up, or if it’s more convenient for you, meet us there. 

There are lockers available in St David’s 2 if you need to drop a bag; they’re only £1, but you’ll need to get your stuff out of them by 8pm.

Wednesday nights

For Wednesday nights, we’ll switch our time between using Lloyd George Avenue and Museum Avenue, both mostly traffic-free areas where we’ll be able to do a variety of interval sessions to keep you sharp and motivated through the winter. 

We’ll switch between these two areas on a monthly basis as per the timetable below:

September / October: Lloyd George Avenue
November: Museum Avenue
December: Lloyd George Avenue
January: Museum Avenue
February: Lloyd George Avenue
March: Museum Avenue

Other Winter runs

Our Sunday runs will continue as usual, and we’ll add in trail, hill and maybe some track sessions as our run leader commitments allow – but we’ll also be at parkruns and races across South Wales and beyond! 

Christmas Break

We’ll take a break from our organised runs between 21 December 2022 and 4 January 2023. 

Any questions, give us a shout on one of our social media accounts: 

Spring 2022 session plans

Spring is in the air, and we bid (fond?) farewell to Lloyd George Avenue as the site for our midweek sessions, and hello to Bute Park once again. Unless otherwise specified, we’ll meet up for our Monday and Wednesday sessions outside Pettigrew Tea Rooms; there’s a bike rack there if you fancy coming by bike, and car parking facilities in Sophia Gardens. 

Monday Nights

During the pandemic, we shifted to out-and-back routes to help us administer the sessions easier, and avoid potential choke points like Blackweir Bridge. With restrictions easing, we’re in a position to inject some variety into the Monday runs. 

We’re going to alternate between offering 3km / 5km / 7km routes and doing out and back routes on a weekly basis. The routes will be more or less the same as a couple of years ago (if you remember them) but we’ll start and finish in the same place. 

3km route | 5km route | 7km route

We’ll have two different routes for the out-and-back – using the Taff Trail as before on the east side of the river, and alternatively over the Millennium Bridge, up to Pontcanna Fields and heading towards Llandaff Fields. 

Wednesday Nights 

For the first quarter of 2022 we built towards the half-marathon; for the spring quarter, we’ll look towards one of our favourite events, Cosmeston Relays. It’s been given a provisional date of 06/07/2022 so we’ll schedule this block of training to 29/06/2022 to target that. 

We’ll also continue to have scaled versions of all the Wednesday sessions so if you’re new to interval training or returning from injury, you’ll be able to take part. 

The first block of four weeks will look like this: 

Date Session
06/04/2022 Re-learning the loops: 1000m, 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m 
13/04/2022 Partner relays: 600m / 400m routes
20/04/2022 1km repeats
27/04/2022 25 minute Fartlek

We’ll then post the block of training for May at the start of each month. 

Sunday Mornings

But that’s not all! We’ll also be spicing up the Sunday runs a bit as well; whoever’s leading the run that week will make a decision on the route – and that’ll be clearly indicated on the Eventbrite link – so we’re not just locked into doing the same route around Bute Park every week. 

We’re not going to totally ditch that route, but we’re going to mix things up to keep things interesting and see some different sights around Cardiff. 

Other stuff!

We’re also going to look to have some more trail runs when possible, and also see if we can get back to the track (either at Leckwith or Cyncoed). Once we’ve got dates for these, we’ll let you know. 

We’ll do a run at some point to collect the Snoopy statues on the Dog’s Trail as well! 

CDF Training Plan January to March 2020

Hey folks! 

As promised, here’s the details of the Wednesday sessions for the first quarter of the year, leading us up to  1 April and our return to Bute Park. As usual, we’ll be running a mix of tried-and-trusted sessions with a couple of new things we’d like to try out. 

Our sessions are in this block will be split again between Lloyd George Avenue and Museum Avenue and we’ll let you know where we’ll be in advance. 

For those of you who are new to us, our goal for Wednesdays is to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones; shorter runs, intervals, fartlek, circuits and more. Doing this sort of training together helps us all keep up our motivation in an encouraging, supportive environment (with occasional swearing at whoever’s leading the session). 

This is what’s planned for January: 

Date Location Session
8 January Lloyd George Avenue Pyramid interval (based off junctions)
15 January Museum Avenue Fartlek (x2 blocks of 10 minutes)
22 January Lloyd George Avenue Paced long reps
29 January Museum Avenue 200m reps

And here’s the rest of the sessions – we’re currently just confirming our run leaders’ availability before producing a full schedule. 

  • Plyometric-themed exercises and sprints
  • Circuit training x2
  • 2-junction repeats
  • Split junction repeats
  • Continuous relays
  • 1 mile / 1km / 800m / 400m / 200m

We’ll also structure the two sessions before Newport Half Marathon and Cardiff Bay 10km (probably our most subscribed races during this period) so there’s a taper option and full-on option for those not running those races. 

CDF Training Plan October to December 2019

Hey everyone!

Last week Run Leaders Rich, Nina, Matt and Zoe sat down to draw up the next block of training (we had Adam along as well for quality control – if he made a face when we suggested something, we knew we were on the right track); with this block of training we’re trying to give you some interesting and challenging sessions on a Wednesday night to keep you going for the rest of the year. It’s a 10-week schedule that’ll take us to 11 December 2019, and on the 18th we’ll have our annual seasonal fun cavalcade before breaking up until the new year.

We’ll be splitting the sessions over two locations – Lloyd George Avenue and Museum Avenue – to try and keep things varied and interesting. 

We’re also not assigning specific dates to a session – we’ll take a look at what the weather’s going to be like and pick something appropriate; for example, if there’s rain scheduled we’ll look at something with a low recovery time between sets. The sessions will be as follows:

Museum Avenue

  • 200m reps
  • 2x Circuit sessions
  • Individual fartlek
  • Relays (teams of three)

Lloyd George Avenue

  • Long junction reps
  • Junction based pyramid session
  • Individual and team fartlek
  • Split distance session
  • 2-junction reps

The session will usually be decided on a Monday and announced on our Facebook page as soon as we can.

Rather than look at specific distances, during the winter we try to use the natural breaks in the roads to set the distances for each session. The principles remain the same as the sessions we ran during the summer – we’ll split the groups by levels of ability, but give everyone the platform to push as hard as they want to on that night. 

CDF Training Plan April-June 2019

Hello everyone!

Matt and Rich are excited to have been joined on the coaching team by Nina, who’s qualified with an MSc Sports Coaching & Performance in putting together our Wednesday training plan for April – June 2019, and we’re really happy with how it’s come together.

We’re back in Bute Park now and we intend to take full advantage of the variety of green spaces available. We’ve incorporated an extra circuit session into this block, along with a couple sessions which are pretty different to what we normally do – a handicap run, and the bleep test – mixed in with our traditional interval work.

We’ll also be having a focus on the posterior chain during our warm-ups – showing you a number of exercises you can do to both stretch and strengthen this important set of muscles including the calves, hamstrings, glutes and lower back.

Finally, we’d like to give everyone who’s not given one of our Wednesday sessions a go the chance to try them out on a scaled level – so on the dates where we’re be running a circuit session, we’ll also be running a separate introduction to to speed work session as well which will be focussed on runners with little to no experience in speed work.  

If you’ve got any questions, just pop onto our Facebook group or contact us on twitter.

3 April 2019 Pyramid (time)
10 April 2019 1km reps
17 April 2019 Circuit session + Introduction to speed work
24 April 2019 400m reps
1 May 2019 Loop run (partner work)
8 May 2019 800m reps
15 May 2019 Circuit session + Introduction to speed work
22 May 2019 200m reps
29 May 2019 3km handicap run
5 June 2019 Timed fartlek
12 June 2019 1km / 400m / 400m
19 June 2019 Circuit session + Introduction to speed work
26 June 2019 Bleep test

We’ll meet in Moti, Queen’s Arcade as usual, but if you’d prefer to meet us in the park, we’ll be here by about 18:35:

CDF Training Plan January-March 2019

Hello everyone! We’ve had the chance to review and reflect on what we thought worked, and what didn’t work in the last couple of training blocks while planning our first set of Wednesday sessions for 2019.

Firstly, the couple of weeks using the Museum Avenue (MA) area was well received so we’re going to be using that a bit more to help mitigate Lloyd George Avenue  (LGA) fatigue.

Secondly, while the benchmark test at the start and end of each block worked in theory, because individual often couldn’t make both sessions it lost its intended impact.

Finally, we’re going to try a split session where there will be two different activities, and we’ll split into two groups and swap over half way through.

We’ve planned up until the Cardiff Bay 10k at the end of March, which coincides with the clocks going forward so the intention the next block will be entirely within Bute Park.

Date Location Details
09 January MA Timed fartlek
16 January MA 500m reps
23 January MA Split 500m reps (2x 250m, short recovery)
30 January LGA Running + bodyweight exercises
06 February LGA Pyramid (1-2-3-4-3-2-1 junction runs)
13 February MA 200m reps
20 February LGA Partner fartlek (2 junction hard, 1 junction easy)
27 February LGA Split session
06 March LGA Running + bodyweight exercises
13 March LGA Split junction running (5 out, 2 + 2 back)
20 March MA Relays
27 March LGA 1 km reps (includes taper option for 10k entrants)

Hope this all makes sense – gives us a shout if you’ve got any questions.

Ryan, Matt & Rich

CDF Training Plan August-October 2018

Hello everyone!

We’re about to enter the third training block for 2018, and for this one we thought we’d try and build towards the Cardiff Half, which is a big target for so many of you. In this block there’s a lot of speed / endurance work coupled with some high-volume sessions where you’ll be looking to run at a target pace rather than flat-out.

The benchmark test this block is a longer one – 3km which you should be looking to attack at your 5km goal pace.

  • 1st August – BENCHMARK: 3km
  • 8th August – 800m / 200m / 200m (two groups, x4 or x3)
  • 15th August – Circuits
  • 22nd August – x2 200m / x4 400m – two reps
  • 29th August – Fartlek 1 min / 2 min / 3 min (run easy, then run hard)
  • 5th September – 300m (two groups, x10 or x6)
  • 12th September – Circuits
  • 19th September – 1200m (two groups, x4 or x3)
  • 26th September – BENCHMARK: 3km
  • 3rd October – Agility, Balance and Co-ordination session

The Cardiff Half Marathon is on October 7th, so hopefully this block will help you train towards it, and then effectively taper as you inch towards the big day. If you need an overall training plan and you’re not sure where to start, give us a shout and we’ll work with you to find something that fits around your schedule.

As usual, if you’ve got any questions just give us a shout!

Matt, Ryan and Rich

CDF Training Plan May-July 2018

Hello everyone!

We’re entering into a new block of training and the focus for this one will be to both prep us for Cosmeston, and to help you attack your 5k times as that seems to be a goal now spring half marathons / marathons are out of the way.

I’m also pleased to announce that Ryan Cullen and Matt Henson have come on board to help organise and run the Weds sessions – it’ll help spread the load and enable us to run multiple groups to account for different levels of ability on the night.

Here’s the programme in full – we’re trying to cover all levels of ability, so if you’ve not tried the speed sessions before then this block is a pretty good one to dive in to give it a go.

  • 23rd May – 1 mile test run
  • 30th May – 400m (x10 reps, x 6 reps, x3 reps)
  • 6th June – 1km (x5 reps, x3 reps, x1 rep)
  • 13th June – Circuit (individual, progressive)
  • 20th June – Partner fartlek session
  • 27th June – 1000m / 800m / 600m / 400m / 200m (x2 reps, scaled)
  • 4th July – Circuits (partner work, scaled)
  • 11th July – COSMESTON
  • 18th July – 1 mile re-test run
  • 25th July – Agility, balance, coordination session

Check us out on Facebook to get the latest news and details of all our sessions.

CDF Training Plan Mar-May 2018

Coach Rich Skyrme

With spring comes daylight in the evening, and a change of location for our training sessions. After the clocks move forward an hour, we move back into Bute Park where we’ve got a traffic-free green space much more appealing than the long dark of Lloyd George Avenue. If you currently meet us on LGA, please note the change of location at the dates below!

A goal when creating a training schedule for a group like CDF Runners is not to repeat sessions from the previous block, so these will differ from any of the sessions that have been run already this year. This block also presents us an interesting opportunity to incorporate the Commonwealth Games into our training schedule for the same week we’re being inspired by the athletes on the Gold Coast.

A shorter distance for our benchmark run this time around but the same principle; run the first benchmark as hard as possible, train for 8 weeks and re-test. Hopefully, you’ll see an improvement in performance!

Lloyd George Avenue

  • 21st March – 400m Time Trial (+ caterpillar run)
  • 28th March – 200m reps

Bute Park

  • 4th April – Time pyramid: 120s | 90s | 60s | 30s and back up
  • 11th April – Commonwealth Games tie-in: Race the Champs!
  • 18th April – Bodyweight circuits
  • 25th April – 1km | 400m | 400m (2 or 3 reps)
  • 2nd May – 1 mile | 1km | 800m | 400m
  • 9th May – Agility, Balance, Coordination (ABC)
  • 16th May – 400m Time Trial (+ caterpillar run)

If you can’t make a Wednesday session with us, try to incorporate that weeks’ session into your routine.

Mondays will continue as usual with options of 3k, 5k or 7k.