Special Structured Sessions

John Skevington starts the first of three special coached sessions

On the 11th January John Skevington travelled over to us in Melton for a technically packed, yet fun session of drills, practice and knowledge sharing.

After a brief introduction to the ideas behind the forthcoming drills, Ben and Jaqui were kindly volunteered to show their running form across the sports hall. This would set a benchmark where John vowed that he would make the entire running assembly better runners after the 2 hour session. Not only that, he had also captured Ben and Jaqui’s efforts on video. That was a statement of intent. Could it be met? Later we would find out…

With a circular warm up, the runners were somewhat prepared for the drills ahead. Rosie, John’s assistant, performed flawless looking demonstrations without apparent effort. She has obviously practiced these drills regularly. It was hard not to realise she is an ‘Elite’ runner as her T-Shirt stated and her form followed this through. Some noteable drills include the A-Skips, which some Striders had been performing in the technical sessions. Up and down the runners went, with observations and points of improvement pointed out by John and the team.

Warming up

B-skips were also performed. For many, this was unheard of. For others, the B-skip was a dark art heard about but never before seen, so it was interesting to see how this differed from the A-skip. And a Frankenstein drill. If only Frankenstein’s monster was as agile as all of the Striders, he might not have been so misunderstood. Lunges – what was interesting to see was the difference in how we may have been performing these before. These looked to take 2 parts to the movement to help ascertain the body position. Will be interesting to talk to Mark about this in the Structured sessions. When the drills are new, the positions can feel very alien, even unbalanced, but everyone persevered and improved immensely.


A series of force development and technique embedment took place using hurdles and steps with drills in a series of groups. Arms? Which arm? Now which leg again? Gradually all the Striders started looking naturals at these drills and the coordination of legs to arms looked great. The hurdles would seem to grow as the session went on and the odd hurdle would spring out from under the feet, but the jumping was looking really good fun, although tough! And a special kind of sit-up would engage the core.


After all that, it was back to reprisal of the Skips! Everyone immediately looked more confident and improved tremendously at these. Mark A was star pupil! Then how would Ben and Jaqui get on with the pressure of hordes of Striders watching to see if John’s statement would come to fruition? There was no doubt, they had both improved and looked great when running up and down the hall again. Then Liz G looked after us and led us through a great cool down.


This has been a great session to learn some drills and technique. Now to practice these more! 🙂

There’s two more sessions to go in the next two months. Send an email to stiltonstriders@yahoo.co.uk if you are interested to find out a little about us or join the Stilton Striders. And remember the Striders Technical sessions take place every Thursday at 7pm, where these drills and more will be revisited. They’re great to help you run better, no matter your ability. These sessions take in various locations around the town, including smashing loops, hills (what hills?) and the pyramids. Mark Stoneley would love to show you where the Meltonian pyramids are 🙂

Thanks to Di for organising the venue. It was fairly tricky to find somewhere with availability for our growing club within some reasonable distance of Melton Mowbray. It’s great to see that England Athletics see that running at our grass roots is important, so we thank them for the funding of our fantastic efforts.