Run Backs

Run Backs

On our fantastic runs around the scenic beauty of the much acclaimed borough of Wokingham we like to make sure all of our runners are safe and when we get back to the start of the run we haven’t lost any (it’s bad for the membership numbers).  To make sure we don’t leave anyone behind we do something called runbacks.


Running Backs?  Are those not part of the offensive backfield in that poor American copy of rugby?

No, not running Backs, these are runbacks.  At a set point (or points) in a route, the the lead runners turn round, and run back towards the last runner, or a fixed point on the route. As the lead runners pass the other runners, the other runners turn and follow the lead runners back. If you wish to high five people as you pass them, please don’t.

That means extra running, Why would we want to do that ?

It re-groups everyone, and helps maintain club cohesion. It lets you swap who you’re running with, and allows those escorting slow or new runners to swap duties with others. It help people feel more confident if they find them selves running by them selves, that someone will be along shortly. It lets people socialise a little with people they wouldn’t normally run with.  Come on admit it you have the same conversation with the same person every week, wouldn’t it be nice to talk to someone new?

OK, I can see it might make sense, when do we do that? 

On a Tuesday night run, the run back takes place on Smiths Walk which is the footpath path between Woosehill Lane and Woosehill Spine Road (by Morrison’s) #

Do you have a nice picture of where it is so I don’t get lost trying to remember.

Ahhhh you mean a map.  Yes, click on the link below and it will take you to an interactive map.  The red line is the section of the run back and the black is the standard run.

The Runback Map

 How far do we run back ?

You are encouraged to run back as far as the start of the path (in either direction) before turning back around and continuing the run. On an anti-clockwise run, the The fastest runners will catch up with runners running at about 9:30min/mile. On a Clockwise route, they will catch up with those running at about 10min/mile.

That sounds like extra mileage, how many extra miles will I end up doing ?

The path length is 0.35 miles, so the fastest runners will run an extra 0.7 miles.  Think of it as a speed session in the middle of  a run, perfect for building speed you really have no excuse to not want to do it.

Well I just don’t want to do it, it messes up my run!

Well you don’t want to, know one is going to force you.  HOWEVER, it is really good for both your running and for making the slower runners in the club feel like they are part of a club rather than slogging the streets on their own.  Slower runners won’t run much extra at all, and medium paced runners will probably run less than half a mile extra.  If you are a racing snake it will be more like 0.75 mile.  There is also a strava segment along here for all you KOM chasers out there, why not use it to get your Strava freak on.

Now you mention Strava KOM’s I’m in!  What about Thursday runs ?

Good question, we’ve not decided a run back route for the regular Thursday route yet.  We are scoping it out for the perfect spot on the route.