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Tony Osborne (Ossie) created Ossie's Angels when 3 young mums wanted some help learning to run.

The group grew as like-minded people joined. 

In his 80's, Tony's enthusiasm for running and general exercise is contagious.

Ossie’s Angels run as a group.

Ossie’s Angels should always regroup during their sessions. Regrouping is not fixed, it normally takes place approximately every mile but can  also be at the top of a long hill or at a convenient junction before changing directions, in fact it takes place at any convenient point.

The Angels are not exceptional, all well organised/coached athletic clubs operate this system, locally this includes FVS and SNHAC among others.  Regrouping is important and beneficial for all abilities and groups of runners.

Running in a group helps you keep an even pace, focussed and  relaxed. Regrouping supports this and for the faster runner allows you to run extra distance. Of course it also allows you to socialise with friends.

So when we regroup what is the best routine? Well do not stop but turn round and run back past the last runner in your group. How far past the last runner is for you to decide, personally I used to run about 30-40 metres, by which time the other runner is about 60 metres ahead. A good distance for a hard, but controlled chase. In other words using other runners to help you maintain a steady pace but having a little fun.  

You can also use hills to challenge yourself either by accelerating or at least maintaining the same pace. Obviously this depends on the length/steepness of the hill and the point in your session. Early in the session needs a little more restraint, near the end can be less inhibited.  However, use the hill also as a point to regroup. Think about what it takes mentally to go part way back down a hill a help a colleague complete their effort? Building mental strength?

STOPPING IS BAD. Running creates Lactate (Lactic Acid), you can feel it builds up in your legs as you run. Note how this works in your Tempo sessions. If you stop then the lactate concentrates in the legs and it becomes harder each time you restart. This is why beginners are taught to walk/run and not stop. After any hard race or training session you need to warm down to at least partially clear the lactate from your legs. Stretching and massage also help, but NOT STANDING STILL.

Finally think of your fellow runners. If the faster runners stop and rest but the slower runners have to keep running think how this feels. You get a 3 minute rest but expect them to keep running without a rest. At each stop they are further behind and more tired. This is very discouraging and eventually they might go and run with someone else. One day you might be the last runner in the group or eventually running alone! 

Running in a group with other people is the most enjoyable way to run. When I was coaching with other clubs I had a saying “Find a friend to run with, you don’t have to like them, just use one another to train better”. Some people thought it was funny, others thought I was very sarcastic. However, helping other runners may well help you to like yourself and by that help you to run even better. A psychological thought to finish.


Our group is informal and free!

There's no membership, but we do like to know who is running with us, so we can keep you up to date with runs, challenges and social events.

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