Workout Wednesday – Push Your Engine Then Recover

 January 31, 2018

Running requires enough time to be durable and to have the engine to support your goals, and rewards economical and efficient movements that require coordinated muscular activations but it also punishes you if you overdo any of the work.

This session is designed as one that lets you push your engine, but also includes enough recovery to be able to keep pushing that engine appropriately during other parts of the week.

15 min warm up, focus on cadence first

Main Set

3 x 30 sec stride, 90 sec easy (strides are an acceleration from your steady pace to a fast, smooth effort)
10 min build over the first 5 min to tempo/10k effort, hold for 5 min at 10k effort, then right into
3 x (30 sec FAST, 30 sec easy or walk)
5 min easy effort
10 min all 10 min tempo/10k effort, again, right into
3 x (:30 FAST, :30 easy or walk)

Cool down
Easy effort to round out the hour, re-focusing on cadence and adding attention to posture.

We offer either one to one or group coaching throughout the season at our Northwood venue. Please contact us at for availability and bookings.

Coach Grainge of SSIU Racing


Announcing the Hercules Festival of Sport Series…

Hercules are delighted to announce that we have, new for 2015, a complete Festival of Sport Series lined up for you. You will be spoilt for choice this season as we have 4 fantastic venues spread over 3 counties with events running from May all the way through September. We are also offering huge discounts when you book the complete series so please take a look at our event pages for more information and we hope to see you at one of our events soon!


Hercules Festival of Sport – Northwood

Merchant Taylors, Middlesex, Sunday 2nd June 2019


Our 2019 Northwood Festival of Sport has now concluded and was a great success, and thank you to all the competitors and volunteers who took part! Watch this space for when our 2020 event and entries goes live! Details of next years event listed below.

Northwood Festival of Sport is set in the stunning grounds of Merchant Taylors’ School. With its rich, 450-year history, the grounds provide a spectacular backdrop to what is our most outstanding event yet. We would love you join us at this well-established and exceptional event on 02 June 2019.

Our routes will be set in the beautiful surrounds of this historic stately school and in the scenic roads adjoining the estate. Our open water swim events will take place in the picturesque private lake.

We are pleased to offer our full range of sporting events from the children’s fun run right up to a Half Iron distance triathlon and new for 2019 is our Aquabike event; there really is something for the whole family at a Hercules Festival of Sport. So why not make a day of it? Sign up your family or friends in a team for one of our many events in the Festival and make it a day to remember.

All our adult events are chip timed**, professionally photographed and you will receive a finisher’s medal and a technical t-shirt for your participation.


We are hosting four open water Triathlon distances at the Festival of Sport Northwood:

• Novice – 400M/10K/2.5K
• Sprint – 750M/20K/5K
• Standard – 1500M/40K/10K
• Half Iron – 1.9K/100K/20K (8 hour maximum completion time)

Each wave will start with an ‘in water’ start in the large and sheltered Merchant Taylors private lake. The swim courses will be well marked and there will be water safety staff on hand and in the lake. After the swim, it’s just a short dash to the Transition Zone, which situated in a fully fenced and secure area adjacent to the lake. The bike leg will take you out on the picturesque Hertfordshire roads on interesting, fast and challenging routes. The run leg is predominately flat and is set within the confines of the stunning Merchant Taylor grounds. The finish, as always, is in our sports village where you will receive a hero’s welcome over the line.

Minimum Age: Novice and Sprint 15+, Standard 17+ and Half Iron 18+


There will be 3 run distances at the Hercules Festival of sport Northwood: 1.5K Fun Run, 5K and 10K.

We have created interesting routes through the picturesque private Merchant Taylors’ grounds. Please note the following age restrictions for our run events below:

• 1.5K -Everyone welcome
• 5K -11 years +
• 10K -11 years +

**1.5K Fun Run is not a chip timed event


We have an excellent out and back 100KM Cyclo Sportive on offer at the Hercules Festival of Sport Northwood:

• 100 Kilometres

Our route takes you out in to the outstanding Hertfordshire countryside, and into neighbouring counties. Our route will be well marshaled and a feed station will be available on route. We will also provide a free GPX file of the route along with your race day briefing.

The beauty of Sportives is that they are for everyone and every standard, so challenge yourself and ‘go long!’

Minimum Age: 16+

Open Water Swimming

There will be 2 open water swim races at the festival of Sport Northwood: 3K and 5K.

Our swim races will take place in the large and sheltered Merchant Taylors private lake. Our swim courses will be well marked and there will substantial water safety staff on hand and in the lake for safety and reassurance. There’s a distance for everyone, so challenge yourself and challenge your friends!

Minimum Age: 3K 15+, 5K 16+

Aquathlon Open Water

Back this season we have our two Aquathlon (Swim/Run) distances at our festivals:

• Sprint – 750M / 5K
• Standard – 1500M / 10K

Here at the Festival of Sport Northwood we have an open water lake swim followed by a predominately flat yet challenging run set within the handsome grounds of Merchant Taylors . Given this rural setting, the run will be a rare treat and there are lots of opportunities for spectators to cheer you on to the finish line and a warm welcome in our Sports Village.

Minimum Age: Sprint 15+, Standard 17+


Back by popular demand we have 3 Duathlon distances to offer this season: Novice, Sprint and Standard.

• Novice – 2.5k/10k/2.5k
• Sprint – 5K/20k/2.5K
• Standard –  10K/40K/5K

We have tailored our Duathlons to make sure that there really is a distance for every ability. Both of the Duathlon run legs will be contained within superb grounds of Merchant Taylors. The bike leg will take you out into the surrounding counties of Hertfordshire and Middlesex for a fast and enjoyable road race.

Road bikes are recommended for the Hercules Festival of Sport Northwood but by no means compulsory. We want everyone to have the chance to take part in a wonderful day of sport.

Minimum Age: Novice and Sprint 15+, Standard 17+


New for 2019, we are introducing the Aquabike event. The Aquabike race is an endurance sport composed of  the swimming and cycling stages of a triathlon. The running stage is eliminated so that people who are unable to run, or do not wish to run can still participate. We will offer three Aquabike distances at our Festival of Sport:

  • Novice – 400M/10K
  • Sprint – 750M/20K
  • Standard – 1500M/40K
  • Half – 1.9K/100K

Minimum Age: Novice and Sprint 17+


  •  Race entry 
  • Timing chips  (Excluding children’s events)
  • Finishers T-shirt 
  • Bespoke finishers medal 
  • Access to Post race nutrition, massage and athlete area 
  • Winners’ Trophies 
  • Access to special offers from our supporting sponsors


Start Time: Event:
07:00 Middle Triathlon/Aquabike
07:10 Standard Triathlon/Aquabike
07:40 Sprint Triathlon/Aquabike
07:50 Novice Triathlon/Aquabike
08:00 Aquathlon
08:30 Open Water Swim
09:00  Duathlon – All distances
09:30 Cyclo-Sportive
10:00 10K Run
10:00 5K Run
11:30 1.5K Fun Run

Distances & Prices

Event: Distances: Price:
Novice Triathlon 400M/10K/2.5K £35
Sprint Triathlon 750M/20K/5K £55
Standard Triathlon 1500M/40K/10K £75
Half Iron Triathlon (8hr max) 1.9K/100K/20K £120
Half Iron Triathlon RELAY (8hr max) 1.9K/100K/20K £55
Novice Duathlon 2.5k/10k/2.5k £25
Sprint Duathlon 5K/20k/2.5K £35
Standard Duathlon 10K/40K/5K £50
OW Aquathlon Sprint 750M/5K £30
OW Aquathlon Standard 1500M/10K £35
Novice Aquabike 400M/10K £35
Sprint Aquabike 750M/20K £45
Standard Aquabike 1500M/40K £50
Half Aquabike 1.9k/100K £75
Open Water Swim 3K £30
Open Water Swim 5K £35
Cyclo-Sportive 100K £30
Run 5K £15
Run 10K £20
Fun run – Adult 1.5K £7.50
Fun run – Child 1.5K £5


Online registration is now closed.


Cycle Routes

100KM Sportive & 1/2 Iron Distance Triathlon Cycle Route




40KM Standard Distance Cycle Route


Click here


20KM Sprint Distance Cycle Route


Click Here


10KM Novice Distance Cycle Route


Click Here


Run Routes

Run route ALL EVENTS (1 Lap 5KM /2 laps 10KM /4 laps 20KM)


Click Here


Run route Novice Distance (1 lap 2.5KM)

Click Here


Family Fun Run (1.5KM )


Click Here


Swim Routes

1900M 1/2 Iron Distance Swim Route (1 and a third laps)




1500M Standard Distance Swim Route


Click Here


750M Sprint Distance Swim Route


Click Here


400M Novice Distance Swim Route


Click Here


Race Day Info

Event Photos



Merchant Taylors’ School, Sandy Lodge Rd, Moor Park, Northwood, Middlesex, HA6 2HT

By Car:

By road from M3, M4, M40, M25 (south and west)
By road from M3, M4, M40, M25 (south and west) Leave the M25 at J17 or J18. Follow signs for Rickmansworth and Northwood through a series of roundabouts (2 from J17, 4 from J18) At the final roundabout follow the A404 (2nd exit, London Road) up the hill. Continue on the A404 past the Nine of Herts golf course on your right and the Olde Green Man on your left. At the Prince of Wales Pub, turn left into Batchworth Lane. Follow Batchworth Lane all the way until it ends and turn left into Sandy Lodge Road. Drive down the hill. Turn left immediately after the big Esso Station into Sandy Lane. The School entrance is 350 yards on your right.

By road from the M1
(M25 north and east traffic exit at J21/J21a and follow signs for M1 London) Leave the M1 at J5. Take the A4008, Stephenson Way, towards Watford. Bear left at the second roundabout (A411). Carry on at the mini-roundabout opposite Tesco’s and follow the one-way system into Dalton Way. Keep left and continue straight on for 200 yards. Turn right at the Bushey railway arches roundabout (following signs for Northwood HQ) and turn into Eastbury Road(which becomes Hampermill Lane) continuing straight on for 5-10 minutes. The road bends sharp left and you see an Esso Station on the right. Turn right immediately before the Esso Station into Sandy Lodge Lane. The School entrance is 350 yards on your right.

By road from London via the A40
From the A40 take the A4180 through Ruislip following Duck’s Hill Road to its end. Turn left onto the A404 – the Rickmansworth Road (which becomes the London Road). Pass Mount Vernon Hospital. At the Prince of Wales Pub, turn right into Batchworth Lane. Follow Batchworth Lane until it ends and turn left into Sandy Lodge Road. Drive down the hill. Turn left immediately after the big Esso Station into Sandy Lane. The School entrance is 350 yards on your right.

By Train:

Half-hourly Chiltern Line trains from London Marylebone take 14 minutes to Harrow-on-the-Hill. Change to Metropolitan Line north (Amersham branch) for Moor Park (10 minutes). You may also continue to Rickmansworth (23 minutes from Marylebone) and take the Metropolitan Line south one stop to Moor Park. There is generally a connecting train within 5 minutes at either station.

By Tube:

Moor Park (Zone 6) on the Metropolitan Line is a 10-minute walk from the School buildings. Plan your journey at At the exit turnstiles, double back on yourself, sharp right along the walkway under the railway line. Go up the stairs and turn sharp left through the barrier
onto the path through the spinney. At the end, bear left along Askew Road, cross the road at the zebra crossing and walk on 50 yards until you see the school gates on your right (pedestrian gate to the left of the main gates). Walk up the Long Drive to the School.

Hotel Accommodation:

Hotels in the near vicinity include the Premier Inn Watford Croxely Green (0871 527 9138) and the Jurys Inn Watford (01923 422800) Please contact the hotels direct for rates and availability.


Click here for a map of the location



Parking at Merchant Taylors is free for competitors and spectators and will be well signed from the school entrance.




Do I need to use a road bike for Hercules Festival of Sport Northwood?

No, a road bike is recommended but not compulsory. As long as your bike is in good working order and ‘road worthy’ you can use it.


Is drafting permitted on the bike at Hercules Festival of Sport Northwood?

No, drafting is not permitted as we are a draft illegal event.


Can I use Aero bars on my bike?

Yes, due to the fact that our race is draft illegal Aero bars are permitted.


Can someone else collect my race pack on my behalf?

Yes, you can email in advance giving your permission to said person to collect your pack. If you are a BTF member they will need to bring your BTF Licence with them for us to cross check.


Is there a feed station on your 100K cycle route?

Yes, there is a feed station that is stocked with water, energy gels, bananas and cereal bars at the turn around point of the 100K cycle route.


Do you offer discounts for local clubs/teams?

Yes we offer 15% discount for local clubs and teams to encourage participation of sport in the area. Please email and provide us with the following details: Club Name, Club Secretary Name, Club Registered Address, Number of Members. We will provide you with an exclusive unique discount code which you can distribute to your members accordingly.


Do you have a bag drop?

No, we do not have a bag drop facility at any of our events and do not take any responsibility to items left at owners risk. However for those taking part in Triathlon, Duathlon, Aquathlon and Open water swim events you will have access to a secure transition area and your own marked bay to leave your belongings.


Do you hire wetsuits for Hercules Festival of Sport Northwood?

Yes, we have an extensive range ‘Xterra’ Wetsuits available to hire or purchase. Send us your height, weight and length of hire to and we can check our stock and availability for you. Please note that if you are hiring for our event only, collection will be on Saturday 26th May at our open water swim session between 06:30-08:30 and the charge will be £20.00 for the weekend. Wetsuits can be returned after your race to a member of Hercules staff at the registration desk. For more information on wetsuit hire click here


Can I be funded if I am no longer able to participate?

No, we do not offer refunds. You can however transfer your entry to another event later in the season or transfer your entry to another person to race on your behalf. Both changes can be made by logging back into your EventBrite registration and selecting the option to ‘Transfer’ There is no charge for transfers however should you wish to change to an event that is more expensive you will be required to pay the price difference.


What is the BTF and do I need to purchase a race day licence?

The British Triathlon Federation are the national governing body for Triathlon, Aquathlon and Duathlon in Great Britain and Hercules Events are permitted by the organisation. Each participant is required to either be a member of the BTF or to purchase a BTF Day Licence which provides you with insurance whist competing. If you are not currently a member you will need to add the licence when selecting your event on our booking form. For more information on the British Triathlon Federation and the benefits of their annual membership click here


Can I race for my chosen charity?

Yes, we actively encourage our participants to raise money for charity. You can wear your own t-shirts and make it as obvious as you possibly can. If you let us know in advance we can also ensure that you are given a shout out on the day to raise awareness of your mission. Given the enormity of taking on a Hercules Event and its challenges, we feel that it is the perfect catalyst for raising well-needed funds for those in need. Please click here to set up a Just Giving page and please feel free to contact us should you think that we as an organisation can help your efforts further.


Are dogs allowed at the venue?

Yes, as long as they are kept on the lead and outside of the school buildings.


I have a discount code where do I enter it on the booking form?

Discount codes are to be entered on the first page of the booking from and once entered the prices of each ticket will recalculate minus the discount. Please see below:

Welwyn & Hatfield Festival of Sport 3 page news feature

The Welwyn & Hatfield Festival of Sport 2014 was a huge success. Thank you to all those who helped to make it an incredible event and well done to all of our competitors who took part. Click below to read a 3 page spread in the Welwyn & Hatfield Times on what was a fantastic event.



Welwyn Hatfield Festival of Sport – Stanborough Lakes

Sunday 25th May 2014

All 2014 events are now closed but please check back soon to hear the latest news regarding the 2015 season.


This fantastic venue and these highly popular events continue to attract competitors from world champions to absolute beginners.

We are offering an even greater Feast of Sport and Triathlon this year as part of the Welwyn Hatfield Festival of Sport on Sunday 25 May 2014 including:


  • Middle distance (1/2 ironman)
  • Standard distance (Olympic)
  • Sprint distance
  • Super Sprint distance


  • Half Marathon
  • 10 km
  • Kids fun run – 1.5km


  • Open Water – 5 km race
  • Open Water – 3 km race
  • Open Water – 750 m race


  • 100 km Cyclo-Sportive



ENTRIES ARE NOW OPEN FOR HERCULES Middle Distance, Standard, Sprint and Novice Triathlons – Stanborough Park, Welwyn Garden City

(Minimum age 16 years)

Middle Distance – Swim – 1.9km, Cycle – 100km, Run – 21km

Standard Distance – Swim – 1500m, Cycle – 40 km, Run – 10 km

Sprint Distance – Swim – 750m, Cycle – 25 km, Run – 5 km

Novice distance – Swim – 400m, Cycle – 10 km, Run – 2.5 km

Book Now to secure your place!!!

HERCULES EVENTS are delighted to announce that entries are now open for our 2014 triathlon events – Middle, Standard, Sprint and Novice distances. Book your place now to avoid missing out on this fantastic event.

Our 2013 event was a huge success and won universal praise from the competitors. World Champion, and winner of the 2012 Hercules Triathlon women’s event, Kate Robson said:

“I had a great time from start to finish…. The run course was great… mostly on grass which is always kinder to the legs, especially the next day..What I loved most about the race was the excellent organisation, ample marshals and signage and friendly atmosphere. I would recommend this race to anyone.”

The four Triathlon events will be on Sunday 25 May 2014. High demand is expected for places in the events; so don’t delay, book today

To view the routes click on a button…


Novice Route

Sprint Route

Standard Route

Middle Route

Open Water Swim
Open water swimming is an exciting and fast growing sport in which the UK is a world beater.

Without the chemicals or restrictions imposed by a pool, open water swim racing is an incredible and freeing experience.

In Stanborough Park’s south lake we will be offering a gruelling 5,000m event, a very challenging 3,000m event and a 750m novice event for those looking to engage in the challenge of an open water swimming event.

There are 3 open water swim events; (Minimum age 16 years)

5000 m
3000 m
750 m

The water at Stanborough Park is of the highest quality. The water quality has been independently tested and meets the European bathing water standard.Water safety is always our priority, and once again we will have a team of water safety personnel on the lake, following the swimmers throughout the events in power boats and canoes.

Even if you are a regular pool swimmer; you’ve never truly experienced swimming at it’s best until you’ve taken on an open water challenge.

ENTER ONE OF THE SWIM EVENTS HERE (Minimum age 16 years)



Please note that the use of wetsuits is forbidden or mandatory if the following combinations of distance and water temperature are attained:


Swim Length

Forbidden Above

Mandatory Below


Britain is on top of the cycling world right now.

If you are a keen cyclist and looking for a new challenge, we a fantastic 100km Cyclo-Sportive event to offer.

The event winds through the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside, while offering a good level of challenge for the more experienced cyclist.

On course mechanical support, well signposted, on police approved roads, with refreshments and a sweep up vehicle, in case of difficulties

Sign up now with your friends and club members for a fantastic day of challenging cycling.


HALF MARATHON – View Course here

Be part of the first ever Welwyn Hatfield ½ marathon. In years to come, this event will be a significant feature in the sporting calendar. Sign up now and you will be able to say that you were there when it started!

It’s a fantastic out and back course, most of it off road, including 12 K on a superb dedicated cycle path through beautiful countryside. It is relatively flat, so there is every chance of a Personal Best. This event is chip timed.

Be there at the beginning of a great new ½ marathon event. Sign up now and get your team or friends to join up with you.

Price: £25.00

10 KM – View Course here

Get your running season off with a bang, at the Hercules 10km. Book your place now and aim to beat your personal best.

A beautiful course, in the picturesque Stanborough Park, and benefitting from closed roads for safely and enjoyment. This race is chip timed.

Don’t delay, sign up today!!!!

Price: £18.00

FUN RUN – 1.5 KM – View Course here

Run for fun, run with mum or dad or run for your school. Whatever you do, get running. Who knows, you could be the next Mo Farah or Jessica Ennis!

We are opening up the Festival of Sport to everybody this year.

  • Get your whole class signed up and run for charity to make a real difference.
  • While mum or dad are in another event, you can show them how it’s really done
  • There’s no such word as “can’t” – Yes you can!!!

* Please note that children 8 years old and under must be accompanied by an adult


Child: £7.00
Parent: £5.00


All 2014 events are now closed but please check back soon to hear the latest news regarding the 2015 season.

Festival of Sport – Book Now

Registration powered by RegOnline


Novice (400m/10k/2.5k)     £35     £30(BTF)
Sprint (750m/25k/5k)          £55     £50(BTF)
Standard (1.5k/40k/10k)     £75     £70(BTF)
Middle (1.9k/90k/21k         £100   £ 95(BTF)

100km     £25

Open Water Swim
5k        £25
3k        £25
750m  £15

Half Marathon     £25
10k                          £18
1.5k Fun Run        £7
Fun Run Parent   £5


  • Novice Triathlon
  • Sprint Triathlon
  • Standard Triathlon
  • Middle Distance Triathlon
  • 100K Cyclo-Sportive
  • Half Marathon
  • 10K
  • Fun Run

Race Day Info

HERCULES FESTIVAL OF SPORT – Welwyn Garden City will be held on Sunday 25 May 2014. The main focus of events will be at Stanborough South Lake, where the event head quarters will be situated. As there are a number of events across the whole day, the specific details of your event will be sent directly to your email well in advance of the event.

In the run up to your event you will be sent a number of pre-race briefings setting out the precise details of your event and with advice as to:

  1. Start times
  2. Travel and arrival time info
  3. Maps and directions
  4. Pre-race briefing

We pride ourselves on providing comprehensive and accessible race specific information. So rest assured you will receive full briefings and details well in advance of race day

Triathlon Briefing 2014
Open Water Swimming Briefing 2014
Briefing 2014
Run Briefing 2014
Cyclo-Sportive Briefing 2014


stanboroughStanborough Activity Centre South Side – Stanborough Park
Stanborough Road
Welwyn Garden City

How to find us:

  • By Car: Leave the A1(M) at junction 4 and follow the signs to Stanborough Park. The Activity Centre offices are located on the South Side.
  • By Train: 1 mile from Welwyn Garden City Rail Station.
  • By Bus: There is a bus stop on Stanborough Road, Sovereign Central Line 300 and several restricted routes stop outside the park. 340, 365, 366 &695.
  • Telephone Herts Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 for details – webpage: