Foundation (Marcus)

Important squad announcement

(Nothing to report)

This Squad takes athletes aged from 11-13 years (school years 6 to 8) and its objective is to improve all-round physical development and enhance the athlete’s speed, strength, mobility, co-ordination and endurance. The programme aims to achieve this by using the different athletic events covering running, jumping and throwing as a vehicle to develop these skills. There is also an emphasis on increasing the training volume from one to two sessions per week to ensure that they are fit enough to move into a ‘specialist squad’ at the age of 13+ years.

By the age of 13+ years the athlete should be ready to move into one of the specialist squads where their continued development will be overseen by a new lead coach: Endurance and Middle Distance; Sprinting and Jumping; Throwing; Pole Vault. However, this is done to provide the athlete with the focus they will need to improve at their preferred or best event. It is not done to the exclusion of all other events and athletes with a talent for several events are encourage to keep this up by working with other squad coaches by arrangement with their lead coach

As athletes mature, they need to train more if they are to reach their potential, so we encourage additional runs to be made on 1 or 2 of the days when there is no training.

Squad coaches

Marcus Headshot

Marcus Faulkner

Working towards UKA Qualified Athletics Coach

Coach placeholder image

** Are you interested in helping with Athletics **

* No experience required

For existing members, if you have any squad related queries, please contact: Speak to Marcus at the club.

About the coaches

Marcus is a UKA Qualified Assistant Athletics Coach, with endurance running as the additional area of interest. He has also been coaching within Chris's foundation squad and the Hughenden Fitness squads. Marcus has previously competed for the club in the Chiltern league and also enjoys trail running.

Training schedule

Summer Training

Summer training typically starts around April.

Tuesday 7:00 - 8:30 pm at Little Marlow Athletics Track ** core training day **
Thursday 6:00 - 7:00 pm at Little Marlow Athletics Track - Optional Endurance Training with Chris's Foundation Squad
Thursday 7:00 - 8:30 pm at Little Marlow Athletics Track - Optional (year 9+) Endurance Training with the Middle Distance Squad
Saturday 9:30 - 11:00 am at Little Marlow Athletics Track - Event Training - by invite only

Occasionally, training for other events will also be available on Saturday at the track. Invitations for these events will be sent a few days before and will have limited spaces. This can cover events such as hurdles, throws (Javelin, Shot Put, Hammer and Discus), jumps (long jump, high jump and pole vault).

Winter Training

Winter training typically starts around the beginning of September.

Tuesday 7:00 - 8:30 pm at Little Marlow Athletics Track ** core training day **
Thursday 6:00 - 7:00 pm at Naphill Playing Fields (HP14 4UR) - Optional Endurance Training with Chris's Foundation Squad
Thursday 7:00 - 8:30 pm at Naphill Playing Fields (HP14 4UR) - Optional (year 9+) Endurance Training with the Middle Distance Squad
Saturday 9:30 -11:30 am at Hughenden Park - Fitness & Conditioning (Meet at the entrance to children’s playground on Coates Lane)

Please ask your coach before starting any optional sessions.

Endurance training with the Middle Distance Squad is usually suited to children in year 9, although some start earlier.

Other training information

Training at Wycombe Phoenix is all year round, through school holidays too, with typically a month off. There's usually no training the weekends we compete as a club.

Your Commitment to the Club

Please remember we are a competitive club over the the entire year, with a mixture of track, field (jump/throw) and cross country events. Membership at WPH provides training to compete, which is a membership requirement.

The club expects athletes at this age to compete in 4+ track & field competitions (April-July) and 3+ cross country competitions (October-February.) Full details are in the membership section under Competition.

During the Autumn & Winter we compete in cross country. You are welcome to treat races as training sessions instead; and have fun with your friends! There are many benefits to be gained from cross country and athletes who have had a good winter typically have a good summer track season.

Athletes will only be asked to compete if they are capable.

Fitness & Conditioning Training at Hughenden

Training at Hughenden is a huge benefit to all athletes, whether interested in sprints, jumps, track racing or cross country races. The sessions are fun and improve athletes endurance all-round. Sessions often involve lots of shorter runs, sprints, relays and games. It's a great location too.

* Who's invited: All athletes who are 9 years old** are invited. Sessions are adapted to suit each athlete.
* Who's Coaching: Jeremy, Marcus and Graeme. You'll also see Wycombe Phoenix's Endurance and Sprint squads training
* Drop and collect at Hughenden Park Playground on Coates Lane
* Please do not let children walk on their own, leave with their coach
* Bring: water, inhaler, hand sanitiser and a plastic bag to stand on while changing your shoes
* Shoes: Arrive in trainers and bring spikes or trail shoes, if you have them, (9mm spikes recommended, it's 6mm max at the track).
* Clothing: leggings or tracksuit bottoms and layers (e.g. T-shirt + warm top + rain coat). If very cold add a hat and gloves for the warm-up.
* We train all weather, sun, rain or snow.

Chiltern League Cross Country Competition - Winter

Wycombe Phoenix competes in this set of 5 matches at various locations.

Everyone can take part, there is no selection process and Wycombe Phoenix will pay for your entry. Athletes run in their age category from U11** to senior. All results appear on the National Athletics Database (po10) and the top 3/4 will score us points to move up in the league (depending on the division and age category). You will see lots of WPH Coaches and parents at races. (We also put up a gazebo and WPH Flag to find us easily).

In the past these races have been on Saturdays at the following locations: Shotover Hill (Oxford), Teardrops Lake (Milton Keynes), Stopsley Park (Luton), Keysoe Equestrian Centre, Campbell Park (Milton Keynes).

Cross Country is a team event, please try your best to make our Saturday training sessions and you'll also have super fitness for all your athletics.

** Athletes that are 9 years old on 31-Aug (the same year as the first Chiltern League race)

Other Winter Competitions

Athletes can also decide to compete in the following competitions ***
Southern Road Relays (September)
The Southern Cross Country Relays (October)
Bucks AA Cross Country Champs (January)
SEAA Cross Country Champs @ Parliament Hill, London (January)

*** U15 age category, age 13 or 14 on 31Aug (at the start of the winter season)

Competitions and Dates



To enjoy athletics you will need a pair of trainers and later, a pair of running spikes. To compete for the club you will need a Club Competition Vest (and ensure to have your England Athletics registration number).

Running Spikes

Please bring running spikes to every session and arrive in trainers (it's not essential during trial sessions). When wet or slippery it's not safe to train for some activities like high jump, long jump and javelin without spikes. (Please ask if you would prefer to find some pre-loved spikes from another member)

Spikes for athletics can be bought for all sorts of events, from cross country to sprint, long jump, javelin and long jump. It's suggested to buy multi-use spikes (often sold as cross country shoes) for foundation athletes.

Spike shoes are usually a whole size bigger than running trainers. They are meant to be a snug fit, but allowing a "thumbs width" in front of the toes is usually good advice, running also make your feet expand!

They usually come with a bag of metal 5mm spikes that screw into the bottom with a spike key. The maximum length of spikes allowed on a track is 6mm, otherwise it will damage the surface. For Cross Country races and training at Hughenden on Saturdays you will need a pack of 9mm spikes.

If running spikes don't suit you for cross country, trail shoes are a great alternative. They're more like trainers with deep tread on the bottom.

Where to Buy Spikes Locally

Runners Retreat in Marlow specialise in running shoes and fitting, they offer a 10% discount to WPH members.
Sports Crest in Eden High Wycombe have a few typical brands like Adidas.
Decathlon (also in Eden) usually have a range of more budget spikes.


Remember to avoid socks made of cotton, which absorb water and causes blisters. Go for synthetic running socks, like Nylon,polyester and merino.

Staying Warm

We will train all weather: rain or snow we will go!
As the temperature drops below 10deg there is no reason to be cold or miss sessions. Layers work well, you might like to consider a base layer "compression top" for athletics/football (found in typical sports shops locally)

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