We have a great week ahead of us. Thursday will be our longest run to date – 90 minutes of running. Yeah!!! I’ll bring a backpack full of gels for you to sample. If you like the one you try, then save the packet so you can order the exact brand/flavor. Most of the gels that I recommend are available in limited supplies at the running or biking stores here in London, so I usually just order them online. That way you don’t waste your time going to Runners Need then find they don’t happen to have the exact gel you’re looking for. Please remember your water bottles – you will need them this week. 90 minutes is a very long run so you need to stay hydrated, but you’ll also need some water after you eat a gel.
I’ve heard from some of you that last week’s run was very difficult. Don’t beat yourself up over that! Those long loops from St. John’s Wood are difficult. I’m serious that London sits on an incline. It’s uphill from the river to St. John’s Wood. Loops are great as we get back to SJW more efficiently, but we’ll always have that incline to deal with. It’s doable and you’ll get used to it, but it takes a few weeks. For most of our super long runs, we’ll be doing destination running to keep the route flat. As for hills in general, I wouldn’t recommend running hills until after the Lisbon race. I know some of you are running to Hampstead and loving it – that’s great! But as a rule, if you are a beginner runner, I try to keep you away from hills until after the race. The reasons are more psychological than physiological. I’m happy to explain sometime while we’re running. For now, treat it as a free pass! Hills are hard and you can procrastinate attacking that challenge until you get your distance up. Let’s concentrate on running long until after the race, then I promise I’ll take you on some fabulous routes through Hampstead, Highgate, Finsbury, Dollis Valley, etc. There’s some beautiful running up there!!!
We are going to try tweaking our Tuesday runs. Here’s the problem – we’re a big group. That’s a good thing, but a big group can’t always stay together particularly on runs through the city with street crossings. Until now Sherry has kindly taken the lead on setting a route and making sure no one gets lost. Here’s what we’re going to try….. I’ve asked (translation – basically I held them down, twisted an arm behind their backs until they agreed) Carol Whittaker and Sujatha to work with Sherry on leading/pacing the group. Carol usually runs in the middle of the pack and Sujatha is usually towards the back of the pack. All three of these girls are fabulous at keeping a steady pace. So beginning tomorrow, Sherry, Carol and Sujatha will know the route. If the group becomes separated, no worries – they’ll be someone with you who knows where to go. So if the front of the pack makes a light, there will be no need to wait – they can keep on running. I’ve told them that they’re not responsible for anyone (I know you all feel responsible for each other – I love that about your group). In fact, it will be even more important that they keep their steady pace. If people fall behind, that’s OK. It’s London – there’s always a way to get home. Anyway, let’s give it a try. If it doesn’t work, we’ll scrap this idea. Eventually everyone in the group will learn these routes, but for now, let’s see if it helps with 3 of you being familiar with the route on Tuesday. Tomorrow is the last time that your mid-distance run is 45 minutes. Next week, we’ll be doing 60 minutes on Tuesday, the long run on Thursday and 35-45 minutes on the weekend. If you want to go ahead and do 60 minutes tomorrow, that’s fine. You’re ready for it. Sherry, Carol and Sujatha have a route idea that easily allows for a 45 minute or a 60 minute run.
On Thursday, we’ll be running to Vauxhall via Hyde Park and Battersea Park. We’ll run by the Battersea Power Station and the New Covent Garden flower market. The trip home by tube is pretty quick. We’ll jump on the Victoria line to Green Park then switch to the Jubilee to get back to SJW.
Have a great week of running!