26 Beginner Note 27 January 2014


Dear Runners,


I heard you all had a great run last week!  I am sorry to have missed it but I was delayed in the US (though when I heard it had rained quite heavily, I wasn’t too sorry!) 

We are perfectly on track for the March half marathon, and believe me, the hardest part is behind us.  You have run for 60 minutes quite consistently now, so bumping up 10 minutes each week is not significant in terms of fitness/cardio requirement.  We have done all the hard work in making the transition from walking/jogging intervals to non-stop running and are more than ready to start extending our mileage.  Just remember that as you look at the schedule over the next few weeks – even though the lengths of the runs may be daunting, you can do it.  At the start, our longest running interval was 1 minute, and now we are running 70 times that fairly comfortably.  Having increased it 70 fold, you can certainly double your training run from now till our longest one on March 20.  If you are having trouble, please let us know – we have all run the distance and understand the psychology of it.  Don’t doubt that you can do it – we all know you can.


I know I keep repeating myself, but it is very important to get the long runs in between now and race day (80, 90, 100, 110, 120 and 130 minutes).  It is great how you organise yourselves when there is a conflict – keep the emails going and let us know if you have any conflict with the Thursday runs – we will work something out. 


This week we will be running an interesting route through Brompton Cemetery finishing at Whole Foods.  We will head from Barclays Bank, towards Hyde Park and run down to Hyde Park Corner, where we will turn right (west) staying along the inside edge of the park.  After about .3 of a mile, there is an exit leading to Knightsbridge which we will take and run along Brompton road, past Harrods and onto Fulham Road.  We will continue along until we reach the cemetery on the right after running past Finbourough and Ifield Roads.  We’ll enter and run through the cemetery and exit at Brompton road, then right to run to Earls Court Road and up to Cromwell Road.   From there, we will wind our way up via Marloes Road to High Street Kensington and on to Whole Foods, where we will end.  



It is time for us to start using gels (this week or next).  Most of us can handle sessions up to 80-90 minutes without ‘topping up’ fuel.  Basically, up to that time, we can use the ‘fuel’ we have in our bodies ready to burn.  It varies from runner to runner – two runners can be running at the same pace, but the one more comfortable with the pace will burn less calories, or need less fuel than the one pushing herself.  This is why we stress the importance of ‘finding your pace’ – if you are pushing your pace your body will require more fuel (which may complicate fuelling for the first time half-marathoner).  Once a runner has gone through the readily-accessible fuel, it is time to top up, and the easiest way to do that is through gels.  Gels are simple carbohydrates.  Most gels have similar formulas, so when deciding what gel to use, most runners go with the gel that is the most palatable to them.  The important point is that it is almost impossible for a beginner runner to complete a half marathon without taking in carbs during the race, so you will need at least one gel to complete the race (some may need 2).  Now is the time to try the gels and decide what tastes best for you, or what texture works.  You will also need water at this point and I will be happy to run with you to Runners Need, perhaps on your Tuesday run, to purchase a water bottle/belt and gels.  


Finally, starting February, the 45 minute run each week should be bumped up to 60 minutes.  

I apologise for the length of this email – I meant to send the blurb on gels last week, but was unable to while I was in the US.


See you Thursday!






Beginner Note 26 January 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014