2 March 2015

Hello Beginners.  What a great run you all had last week.  This week we will be running 110 minutes!  The route will take us to Wembley.  Please remember your oyster cards.  See details below about the route.

Several of you have been asking about what to eat before and during your runs.  Our best advice would be to try to find what works best for you.  We still have plenty of time before the race to figure this out.  Amy Grace sent out a detailed email a few weeks ago with some tips about nutrition.  Here is what she said…

First – fueling for longer running in general:

As our runs get longer, you may want to think about what you are eating for breakfast pre-run.  Experts suggest 50g carbs, 3-5g protein and 2-3g fat (the fat is very important pre-run).  That could be half a bagel spread with nut butter or cream cheese, oatmeal with nuts or nut butter mixed-in, cereal with milk, yogurt with some granola or crushed cereal on top, or yogurt and a banana.  Those are just some suggestions.  Within 30 minutes of a long run, you should aim to take in another 50g carbs, 10g protein and 1-2g fat (the fat is less important post-run).  This could be a tall latte and half a muffin, bagel or scone from Starbucks or yogurt and a latte, or a latte and a banana or mixed fruit cup.  As these runs get longer you may consider eating a bit more breakfast than you normally do, you will definitely need to carry water with you, and I encourage you to eat something at the finish of the run (within 30 minutes of running if possible). I’ve given you the guidelines in terms of carbs/protein/fat so aim for that mix, but at a minimum – eat something! 

Second – Fueling for even longer runs and on race day

It works like this…..  your body has about 1000-1200 stored, fairly-accessible calories available to you.  For most of us, that will be enough fuel for exercising 1:30 to 1:45 hours.  Beyond that, we need to “top-up” fuel sources to power you through the last few miles of the half-marathon.  We’ll do that with 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.

Here is some more information on gels that was sent out by Paula (the founder of WRW and previous beginner coach) to the beginners a few years ago…

What type of fuel?

I recommend gels.  Period.  There are issues/problems/complications with all other types of fuel when considering what our group is trying to achieve.  Again, this would be different if we were not beginner runners who’s aim it is to finish a half-marathon.  If you chose to use a different fuel source, I recommend taking in an equivalent amount of carbs at the same time that everyone else is doing their gel.  For example, if you are going to use shot-blocks or sport-beans, you need to take in the equivalent of a gel within a few minutes (not just eating a shot-block every now and then).  The body responds differently to periodic fuel injections (snacking on sport-beans) than a one-off significant fuel injection (ie., a gel).  For what we are trying to achieve, a one-off injection has less of a chance of disturbing the body’s fuel sourcing system.  We want the body to fuel primarily with fat for this half-marathon.  Once you have one half-marathon under your belt, then you can decide to push the pace (or distance) and you will have different fuel requirements.  Remember to drink 50-100ml of water after doing most gels.  There are a few gels that don’t require water.  The downsides of those types of gels is that they are bulkier and I’ve seen quite a few women throw them up (which is kind of unpleasant but more importantly, you lose the carbs you just took in).

Please let us know if you have any questions as there is a lot of information covered in this email!

Meg and Vicky

P.S.  I am sad to report that I (Meg) won’t be able to run with you again this week.  I am optimistic that I will be back out with you in two weeks.  I have peroneal tendonitis :(.  I am doing everything in my power to heal so I can be running again with all of you asap as I miss you tons. 


This is a great run – we go out the Canal to the west almost the entire way. No lights and soft on the knees! Continue out the canal and exit at Alperton.  (See photo below).  Turn right at the top of the stairs and your first right again onto Ealing Road.  Just after the turn you’ll see the Alperton station on your left for the 7-mile route. Follow Ealing Road to the High Road and turn right.  You’ll see Wembley Central on your right for the 8-mile route.  For 9 miles, continue until you make a left on Park Lane which becomes Wembley Park Drive. Continue past the stadium and to the Wembley Park Tube Station.


Here’s a photo of the exit off of the canal:

Beginner Note 2 March 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015