A HUGE thank you to Jess for hosting our fabulous brunch last Wednesday. It was so nice to see each other out of our running gear and get some social time. And it was fun to play the game and get to know each other a bit better.
And what a fabulous run to Borough Market on Thursday! The clouds parted just for us and you all made it look easy. A little secret – we really ran for 75 minutes. So this week is just 5 minutes more. Seriously.
You may not believe us, but the hardest part is behind you. Once someone can run an hour, bumping up a session 10 minutes each week is not a significant jump in terms of fitness/cardio requirement. The hard part is learning how to run and building a base. It’s tough to move from walking/jogging intervals to non-stop running. We’ve done that hard work and are more than ready to start extending our mileage. A few notes about training over the coming weeks:
- It’s very important to get in the the long runs each week, even if they are not on Thursday with the rest of the group
- It’s important to not steadily increase your time every week – it is best to lengthen your session for 3-4 weeks then drop back for one week to allow your body to recover/rest. We will rest the week of ASL’s February break and then again 2 weeks later.
- Please continue to email/talk to each other when you have scheduling conflicts – it’s a great way to get those longer runs in if you can’t make a Thursday, and if there are a bunch of you who will miss, you can always see if a coach can run with you later (like this week!)
I’m pretty sure that you have all done the Google form for the race, or have communicated with me about it. If not, just know that going forward, the overall emails about the race will only go to those who have filled in the form – this is our RSVP list basically. So if you haven’t filled it in, please do so ASAP. Let me know if you need the link again.
We’ve had some questions in the past week or so that I wanted to address before I get to today’s lecture, below.
What should we do about running before/after the Winter 10K?
I will email about strategies for the race itself the week before the race, but from a run length perspective, you will swap your normal weekend and Tuesday runs – so you will run our regular long run on Thursday, you’ll do the 10K on Sunday and you’ll do your shorter (normally on the weekend) run on Tuesday. Then the long Thursday run again. Let me know if that doesn’t make sense.
What are we going to do about running after the half marathon?
First, let me say I am psyched you’re already thinking about running after the half. Yay! (They are all sucked in – check!) We will talk lots more about this as we near the race but basically you will all fold into the regular MWF group after the race. Don’t be nervous. It will feel a bit weird at first, because you will be used to just your group being there and running together and then suddenly there are all these other people that maybe you met at the race but don’t really know. It will all be OK – we promise. But think about this when you are planning your spring schedule. I found after my beginner race that I was so used to clearing my calendar for Tues/Thurs that I had a bunch of conflicts in April after the race for Mon/Wed/Fri. So start scheduling your haircuts and pilates and whatever on Tues/Thurs in April, OK? Put those run days in your calendar now so you don’t forget.
I’ve heard the half marathon will pull people off the course if you haven’t run 10K in 1 hour 30 min.
You ALL just ran 10K in 1 hour 15 minutes on Thursday. And we were slower than we will be in the race AND you are at the start of building your mileage. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR TIME! Trust us, trust the training. You will be fine.
My knees hurt, my hips hurt, my <insert body part> hurts
First, buy a foam roller. Something basic, like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maximo-Fitness-Superior-Instructions-Included/dp/B06Y97NVKZ/ref=cts_sp_1_vtp (mine is 45 cm, not 90 but I’m sure either is fine). Use it on your IT band. Search YouTube for videos on how to roll.Second, go see an expert to make sure all is OK. I have used Victor and Soliman and find both are good for different areas. Victor is great for making sure things are “working” the way they should. He is also great for any doubts you have about if you can do this. Soliman has been better for me with sciatica. Let me know if you want their information. Other people see various people, too – but go if you’re having niggles that won’t resolve within about 10 min of the run.
OK – today’s lecture – why we run slowly. This is from Paula Mitchell, our founder.
Why do we run the long run slower than race pace?
The quick answer is that it has to do with how your body builds fuel, which is something you’ll need for the race! I’ll delve into the basic science of fueling (which I have hugely over-simplified but hopefully it’ll get my point across). To fuel our runs we have 3 options – Creatine Phosphate (CP), glycogen and fat.
Creatine Phosphate– You have about 15 seconds worth of CP fuel – that’s it. Think Usain Bolt running the 100m – he fuels with CP and it works because he can run 100m in less than 15 seconds. CP is where your body will go first looking for fuel, particularly if you take off like a rocket from Barclays. Think of CP as kindling on a fire – it catches fire easily but burns out very quickly.
Glycogen– Glycogen is the next fuel option. Glycogen is basically stored in your muscles and in your liver and because of that it makes glycogen a bit more difficult to burn as fuel (think of damp firewood – it will eventually burn but it takes quite a bit to get it going).
Fat– Fat is the 3rd source of fuel and most runners, even the very lean women, have an ample supply of it. Think of fat as a butane tank of gas on the BBQ grill – once it’s lit, you can have countless cook-outs before the fuel is gone.
Here’s the important part– All of those fuel sources – kindling, damp firewood or butane gas need something to ignite them and keep them burning. Physiologically speaking that ignition or burning “tool” is ATP which is created by mitochondria; so, the more mitochondria you have the more efficient you are as a fuel burning machine.
What is mitochondria and how do we get more of it? Some of us are genetically blessed with higher mitochondria counts. Thank your mother for that – it comes through the maternal side of the genetic equation. If you didn’t win the genetic lottery, then the only way you can increase mitochondria is through LONG, SLOW, ENDURANCE training (LSE). When you go for a long run at a slow pace, you actually produce mitochondria. Kind of cool, huh? Now remember – we need mitochondria to help ignite our fuel sources. So what does that mean for you? It means SLOW DOWN on your long run – give your body a chance to become a mitochondria production factory. If you do your long run at a strong pace, you’re missing out on this benefit.So we will be keeping it SLOW on Thursdays, and now you know why.
This week’s run
FIRST – there is a group of you who have 6th graders who are going to the 6th grade parent breakfast on Thursday. Melissa and Vicki will run with you after – meet them at 10:30 at Barclays for the run. If anyone else needs/wants to run then, that is fine, too, just let them/me know so they know to look for you.
This week we are running an interesting route through the Brompton Cemetery to finish at Whole Foods in Kensington. We’ll head down to Hyde Park in the normal fashion via Lisson Grove/Seymour. As we near Wellington Arch, we’ll veer to the right (or west) staying along the inside edge of the park. exiting at the gate we normally use at William Street [next to the French Embassy]. Cross the street, take a right. Turn left at Brompton Road (just past the tube) and take Brompton all the way (admiring Harrods as you pass) until Fulham Road. Veer left on Fulham Road and continue to Brompton Cemetery. Turn right to enter the Cemetery. Run through the Cemetery then exit and turn right onto Old Brompton Road, then turn left onto Earls Court Road. Cross Cromwell Road, then turn right onto Cromwell Road and then turn left onto Marloes Road. Continue north on Marloes making your way through the streets to Kensington High Street. Whole Foods will be to your right. Whole Foods is a great place to finish. There is plenty of room for everyone to sit together for coffee after the run (if you have time). To get back to SJW, some people may decide to share cabs or you can tube home from Kensington High Street station (Circle Line).