Well, I have to say I am disappointed that it looks like we can’t run in larger groups until 29 March. For our currently scheduled destination runs in a couple of weeks, we might try to get a little creative, depending on how you all and the coaches are feeling then. As much as we treasure our runs with you all individually, we miss the energy, connections and dynamics of the group and can’t wait to see you all together again.
I hope you had a good break week and are ready to get back into increasing our distance!
This week, we reach another milestone where the scheduled route is running to Big Ben… and back! Remember when it was such a big deal to run to Big Ben? And now you are running there, with no walk breaks, and coming all the way back. Incredible!! This is just a half-mile increase from your pre-break week run so not too much stress 🙂
If you are not currently up to 8 miles for this week and aren’t sure what you should be doing, let me know or work with your assigned coach for the week.
This week – gels
I’m going to copy the information I sent last week about gels:This week we are going to try gels on the run. Gels are basically carbohydrates to give your body some extra fuel during the race. For the most part, we train in a way to teach our body to use fat as a fuel. Fat is easier to access as an energy source and requires less fine-tuning in terms of timing carb intake during exercise. Our bodies have about 1000-1200 “easy access” calories available which will get most ladies about 10-11 miles (depending on their weight and fitness level). After that we will use gels (carbs) to fuel that last 2-3 miles of the half-marathon. We, your coaches, will tell you when you should take the gel. We will plan to use them on our longer runs going forward so we get used to taking them – we don’t want anything “new” on race day to throw us off! Hopefully, we can get us coaches organized enough to each have a few gels to bring next week for you to try. It’s a little trickier to coordinate this year! The idea is to try different flavors and brands and decide what you like (it may be helpful to keep the packet if you like it so you remember it). Then you can buy some either online or at running stores. In general, gels don’t taste great but they will either give you a boost after about 6 – 8 minutes or, if you’re like me, they will keep you from losing energy.
Some of the gels we have are called isotonic and have more liquid so you may not need water with them. Others are more like the consistency of jam and you’ll want water to wash it down. So please please bring your water with you. We will also try to have some Shot Bloks and energy jelly beans if you want to try those. Some people like the Shot Bloks which are chewy rather than jam-like. Note that half a package of Shot Bloks (3 pieces) is equivalent to one gel. This is a very individual thing – some people like fruity flavours, some like chocolate, etc. Jess claims she likes running long distances so she has an excuse to eat the chocolate and caramel gels!
Different brands can have different effects on your stomach so it’s important to try them first. In general, the energy jelly beans (I like the Jelly Belly brand) are good for a pick-me-up during a long run when you can take a few at a time but not the whole pack. The whole pack is equivalent to a gel and personally, a whole pack of jelly beans at once would not feel so great in my tummy! There are also energy gummies that some people like as well that are used similarly.
Places to buy gels/beans/Bloks:
Runners Need stores or runnersneed.com (individual GU, SIS, TORQ, Shot Bloks, sport jelly beans)
amazon.co.uk (gels may only be available in boxes but you could share with others in the group, sport jelly beans)
energysnacks.co.uk (individual packets available)https://www.ultramarathonrunningstore.com (individual GU, TORQ, Clif Shot Bloks and gels)
Ocado (Clif Shot Bloks, SIS isotonic gels)
Week 26 Feb 25 – Big Ben and back – 8 miles
Week 27 Mar 4 – Belgravia Wander Art Loop – 8.5 miles
Week 28 Mar 11 – Canary Wharf – 9 miles
Week 29 Mar 18 – 60 min
Week 30 Mar 25 – Wembley – 9 miles
Week 31 April 1 – Canada Water – 10 miles
Week 32 Apr 8 – April break – 60 min run
Week 31 Apr 15 – Kew Gardens – 11 miles
Week 32 Apr 22 – 45 min = easy run through Regents Park
Don’t forget – your Tuesday runs are now 60 min long and the weekend run is 45 mins. It is CRITICAL that you are running 3 times a week at this point. Put it in your calendar and get it done 🙂
The route this week – to Big Ben and back
It was a huge deal when we ran here in October. Now we are running there AND back! For this run we head to Hyde Park via the usual route and run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under the arch and down Constitution Hill. Run pass the Victoria Memorial down the mall and enter St. James Park. Run over the pond and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben, then turn around and run the same route back to Starbucks.