So – this is it! The last week of you being Beginners! Next week you will officially be ex-Beginners.
This email is a little long – so grab a coffee/beer and give it a bit of time.
This week’s plan
This weekend – do 45 or 60 minutes, whatever you feel like doing but don’t push it.On Tuesday, we will meet at 8:15 at the Church Gardens and plan to head out promptly at 8:20 for 45 minutes around Regent’s Park at a slow pace. The goal for these last runs is to enjoy your running (!!) and your group and just keep your muscles loose. Relax! If you push the pace this week, it may make your legs feel a bit heavier than normal on race day from the muscle damage that comes when you are building up muscle (you may have noticed this on your weekend runs after a long Thursday run). Your training is done, you are READY! As Paula said in the final email my beginner year, this week is about finding the joy in running and in your amazing group.
After the run on Tuesday we will grab coffee and head back to the park so you can ask any questions. And feel free to email any of us this week if there is something on your mind.
Walkers and anyone else – we should be back to the High Street by 9:15 and to the Church Gardens by 9:30 – please join us!
Random notes for the race
Here are some things we tell runners to do to prepare for the race each year.
- Nothing new on race day! Food, clothing, drink – NOTHING. Not even socks!
- Cut your toenails – seriously. I’ve known people who have lost their toenails after a race and it’s not pretty and it’s much less likely if your nails are short.
- Bring at least 2 gels – better to have too many than too few
- Bring water and hydrate along the way, but don’t hydrate too much just before – bathrooms may not be available at all…
- Sunscreen!! It’s been sunny in London and you will be out in it a long time.
- Consider having some Starburst or jelly beans along with you on the race – they can give a quick little “wake up” for your mouth that can help
- Make sure you have your tracking app (Strava, RunGo – whatever) ready to go
- Consider having RunGo set up with the race route, just in case https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/0rGvbCpp0D
A few other things:
- Try to get a good night’s sleep on TUESDAY. Getting good rest at least one of the two nights before the race is important so get yourself to bed at a decent hour on Tuesday. You might be nervous on Wednesday which could impact your sleep.
- This week, try to eat well. What you eat the week before is more important than the night before. Keep your protein intake fairly high, don’t drink too much alcohol, drink water slowly but consistently. Keep a water bottle with you and sip it, especially the 48 hours before the race. No unusual funky food items at a restaurant the days prior.
- Lay out all of your gear the night before, including water, gels, keys, Oyster/contactless – EVERYTHING
- If you run with music when you run on your own, consider bringing music for the race. And have it ready to go so you’re not trying to fiddle with it during the race.
- Psychologically, when a stretch seems long, it can help to try to visualize running one of your regular routes in London for a similar distance – like running back from Hyde Park is about 2 miles, visualize running to and crossing Oxford Street, then up towards Marylebone Road and on to Park Rd. And if your legs are feeling tired, try doing some high stepping or side shuffling to wake your muscles up.
- Finally, try to take time to ENJOY the race. Look around at the scenery. Think how far you have come since running for 1 minute in September – you are all INCREDIBLE!
After the race
Next week, you officially become part of the regular WRW group. Congratulations! You will receive an email each weekend with the suggested routes for the week. Generally, the runs after the race tend to be fun destinations. We no longer need to worry about mileage, it’s more about being social and keeping fit (since we can use that as an excuse to eat all the good things at Borough Market…).
For the first week after the race, don’t worry about getting right out there to run. You may or may not feel sore from the race – a lot of it will depend on the weather and how hard you push at the end. My beginner year, my group got together the Thursday after the race and did 3 – 4 miles in Regents Park, just to get out there and to reconnect with each other post-race. If you’re ready to come out with the MWF group after the race – fantastic! Also, for those of you willing to brave Fitzjohn’s and the Heath, we are happy to run with you on an upcoming Friday, to give you a few tips on running up the hill. It’s hard, but it’s such a great feeling to get to the top. Plus, the Heath is beautiful.
I know it can be tricky to start running on MWF after you’ve gotten into such a TTH schedule for the year. It can also be intimidating to run with all those super scary advanced MWF runners. But trust me, you are running at paces that fit within the larger MWF group. Your coaches will help connect you with the women in your pace group and I swear, they are all really nice. We are hoping to have a mentor for each of you to welcome you so stay tuned on that. Please please come out and run with us whenever you can. It will also make it easier for the fall if you meet some of your fellow pace group runners over the next month or two before school gets out. I will try to remember to talk a bit more about how it all will work when we are together on Tuesday – remind me!!
The Race Route
Here is our official route: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/0rGvbCpp0D
We are fortunate to have some awesome WRW volunteers who will be staffing a water table right around 6.5 miles. If you have jackets to shed, they are willing to collect them and bring them to the finish.
We will have a staggered start as we’ve been doing for all of our recent runs. The goal is for everyone to finish between 11:30a and 12p. It will be VERY IMPORTANT for everyone to be on time. The leave times below are LEAVE times, not show up at the station times. If you’re meeting there, please let us know that you are AND please get there 10 min ahead so you have warm up time.
Leave from SJW – 7:20; start time 8:15 – Trenita – Melissa
Leave from SJW – 8 am; start time 8:50 – Tammy/Mariyam/Corisha/Devyani – Amy & Shannon
Leave from SJW – 8:15; start time 9:05 – Farhana/Natasha/Darlene/Tanya – Micki & Paola
Leave from SJW – 8:20; start time 9:10 – Joanna/Heloisa/Sue – Renata & Sue
Each group will travel together via tube from SJW (if you are coming from elsewhere, feel free to meet us there but make sure you’re there on time!). It will take about 45 minutes from the SJW tube to get there, including about 15 minutes of walking to the start. We will take the Jubilee to Green Park, switch to the Piccadilly Line westbound to Barons Court, cross the platform and get the District Line to Stamford Brook. For walking directions from the station, put in “7 Chiswick Mall, Chiswick, London W4 2QH” and this will get you very close to the start.
The star on the map below is the start. The place where the arrow turns left is shown in the photograph – follow the sign to the Thames Path. It will look like you’re walking on a private driveway when you make that left but you’re not (or maybe you are, but it’s still the right place to be).
For those of you who are planning to meet us along the route, Richmond is about 7 miles from the finish and Kingston is a little over 2 miles from the finish. We’d love to have as many as possible run or walk those last few miles, or even just meet us at the finish. The group from the water table will meet us at the end to cheer us in and we want ALL of you to be a part of it if possible. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help you plan.
Feel free to ask any questions on the What’sApp about next week, the race, or what comes next. I will try to address things as well on Tuesday. We can’t WAIT to run with you!
We will see you on Tuesday,