2021-22 Beginners Week 27

Hi everyone,
I hope you had a great break and are ready to get back down to business this week with some rested legs!
A few quick reminders for the run this week:

  • eat something before the run
  • bring your Oyster/Contactless card
  • we will be bringing the gels again this Thursday.  Bring water!  Try a different gel and then go out and purchase a few of your own.  We will keep bringing our stash until it runs out but you will need gels for Canary Wharf and Kew as well as the race.  You will want to have at least two for the race just in case.

We’re coming into the final stretch
I know you all know this, but we have one month until race day and we have 3 longs runs left(!!).  You all are amazing and you ALL can do this.  Don’t worry about the times and the distances – they are long but we are in this together and we will DO THIS!
If you are feeling stressed about it, please talk to any coach.  We have all run several races and have all trained in this way and we are happy to talk to you about it.

A few announcements:
1) Kew Run – PLEASE NOTE we are changing the Kew run to be TUESDAY March 22, not Thursday March 24, so that Cindy doesn’t miss this critical run.  You will do your short run as usual the weekend before and the 60 min run on Thursday.  I’ll remind you the week before but please put it in your calendar as you will likely not get back home until around noon or later on Tuesday.
2) WRW Quiz Night – next Wednesday 9 March, WRW is taking over the Warrington Pub for a quiz night and all of WRW are invited, regardless of if you’re going to the race.  It’s going to be super fun.  It’s £2 to do the quiz plus any food or drinks you order.  Doors open at 6:30 and the quiz starts at 7:30.  Here is the link to the Evite so you can RSVP!  RSVP here
3) WRW pre-race coffee – WRW hosts an all-WRW coffee a week or so before the race.  ALL are invited, even if you are not coming to the race.  No cost – WRW picks up the tab.  It is after the regular MWF Wednesday run and it will be at the cafe next to the Regents Park Open Air Theatre starting probably around 9:30.  It’s not required – it’s more of a social thing with maybe a few minor announcements about the race but nothing that we won’t let you guys know separately.  But it’s a nice way to start seeing who else you’ll be running with after the race and meeting in Berlin if you’re coming.
4) This week’s run – at the moment, there are strikes scheduled on the Underground on Thursday that could seriously impact service.  Our run traditionally ends at Wembley Park station next to the stadium, on the Jubilee Line.  If the strikes go ahead and are causing issues, we will instead end at Wembley Central and add a little on around that station in order to meet our mileage goal.  Wembley Central is on the Overground line that goes to South Hampstead, near Swiss Cottage.  The Overground will not be impacted by the strikes.  Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this.

Sometimes runners like to put electrolytes in their water.  In general, we advise against this.  Runners really only need to worry about electrolyte replacement if you are running really hard (which you aren’t, and won’t be even during the race) or if it’s really hot (which it is NOT here).  And even if it is hot during the race, the point that electrolytes might be at all useful will be towards the end of the race and you certainly will be done with any liquid you have brought along by that point.  Few, if any, of the MWF runners use electrolytes during their runs.  On race day, there may be electrolyte drinks available at the water stations but we strongly advise you NOT to take them because they will not be anything you have tried before (it’s always some local random drink) and you do NOT want to try something during the race that you haven’t already tested.  By drinking regular water during your runs, you are replacing the water your body is sweating out and also keeping your body used to taking in regular water, which is what you should be doing during the race.  Drinking electrolytes after the race will be fine (and I have to say, nothing tastes better than a beer after a race and the German Olympic training coaches agree https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/winter-olympics/43127307).  If you have any questions about this, feel free to ask me or any of the coaches.

The Schedule
(this week) Week 27 Mar 3 – 110 min = Wembley
Week 28 Mar 10 – 120 min = Canary Wharf
Week 29 Mar 17 – 90 min = TBD
Week 30 Mar 22 – 130 min = Kew Gardens (this is a Tuesday)
Week 31 Mar 31 – 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 🙂

This week’s run
Wembley is one of my favorites.  There are many people who do not love this run as much as I do so I am going to tell you why I like it and you can tell me your own opinions of it at coffee 🙂

Why I like the Wembley run:
1) You see many sides of London along the canal Some runners complain that parts of the canal are very ugly.  This is true.  However, I enjoy seeing the transition from city and the older buildings along the canal and newer gentrified condos to the industrial parts to the country parts, with glimpses of Wembley Stadium along the way.  I feel like it’s the real London – many sides, not always so pretty but always something to look at.  And as you keep going, it changes.
2) You see a part of London you otherwise wouldn’t – Wembley No, not the stadium but the streets.  There is a large Hindu population and there are many shops with brightly coloured saris and trinkets that are fun to look at.  And there is an amazing Hindu temple that was built in 2010 that took 14 years to build from stone from India.  It is incredible.  Look for it on the left hand side of the street.
3) It has a long, uninterrupted stretch of canal running Once we get on the canal, we run for about 6 miles.  I believe this will be the longest stretch of uninterrupted running you will have had so far.  One of the things that makes me love this run is that it was on this part of the run in my beginner year that I had a running epiphany – I felt like I could just keep running forever.  I think I had settled into that pace where you feel good, you feel like you’re just cooking along and you can chat and run and all is good.  I hadn’t really felt like that before and it was a great feeling.  Some of you may have already had that feeling, some may never get it, but having a nice long uninterrupted stretch may put you in a similar place.  I hope so!4) You get to say you ran to Wembley!Most people have heard of Wembley.  And people in London know it’s a ways out.  So it’s fun to be able to say you ran there – so impressive!

The route
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/9xjWne66GU
Start out heading west on Circus Road, turn left on Grove End to St John’s Wood Road and go west, turning left on Cunningham then right on Aberdeen to work your way to the canal entrance on Blomfield. Continue out the canal and exit at Alperton, see photo below, not quite 7 miles in. Turn right at the top of the stairs, cross the bridge and take the first right onto Ealing Road. Just after the turn you’ll see the Alperton station on your left. 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 turn off to the stadium on the right and up to Wembley Park Tube Station (Jubilee and Metropolitan lines).  There is a Costa just down the steps towards the stadium so we will head there for coffee afterwards for those who can stay.

2021-22 Beginners Week 25

Congratulations to Anindita, Bhavna, Cindy and Sweta on running the 10K!  I can’t wait to hear all about it on Thursday.  You all looked amazing.  It’s great to have your first race behind you – and the next one to look forward to!  For this Tuesday, you guys should just run a nice-and-easy 45 minutes please!  Jess will be there this Tuesday to run with you.

A couple of save-the-dates for all-WRW functions (now that you’re getting closer to graduating):
Wednesday 9 March – WRW pub quiz at Warrington Pub – details to come
Wednesday 23 March – pre-race coffee at Regent’s Bar & Kitchen (the cafe near the open air theatre on the Inner Circle) starting around 9:30 am
Both of these functions are for everyone – you don’t need to be coming to Berlin to attend.

Next week – ASL break week
Next week is a rest week to let your body recover from the work it has been doing to build up your muscles.  The schedule has you running 60 minutes on Thursday.  You’re also supposed to now be running 60 minutes on Tuesday.  If you are away and can’t run, it’s OK.  But if you can, try to get a least a couple of runs in even if only for 30 minutes.  I will be here next week so we will plan to do our Thursday run as usual.

This week – 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!  On Thursday, we will bring a bunch of gels that you can sample.  You can 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).  We will bring our selection to a few runs and then you can buy your own 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 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.  This is a very individual thing – some people like fruity flavours, some like chocolate, etc.  Different brands can have different effects on your stomach so it’s important to try them first.  
Places to buy gels:
Runners Need stores or runnersneed.com (individual GU, SIS, TORQ, Shot Bloks, sport jelly beans)
amazon.co.uk  (may only be available in boxes but you could share with others in the group)
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)

Some of you have asked about water bottles.  Here are a couple that I have found are easy to carry.  You can also just bring a small disposable water bottle – it doesn’t need to be anything fancy.https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultimate-Performance-Runners-Bottle-Size/dp/B009HMZT9Y/ref=sr_1_16?crid=I48QQNR4P4YO

The Schedule
(this week) Week 25 Feb 17 – 100 min = Big Ben and back 
Week 26 Feb 24 – February break – 60 min run
Week 27 Mar 3 – 110 min = Wembley
Week 28 Mar 10 – 120 min = Canary Wharf or Canada Water
Week 29 Mar 17 – 90 min = TBDWeek 30 Mar 24 – 130 min = Kew Gardens
Week 31 Mar 31 – 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.

2021-22 Beginners Week 24

Hi everyone,
You all rocked the 80 minute run last week to Dishoom. I know it got a bit hard towards the end but it should be hard towards the end – that is when you are building up!  You all did it – we are so proud of how well ALL of you are doing!  I think we definitely need to put some more Hugh Grant sightings on the schedule!  I put the photos out on the Flickr site if you’re interested.

If you are feeling tired and sore after your runs, you might try doing an epsom salt bath.  Melissa swears by them and the few times I’ve tried them it really does seem to help my legs from feeling tired.  You can get epsom salts from health stores or even Ocado.

This week
This week is ASL’s parent teacher conferences.  I am hoping most of you who are at ASL were able to schedule your conferences so you can run.  But let me know if you will not be able to make this Thursday.
We are doing 90 minutes this week, running down through Sloane Square, along the Thames, past Big Ben and on to Green Park.

Increasing your non-Thursday run time
Starting this week, you should increase your running time so you are running 45 minutes on the weekend and 60 minutes on Tuesdays (so start this on Tuesday if you can).  You’ll keep doing this for the rest of the training until the race. Remember to keep it nice and slow!  I’ll be there this Tuesday to run with you all.  

Winter 10K
Several of you are running the Winter 10K next Sunday.  For those that do, you should do a leisurely 45 minutes for next Tuesday (so you are basically swapping your 60 minute and 45 minute runs).  [For those not running, you can certainly do your 60 minutes on the weekend so you can line up with the others for the Tuesday run.]  So you would do:

  • 60 minutes this Tuesday (8 Feb)
  • 90 minutes Thursday (10 Feb)
  • 70ish minutes Sunday at the race
  • 45 minutes EASY PACE Tuesday (15 Feb)
  • 100 minutes Thursday (17 Feb)

Just some thoughts about the 10K – don’t stress about it as a race – treat it as another training opportunity where you can get that feeling of energy that comes from the racers and also witness the mass of bodies at the start and how you will likely not move very quickly at the beginning.  Don’t push yourselves too much – we don’t want any injuries!  [Note – we had two beginners injure themselves in prior years – so BE CAREFUL!]   You may feel great that morning or you may not – every race day is different.  So if you’re feeling tired, slow down.  You have all run this distance before so you know you can do it.  The most important thing is to have fun!  

New Shoes?
If you are feeling like your shoes are getting old, NOW is the time to replace them.  You want to be able to fully break them in before the race.  Don’t feel that you have to get new shoes – if you are feeling good in yours, it’s fine.  You just don’t want to get new ones a week or two before the race.  When I get new shoes, I generally run a shorter run in them first just to make sure they don’t give me any problems.  I’ve definitely had shoes in the past that throw me off a little and cause some niggles.  They always break in, but it takes time and you want to make sure they are fully broken in by the race.

Route this week:
We start out by running to Hyde Park, taking the usual route: west on Circus Road, left on Grove End, all the way down to Seymour Place where the road ends.  Right on Seymour, across Edgware, left on Stanhope and enter the park. At the silver orb, turn left and run down to the southern edge, following the path to the right before it leaves the Park.  Run to big gated exit before the tall ‘One Hyde Park’ complex, cross over Knightsbridge at William Street, quick right on Knightsbridge then a left onto Sloane Street continue past Sloane Square down Lower Sloane St/Chelsea Bridge Road to the Thames.  Turn left on the Thames side of Grosvenor Rd and run along the Embankment to Westminster and continue left on Birdcage Walk, cutting through St James Park to the Mall, then left on the Mall towards Buckingham Palace, crossing before the circle to reach Green Park.  Run up to the Green Park Tube on Piccadilly St and take the tube home!