15-19 October 2012 Running Info…

Congratulations to everyone who raced last weekend!  Well done ladies!!!  To your right is Darcy and Kelli at the Windsor Half and Patricia and me at the Royal Parks Ultra.

Hello Runners,

We have a lot of information to cover this week, so if you just want to skim this note, the key information is as follows:

  1. T-shirt orders

  2. Info on training programs for the half-marathon and changing the mid-pace long runs to Wednesdays starting this week.  This info will also be on the website under “Training Tips”.

  3. Suggested mileage for the week and Route information

  4. Bratislava race registration

  5. Pilates for Runners class and Christian’s new class for children/teens

  6. Local race in Hampstead Heath

1.  Running Group T-shirts

Our running shirts are ready and each of us owe Chris Roberts a big hug!!!!  She organized the printing of the shirts and thank goodness that Kelli Montanaro has an eye for design.  She helped Chris with the t-shirt design.  Chris and Kelli, thank you so much!!!!  The shirts are black, short-sleeved, dri-fit, Nike shirts that have our new logo on the front and “Run Like a Girl” on the back.  Orders are due by Friday, 19 October.  To order a shirt, update the Google doc that Kelli sent us – this link will open the file or paste this into your browser:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgpMAx5W_kSvdHZLeEI5ZmFETUt5RlVxNG1sWlljdlE&pli=1#gid=0.  The shirts are £24 which includes everything – the shirt, the printing, tax, shipping, etc.  You can pay for the shirt by cash or check (made out to Paula Mitchell) – give payment to Kelli Montanaro or myself or you can mail payment to me at:

Paula Mitchell

Payment must be received by Friday, 19 October or your order will not be placed.  If you haven’t had a chance to try on a sample shirt, the samples will be at the ASL Booster Store on Tuesday from 2:30-4:00.  You could also leave an envelope at the booster store with your payment.  Please put it in an envelope and write your name and Running Group on the outside.  DO NOT give your cash/cheque to the booster store workers or your funds could be comingled with store proceeds and your order will not be placed.

2.  Training for the Half-marathon and New Mid-Pace Run Schedule:

As a running group, we’re rather laid-back.  We are rarely overly-serious about our training or uber-intense, but there is a shift in focus that usually happens after the October break at ASL.  Well, that time is here!  We’re into mid-October and our half-marathon is 5 months away.  We still have plenty of time to get ready, but you may want to start thinking about how you’re going to do that.  We have new runners joining our group all the time, so I’ll repeat some suggestions about how to prepare for a 13.1 mile run.

Step One – What is your goal for the half-marathon?

Do you want to finish the race with your head held high, not on your last leg, or maybe just finish the race without walking one bit of it?
If so, it will be more important to run regularly than to incorporate speed/tempo work into your training.  You should target running 3 times a week with one of those runs being your long run.  For example, you could run M/W/F with one day being your long run, one day being a mid-distance run and Friday being hills.  All of those runs could be done at about the same pace with possibly your mid-distance run being done at a slightly faster pace than your long run.

An important note:  if you are following this type of regime, it’s a very bad idea to all of the sudden do a true tempo run or any type of speedwork.  If you want to add speed/tempo work into your regime, it needs to be done gradually then you need to be committed to it week after week.  Otherwise you could end up hurting yourself.  This same idea applies to people who run a certain pace then decide one week they might like to run with a different “pack” who runs faster.  Even 15-20 seconds per mile can make a big difference in terms of how your body will react (just to be clear – that’s usually a NEGATIVE reaction!!!).

If your goal is to complete the race in a certain time that is a stretch target for you, then consider incorporating speed/tempo work into your program.
In fact, if your goal is quite a stretch for you, then you really must incorporate speed/tempo work into your routine.  Tempo work is easily done on your weekly mid-distance run – there is no need to follow a strict program.  Here are a few ways to do pace work:

  • Jog to warm up, then run hard for a few miles, then jog to warm down.  It can be that easy!  One of our runners told me that for her “to run hard” means she doesn’t want to chat with anyone, she could answer questions yes or no but would prefer to not talk at all.
  • You could also jog for a mile or so to warm up, then run hard for a couple of minutes, then go back to a jog, then run hard for a few minutes, then go back to a jog.  Keep repeating that pattern for about 25 minutes, then jog at the end of your run for a mile or so at a gentle pace.
  • Another idea is to do continuing negative splits, which means every mile is faster than the last.  For example, if you’re doing a 6 mile run, try mile 1 at 10:15, mile 2 at 10:05, mile 3 at 9:55, etc.
  • Another idea is to try Yasso 800s (named after Bart Yasso, in my opinion, one of the most inspirational runners of all time).  He recommends jogging to warm up, then run at a very strong pace for as many minutes and seconds as your estimated marathon finishing time in hours and minutes.  So, if you do a 4:15 marathon, then run hard for 4 min 15 seconds.  Recover for the same amount of time, then repeat.  The original idea was to do this workout on a track doing 800yd repeats.  So, if you could do an 800 (very roughly a 1/2 mile) in 4 min 15 sec then you should be able to run a marathon in 4 hours and 15 minutes. If you’ve run a half marathon, but not a full marathon – take your half marathon finishing time, double it and add about 20 minutes to come up with a very rough estimate of what your marathon pace would be.

    An important note:  Tempo runs should last 45-60 minutes – no more than that!  Speedwork sessions should be 25-40 minutes unless you have been doing speedwork for years.  Less is more!!!

Step Two – Which program will you follow?

It doesn’t necessarily matter what your goal is for the half-marathon, or at what pace you train, you still have to decide which program (in terms of mileage) you will follow. 

Under the “Training” tab on our website, are a few different programs.  There are three programs to train specifically for the Bratislava race.  The aggressive program is for runners who simply enjoy running very long distances and do that on a regular basis.  The medium progression program is what most of our runners will follow to prepare themselves for the race.  The gradual progression program is for those of you who would prefer to ease into long-distance running.  The gradual program would also be a good option for anyone recovering from an injury.

Step Three – At what pace will you train for your long run?

It doesn’t matter if you are doing the half-marathon simply for the experience of it or if you’re trying to complete in a certain time – you need to decide in what pace-range you will train.

I understand this can be confusing to those of you new to running or new to long-distance running.  Many of you have no idea what pace you run or what pace you should run.  Here’s the deal:  if you’re running slower than you should be, the more up and down action can put undue pressure on your knees and hips.  If you’re doing your long run at a pace too strong for you, it can cause all sorts of problems.  Basically you are trying to turn what should be a long, endurance session into a tempo session and as we read above – tempo sessions should not last more than 45-60 minutes.  Our fastest runners are fine – they run out front and off they go!  Perfect!  Our runners who train at a more gentle pace are fine.  They group up at the back of the pack and off they go!  Perfect.  I worry about our runners in the middle of the pack.  To speed up, they are pushing too hard; to slow down, their knees and hips could start hurting.  So beginning, Wednesday, 17 October, I will lead a long run each Wednesday at an approximate 10:30-11:00 min/mile pace.  Once we see who settles into that “pack”, we’ll adjust the pace range accordingly.  I’m trying to target the women who are stuck between the front and back of the pack.  This will cause all sorts of confusion on Wednesday mornings for awhile because I will purposely route this group in a different direction than the other groups.  If you don’t know where you fit in pace-wise, call or email me.  I’ll give you my best guess.  If you need my input, I would rather we jointly make that decision before Wednesday morning.  I know you don’t want to bother me, don’t worry!  You’re not bothering me – ask me now what you should do instead of waiting until we’re in front of Starbucks ready to start running. 

3.  Suggested mileage and Route information:



Monday, 15 October

Canary Wharf (9.5 miles) – this is a fun route!  We’ll follow the canal east to “The Wall” then come up to street level and run for a few minutes through Islington until we can drop back down to the canal.  From that point, it’s all canal running until we reach Limehouse near the intersection of the canal and the river Thames.  We wind our way through a residential area, run alongside the river for a bit, then cut into Canary Wharf business district to finish at the Starbucks in the mall at Canary Wharf.  It’s a great run.  You can see Canary Wharf from a couple of miles out, the canal provides for straight running without street crossings, and it feels great to grab a coffee then ride the tube back to St. John’s Wood.  Two important things:

  • Please make note of the change in long-run-day for mid-pace runners.  If you want to do your long run between a 10:30 -11:00 min/mile pace, then join me on Wednesday.  On Monday we’ll be running faster than that and you may be left behind (sorry!).  There are areas along this route where it wouldn’t be a great idea to be running solo.
  • Also, it’s not a good idea to jump up from 6-7 mile runs to a 9.5 mile run – you can hurt yourself doing that.  We do this run to Canary Wharf regularly, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do it!  If you’re not quite ready, wait for a few weeks to give it a try.  If you want to run a faster pace but not do 9.5 miles, consider the route below; however, the runners who know this route will be running at a gentle pace so have a look at the map.  Maybe print out a copy and carry it with you.The Wall, Farringdon, Embankment to Green Park (7.4 miles) – run with the group to “The Wall”.  Go up the ramp to street level then turn right, run for 1-2 minutes until you reach Pentonville Road.  Cross over and continue straight on Farringdon Road to the river Thames.  Then turn right and follow the embankment towards Westminster.  Turn right at Big Ben, head to St. James park, then cross over into Green Park.  Run up the hill to towards The Ritz.  The Green Park tube station is there, a Starbucks is there, and no pressure Alev…. but there’s a Turkish coffee shop in that area as well.  There are transport options all along the way so this route can be easily shortened.

The Wall (6 miles) – If you are going to do your long run on Wednesday, consider “The Wall” route for Monday (or do 5-6 miles of the Farringdon route above – stop at Embankment tube instead of Green Park).  I think you know the routine by now – we drop down to the canal and start running east to Islington.  It’s 3 miles to “The Wall” which is a place where the canal path is blocked and you have to go up to street level to get around it.  Turn around there and run back to SJW.  If you are wanting to “push the pace” for the half-marathon in the spring, do a tempo run using this route.  Your warm-up and cool-down could be the jog to/from the canal.

The canal (any distance) – run with the group towards “The Wall” then head back to Starbucks whenever you’re ready.

Wednesday, 17 October

Once more, mid-pace runners should consider doing their long runs on Wednesdays from now on:

Mid-pace long run – Kensal Rise Cemetery loop (7.6 miles) – I will be running with you, so no worries if you have no idea where you’re going.  Theoritically, we should all be running between an approximate 10:30-11:00 pace so we’ll all be together.  We’ll start on the canal running towards Notting Hill (that will give people one more chance to figure out what’s going on), then exit the canal path at Ladbrook Grove and turn right to go over the canal.  We’ll enter the Kensal Rise Cemetery, do a large loop, then head back to Starbucks in SJW along Carlton Vale.  The cemetery is very interesting and the caretaker told me it’s fine if we run there as long as we are respectful and not too loud.

If you have done your long run on Monday, then consider one of the following routes:

Notting Hill (6.5 miles) – I think most of you know this route now.  If you’re not familiar with it, have a look under the “Routes” tab to make sure you know where you’re going.

Notting Hill (6.5 miles) partial tempo run – If you want to try a bit of tempo work, but love the Notting Hill route – then do both!!!  Jog to the canal, once you get there, run hard until the Ladbrook Grove turn-off (where we exit off the canal).  From there, run a steady pace for the rest of the route and enjoy the window shopping in Notting Hill.

Western canal tempo run (any distance) – If you want a more intense tempo work-out than the one above, jog down to the canal, do your tempo work on the canal, turn around and do tempo work on the canal back to Maida Vale.  From there, jog back to Starbucks in SJW to cool-down.

Friday, 19 October

You all know the routine….

The Heath – old route (8 miles) – we’ll do the old route this time.  You can shorten this route by heading towards the track after Parliament Hill, exit the heath, run past Royal Free Hospital then home through Belsize.

The 6-7 mile route – follow the group doing the full 8 mile route.  At parliament hill instead of turning left towards Kenwood House, turn right and run past the track.  Exit the heath, run past Royal Free Hospital and head home through Belsize Park.

The Betsy route (5 miles) – I think Betsy is now doing a longer route on Fridays, but her namesake run is a great route.  Anyone wanting this distance ask around as we are running up the hill to Hampstead and someone will explain to you how to do it.  

Hampstead tube station (4 miles)– this is a great route to do if you’re short on time or are new to running “the hill”.  Head up to the Hampstead tube station with the group then turn around and head back home.  For a change of scenery, run up to Hampstead tube station then run back to Starbucks in SJW via the Hampstead high street, then Belsize Park, then down St. John’s Wood Park Rd.


4.  Bratislava Race Registration:

The race director was hoping to have race registration open on 1 October but that date has slipped by.  He is hoping the online registration will be active by this weekend.  I’ll let you know when it’s working. 

5.  Pilates for Runners and Fitness Classes for Children:

APPI is offering to organize pilates classes designed specifically for runners.  Ladies, this is a great idea.  Pilates can help offset the impact of running and the teachers at APPI are fabulous.  Please call Anna, their receptionist, to let her know if you are interested.  Based on responses to date, I think the classes will be offered at either 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00pm on Tuesday or Thursday (or both if we have enough interest).  Their contact info is:  Kilburn@appihealthgroup.com or phone T: 0207 6245314.  Anna can answer all your questions about pricing, booking, etc.

Christian, our functional movement specialist, is now offering a class for children from 10-17 years old.  Contact him for further information.  His contact information is on the website under “Our Experts”.

6.  Local Race in the Heath:

Every Saturday there is a FREE 5k race in Hampstead Heath at 9:00am.  You must register ahead of time.  Click here for a link to the race website or input this address into your browser: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/hampsteadHeath/

I hope to see you running this week,


Posted in: MWF