The holiday season has officially begun! We have 3-4 weeks of training before most of our runners leave for the holidays (or have children at home and don’t run on the regular schedule). This is such a busy time of the year for everyone so we’ll have some flexible routes planned where you can run to destinations or do loops back to SJW.
Thank you so much for inputting your information into the Bratislava spreadsheet last week (and thank you Kelli for teaching me how to use google docs). We will continue to use this spreadsheet as we plan the trip – it’s hugely simplifying the planning! The spreadsheet is currently closed to input; if you have updated information just email it to me. Thanks a million!
Lynn Gilbert’s father passed away last week after a long battle with Parkinsons Disease. Please keep her in your thoughts. Lynn has touched all of us with her endearing smile, her willingness to help each of us and her non-stop encouragement of each and every runner. Let’s extend that same care and attention to her during this most sad time. Lynn is in the US now but will return to London in January.
Many of you have asked for nutrition help/advice/suggestions/guidance. Click here for a link to some nutrition information recently distributed to our runners preparing for a spring marathon. Here is the fine print…… General nutrition is a hugely controversial subject. Please do not assume what is written in that document is the “one-and-only” nutritional philosophy. There is a ton of good information online and in books/magazines regarding general nutrition and general nutrition specifically for athletes. I am not a nutritionist – this information is compiled from different sources that I rely on for myself. There is more of a consensus among experts regarding nutrition for performance; however, each runner’s body reacts differently during exercise. The guidelines cannot be applied in a cookie-cutter approach to each athlete. Play with it, experiment with what works for you. When you have a good run, think about what you ate the night before and the morning of the run, but remember that the science of fueling/energy is complicated. A good run or a bad run could be a reflection of what’s going on at home, stress levels, sleep, hormones, your pace, your fitness level, etc.
Routes this Week
Monday, 26 November
Please choose whichever route suits your schedule. Marathoners and half-marathoners have 8 miles on their schedule this week (we flip-flopped the 8 and 9 mile runs for marathoners between last week and this week).
Putney (8.5 miles) – This run is designed for the faster runners’ long run.
If you can’t keep up, bring a copy of the map so you know where to go. It’s a new way to get in 8-8.5 miles which is a lot more interesting than the Hyde Park loop. ￼We’ll run down to Hyde Park then on towards the river through Sloane Sq. (doing some window shopping along the way). We will cross over the river and run along the south embankment (like the normal Battersea route). When we cross back over the river we’ll head southeast to meet with King’s Rd. We’ll run on King’s Rd. (a bit more window shopping here) then cross over the river again and finish at Starbucks on the Putney High St. It’s a large Starbucks that usually has a lot of available seating.
Battersea Park loop shortened (7.6 – 8.3 miles) – If you don’t have time to run to Putney, either follow the normal Battersea Park loop and finish at Green Park (7.6 miles) or Marble Arch (8.3 miles). If you are really pressed for time, consider doing the perimeter of Hyde Park (8 miles round-trip back to SJW) in the clockwise direction (so stay with the group until the SE corner of the park then carry on around the perimeter exiting near the NE corner).
Mid-paced tempo or medium distance run (6 miles) – This is a great route to learn. Start by running￼ along the canal to Camden. Come off the canal and follow Chalk Farm Rd. south to Mornington Crescent tube station. Veer to the right at that Y intersection to run on Hampstead Rd. south across Marylebone Rd. At Tottenham Court Rd. tube station turn right and run west along Oxford St. Finish the run by taking Baker St. up to SJW. If you want to do some tempo/speed work on this run, read the description in the Wednesday section below.
Wednesday, 28 November
Cocomaya – Yay!!!! (8 miles) – This run is designed for the mid-paced runners’ long run. If you want to join in, you’ll need to run their pace. This ￼should be a nice route with a fabulous finish at Cocomaya Bakery and chocolate shop. We’ll head down to Hyde Park via the canal west then Sussex Gardens to enter near the Italian fountains. We’ll run straight south through South Kensington (bring your ice skates if you want to do a quick spin on the rink at the Natural History Museum). We’ll run through the Brompton Cemetery then loop back to Hyde Park to finish near Connaught Square. If you need to get back quicker, either do the Hyde Park perimeter loop or run with the group and grab a tube/bus/taxi near Marble Arch.
Tempo run for faster runners (6 miles) – Follow the 6 mile loop that the mid-paced group is doing on Monday. If you want to do some tempo/speed work, jog for 5-6 minutes to warm up. Once you are warmed up, push the pace until you reach the Camden market area. Jog along Chalk Farm Rd. for 8-10 minutes or until you reach the Hampstead Rd. turn. From that Y intersection, try some street fahrtleks for the next 20 minutes remembering first of all to be careful! Watch for cars! As a reminder, fahrtleks are varying distances of quick-paced running. The easiest way to do street fahrtleks is to do sprints (or just quicker paced runs) to the next street crossing or the next rubbish can or the next red light. Just pick a landmark and sprint to that spot. The distance of each fahrtlek should be different – mix up longer legs (maybe up to 200 meters) with shorter legs (as short as 20 meters). Keep this fahrtlek session to 20 minutes or less then jog home.
Friday, 23 November
I may try the western route this week. Let me know if you’re interested in learning that route. The pace will depend on who decides to join in.
The Heath Western Route – (8 miles) – The new western route. For some reason this route seems to have more hills than the old route but it’s a lot of fun. You’ll see some different parts of the heath that you might not have seen before.
The Heath Normal Route – (8 miles) – The old route.
The Heath – (6-7 miles) – follow the group doing the full 8 mile old 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.