We have only two quick announcements before looking at routes:
Darcy Fautz sent me a link to an article about the girl who collapsed and died near the finish of the London marathon last year. Click here for the link to the article. It turns out that Claire Squires (a 30 yr old experienced runner) had added a scoop of “exercise enhancing” product to her water bottle for the race. The product, JACK3D, contained DMAA (basically a legal version of speed). That specific product (from a Texas-based company – Yikes!!!) and DMAA in general are now outlawed but the warning message is still valid. Know what you are consuming – understand what you’re taking – do your research. If a nutritional/dietary product promises improved performance, make sure it’s safe.
That article leads into our second topic….. gels! Yes, I’m still pushing them and I promise they are safe. I met a girl at the Himalayan Challenge who had a severe case of Celiac’s disease amongst a number of other medical conditions. She used Clif Shots in citrus flavours for fuel. She told me that it was the only gel she was absolutely certain was gluten-free. Ellen Rickert has Celiac’s disease and has ordered a box of these gels. If anyone wants or needs gluten-free gels, contact Ellen at xxx – thanks a million Ellen!!
We’ll celebrate February birthdays on Friday, 1 March. Our birthday girls are:
10th – Sherry Price
14th – Donna McClure (who’s buried in auction work so can rarely run with us – we miss you Donna!!!)
25th – Katy Barrett and Stephanie Guyett (who’s been side-lined for awhile due to injury)
27th – Linda Dolan
Routes this Week
Monday, 4 February
Marathon Trainees: You have 13 miles on your schedule this week. Ladies, you’re rocking this training!!!! Everyone is doing extremely well. Keep it up! This week we’ll be doing a loop, you can expect to be back to SJW around 10:45.
Battersea park loop plus part of Hyde Park (13 miles) –￼ This week you’re running a half-marathon. Wow! We’ll start by doing the Battersea Park loop (the half-marathon trainees will be doing the first 5.5 miles with you). When we get back to Chelsea Bridge, the half-marathon trainees will head north up Sloane St. and we will carry on towards Big Ben. At the House of Parliament, we’ll cut back into St. James Park, then into Green Park, under Wellington Arch to enter Hyde Park at the SE corner. From there, head west to Carriage Rd. and turn right and take the bridge over the Serpentine. From the north side of the Serpentine, take the diagonal paths to Speaker’s Corner then run home up Lisson Grove/Seymour. Marathoners, be conscious of your pace on this run. Some of the half-marathon trainees are choosing to do their Monday long run at a very fast pace. It’s your responsibility to control your pace – you can’t blame a “too fast” training run on everyone around you. Race day will be a similar experience (a bunch of runners taking off really fast) so actually these group runs are great practice. Be smart. Train at the pace appropriate for your race goal.
Half-marathon Trainees in the Fast group (10 mile long run on your schedule): Some of the group prefers to do loop routes from time to time. This is a nice route that most of you know and it will put you back to Starbucks asap.
Battersea Park (10 miles) – I like this route because it is so efficient! 10 miles ￼done – you’ll be back to Starbucks pronto! The route heads down Lisson Grove/Seymour to Hyde Park then down the broadpath towards Wellington Arch. Feel free to go out of the park to cross the street or stay in the park running along S. Carriage Drive then exit at Hyde Park House. If you stay in the park and exit at Hyde Park House, you can avoid a lot of pedestrian traffic. Then head south on Sloane St. all the way over the river to Battersea Park. Run along the embankment to Albert Bridge where you should cross back over the river. At Chelsea Bridge, turn north and retrace your steps back to Hyde Park. Exit Hyde Park by the War Animal monument and run back to SJW via Baker or Gloucester St. If you are trying to keep your long run in a certain pace range, these runs are great practice for you. Some of the Monday runners go fast which is absolutely fine. Everyone gets to do whatever they want to do.
If you are a less experienced racer, use these training runs to practice for race day. At the half-marathon race, people will burst off the start like rockets and you will be best served to avoid the temptation to join them. Why not start practicing now?
Half-marathon Trainees in the Mid-level I group (6 mile mid-pace or tempo run). Some of you did this route in mid-December and really enjoyed it. Do a tempo/fartlek run or just run it at a medium pace.
Run￼ 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, 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 fartleks for the next 20 minutes remembering first of all to be careful! Watch for cars! As a reminder, fartleks are varying distances of quick-paced running. The easiest way to do street fartleks 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 fartlek should be different – mix up longer legs (maybe up to 200 meters) with shorter legs (as short as 20 meters). Keep this fartlek session to 20 minutes or less then jog home. One really fun way to do street fartleks is for everyone to take turns choosing the distance or point to run to.
Half-marathon Trainees in the Mid-level II group (10 mile long run on your schedule):
Battersea Park (10 miles) –This is a loop that finishes back at Starbucks. ￼The route heads down Lisson Grove/Seymour to Hyde Park then down the broadpath towards Wellington Arch. Feel free to go out of the park to cross the street or stay in the park running along S. Carriage Drive then exit at Hyde Park House. If you stay in the park and exit at Hyde Park House, you can avoid a lot of pedestrian traffic. Then head south on Sloane St. all the way over the river to Battersea Park. Run along the embankment to Albert Bridge where you should cross back over the river. At Chelsea Bridge, turn north and retrace your steps back to Hyde Park. Exit Hyde Park by the War Animal monument and run back to SJW via Baker or Gloucester St. If you haven’t been running regularly, finish at Hyde Park Corner. That’s about 7.7 miles – it’s plenty of mileage. We ran 9 miles last week. There is no need to do two really long runs in consecutive weeks. We can bump up your mileage after the February break.
Wednesday, 6 February
Marathon Trainees and Half-marathon Trainees in the Fast group (6 mile mid-pace or tempo run). This is just an idea – if you’re not interested then follow the Mid-level I Group tempo/fartlek run from Monday.
Track and Fartleks – Jog down Charlbourg, run over the bridge to reach the outer loop of Regents Park. Jog along the sidewalk until you reach the track. Gradually increase your speed as you do one lap around the track. Now you’re ready to go! Do a timed mile on the track (4 laps of the track in the middle lane is pretty accurate) or if you prefer just start your watch and run hard until it signals that you’ve done one mile. Run this mile at about 80-85% of maximum capacity. Another way to think of that is to set a scale from 1-20. 20 is a level of intensity that you could do for 1-2 seconds before you would just collapse. On this scale, run your timed mile between a 16-17. ￼
After your timed mile, jog another lap around the track to recover. Then jog over to Regents Park. Do a 15-20 minute group fartlek session. This is how it works – break into groups of 3-5 runners based on sprint pace (so the fastest group needs to be in front). Separate the groups by a couple of minutes. Someone in each group identifies the “run-to” point (a bench, rubbish can, the bridge, etc) and does a 3,2,1 count then yells “Go”. Everyone in that group runs as hard as possible to the established “run-to” point. The distance of each fartlek should be different – mix up longer legs (maybe up to 200 meters) with shorter legs (as short as 20 meters). You could do the loop in the map above or just run around in Regents Park until you’ve done 15-20 minutes of fartleks. The torture isn’t over….. then jog back to the track. Do another timed mile run trying to meet or better the time from your first mile. Then jog, walk or crawl back to Starbucks. Here’s an interesting tidbit – supposedly you can take a timed mile trial number and multiply it by 30 then add 3 minutes to get your predicted full marathon time. Multiply the timed mile number by 14 to get a predicted half-marathon time. Kind of cool, huh???
Half-marathon Trainees in the Mid-level I group (10 mile long run on your schedule). So sorry that we have another destination run planned. If you don’t have time to do this route but want 10 miles, run with us to Hammersmith then turn around and retrace your steps.
Kew (10 miles) – ￼We’ll run down to Hyde Park via Lisson/Seymour (normal route) then do a diagonal through Hyde Park towards the SW corner of the park (in front of Kensington Palace). From there head out Kensington High St to Hammersmith, cross over the river, then head west along the river to Kew. If you want the full 10 miles, don’t take the first Kew exit from the river (near the railroad tracks) – keep on running until you reach Kew Bridge then head south to Kew Gardens.
Half-marathon Trainees in the Mid-level II group (6 mile mid-pace or tempo run). You have options this week! Some of you need to purchase some gels and/or hydration belts/bags. One option is to run to Runners Need in Holborn:
Runners Need Holborn (5 miles) – Run along the canal to The Wall. Exit from the canal and head south on Farringdon Road.￼ At Clerkenwell/Theobalds Rd turn right, run about .6 of a mile then turn left on Procter. Runners Need is on your right before you reach Holborn. It sits above Evans Cycle Shop. If you don’t like that option, try ￼the shopping rute (see map at left). The route goes through Regents Park, down Marylebone High St. then takes a
couple of turns to get to New Bond St. Conduit St. is an easy way to cut over to Regent St. Then head north back to Regents Park, do a diagonal from the broadwalk and finish at Starbucks.
Friday, 8 February
On Fridays, everyone goes up the hill to Hampstead and/or the Heath. This run is working out so well. I’m thrilled for all of you. Everyone seems to be finding the distance that works for them and finding routes that work when the sidewalks are icy. Thank you so much for all helping each other figure out routes and directions. Thank you Jane for studying the heath area maps and figuring out alternative routes. You’re a sweetheart.