I’m looking forward to another good week of running! Our long run Monday brings us to Battersea Park. The entire loop is 10 miles but there are ways to shorten the distance as well. For example if you skip the loop in Battersea Park and turn around at Embankment, it’s an 8-mile run. (There’s a group doing the Battersea run on Sunday this week. Email Chris Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to connect with that group.) Wednesday we’re back in Regents Park for some track running and Fartleks (or as Heidi likes to say “The Farts”)! I know that this is everyone’s FAVOURITE run. Remember to stick with your group and encourage each other. And one benefit is that we’re done early for some much deserved coffee at Starbucks. And as an additional reward, we’re adding a run to Borough Market on Friday this week. If you can’t do a destination run on Friday, the hill is also an option.
Race Hats on Wednesday
I’ll be at Starbucks on Wednesday after the run handing out orange race hats for those who haven’t picked theirs up yet. If you’re not going to the race and you’d like a hat the cost is £10. We’re also offering a special deal if you purchase a second hat, the cost is only £5. (The hat supplier has a minimum order so we have extras.) Thanks!
Recycle your unwanted bras! Monday 7 March
The charity, Against Breast Cancer, researches improved detection, treatment and how to increase survival rate after breast cancer diagnosis. One of the ways they are funded is through a bra collection and recycling scheme where the charity receives £1000 per tonne of bras donated to them. The bras are then sent by their recycling partner to Africa. Second hand bras are very popular amongst the women in West African villages where they do not have the funds to buy new ones. The wearing of bras brings down the rape rate and these second hand bras sold by local traders, support local families.
So if you have any unloved bras in your home, please donate them to this scheme. Wearable bras in all conditions are welcome. Emma Hill will be collecting from Barclays Bank, WRW start point, on Monday 7 March from 8 am until 8.30 am, in case there are any donations from non runners. Emma will then deposit them at the collection point at the Cumberland Tennis Club.
Please email Emma at email@example.com just to let her know that you have something to be collected on the 7th March and do not hesitate to get in touch with her if you have any queries at all or about collection. Further information can be found on the Against Breast Cancer website, http://www.againstbreastcancer.org.uk/get-involved/fundraising/recycling/513/bra-recycling/
Arbonne – Botanical-based sports nutrition
Suzanne Streit, who is a member of WRW, is an independent consultant with a company called Arbonne that specializes in botanically based health and wellness products. Arbonne also offers sport drinks that promote hydration and muscle recovery to increase performance. Suzanne says, “My husband is also a runner (2x Boston Marathon finisher) and he has seen a significant positive change in his recovery and performance since getting off of Gatorade and incorporating these products.” You can email Suzanne if you’d like more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can check out her website suzannestreit.arbonne.com.
Monday, 29 February – Battersea Loop 7.5-10.3 miles
Today we do an up and back and you can pick your turnaround point to meet the distance in your training schedule.
We head out to Hyde Park, along the eastern edge of the park, and down Sloane Street to Sloane Square the usual way. We continue through Sloane Square, down Chelsea Bridge Road, and over the Chelsea Bridge to the south bank of the Thames. We will then turn right into Battersea Park and run along the south side of the Thames to the Albert Bridge, where we cross back over the Thames and then turn right again and run along the north side of the river back to Chelsea Bridge Road, where we will turn left and run back up through Sloane Square to Knightsbridge, turning right then left to retrace our way back into Hyde Park by the French Embassy. Run to the paved path, turning right towards Hyde Park Corner, then left long the eastern edge of the park to the exit at Upper Brook Street [by the Animal War Memorial] and back to Starbucks the usual way.
Wednesday, 2 March– Tempo Track Sprinting and Fartleks
Time for more tempo training—this week we incorporate Fartleks, which are short sprint bursts interspersed into the run.
Head down to the Regents Park Outer Circle the normal way [down Wellington, left at roundabout, cross zebra before the High Street, enter outer park at Charlbert] but do not go into the park, instead turn left on the outer circle and run slowly to the track. Run ONE lap at the track, gradually increasing your speed. Now, time to really run!
Do a timed one mile on the track [4 laps in the middle lane is pretty close] or you can set your watch to give you a one mile interval. Run this mile at about 80-85% of your maximum capacity. If it were a scale of 1-20 [where 20 is a level of intensity that you could do for 1-2 seconds before you collapse], your timed mile should be a 16-17 [yikes!]. After your timed mile, jog another lap, slowly, around the track to recover, then continue to run slowly over the Regents Park.
Now, we’ll do about a 15-20 minute group Fartlek session. This is how it works: break into groups of 3-5 runners based on your sprint pace—the fastest group needs to be in front. Separate each group by a couple of minutes before you start running again. Someone in each group identifies the ‘run-to’ point [a bench, a rubbish can, a particular tree, etc] then counts down 3,2,1, ‘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 200 meters] with shorter legs [maybe 20 meters]. You can do the loop outlined in the map below or just pick your own path until you’ve done about 15-20 minutes of fartleks.
Now, jog back over to the track and do ANOTHER timed mile to try to meet or better the time you had from your first timed mile.
Run, walk or crawl back to Starbucks and enjoy a much-earned coffee and chat!
Friday, 4 March– Borough Market or the Heath
Option 1 – Borough Market via Hungerford Bridge – 5 miles
Head to Regents Park the usual way taking Circus Road to Charlbert Street. Cross Regents Park until you hit the Broad Walk, turning right and following the Broad Walk until you exit at Park Crescent. Follow Portland Place south as it turns into Langham Place and then Regent Street until you get to Piccadilly Circus. At Piccadilly Circus, take Haymarket South to Cockspur Street into Trafalgar Square. At Trafalgar Square, continue south toward the Thames on Northumberland Ave. At the river, cross on the Hungerford Bridge right in front of you. At the end of the bridge, turn left to follow the The Queen’s Walk along the Thames until the path ends after the Southwark Bridge. Borough Market is under the railway bridge near the London Bridge station. The official address is 8 Southwark Street SE1 1TL.
Option 2- Borough Market via Westminster Bridge-6 miles
We head to Hyde Park via the usual route. Start heading west on Circus Road and turn left on Grove End and follow south as it becomes Lisson Grove. Cross over Marylebone Road and continue on Seymour Place until the end. Turn right and cross over Edgware Road and then left to enter Hyde Park at the intersection with Stanhope Place. Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill. Run past 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. Continue past Big Ben and cross Westminster Bridge. After the bridge turn left to run along the Thames until the river path ends after Southwark Bridge. Borough Market is under the railway bridge near the London Bridge station. The official address is 8 Southwark Street SE1 1TL.
Option 3- The Hill
If you would prefer to stay closer to home, Fitzjohns and the Heath are calling you. Pick your distance and whatever you choose, there will certainly be someone else interested in running that distance. All of these routes are on the website.
4 miles: A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6-7miles: The partial Heath route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles: The full Heath route
Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.