29 Feb – 4 March 2016 Running Info

Hi Everyone,

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 [email protected] 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 emmahillpost@gmail.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 [email protected] 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.

Borough Market via Hungerford Bridge 5 miles.png

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.

Borough Market via Westminster Bridge 6 miles.png

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.

22 – 26 February 2016 Running Info

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a good recovery week. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. We’ve only seven more long runs before the half marathon! This week we’re getting back into running by heading to Hyde Park. If you’ve been running and exercising over the break you may want to try a longer distance. If not, you may feel comfortable with a shorter distance after the recovery week. Looking ahead we have the following long runs:

Feb. 22 – Hyde Park loop, 6-8 miles
Feb. 29 – Battersea loop, 8-10 miles
March 7 – Canal, Holland Park, Ken High Street, Green Park, 8 miles
March 14 – Canal, Farringdon, Embankment loop, 9 miles
March 21 – Canal to Greenford destination, 10 miles
March 28 – Spring Break
April 4 – Big Ben loop, 8 miles
April 11 – Kew Gardens destination, 10-11 miles
April 18 – Hyde Park loop, 5-6 miles
April 24 – RACE DAY

You’ll see that we have a mix of destination and loop runs. Try to plan in your schedule for the destination runs, especially Kew Gardens. It takes more time, but it’s great for your training and can give you a real sense of accomplishment to make it to the final destination. Plus it can be very fun to tackle the challenge with the group. Wednesday we’re running to The Wall and you can decide if you’d like to do some tempo training as part of that run or maybe practice your race pace for a bit. Make sure you stay single file for the busy parts along the canal. Friday ASL is off for conferences so we’ll start at 8:30 for anyone who can make it. 

New Running Shoes
If you’re thinking about getting a new pair of shoes for the race, now’s the time to do it. You want to make sure you can run in the shoes at least a few times before the actual race. The same applies for the clothes you’ll wear on race day.  Make sure you test everything first. You don’t want to get to the middle of the race and realise that something is rubbing or annoying you. Who knows what the weather will be on race day – it could be warm, mild or cold. That’s Europe in the spring! Plan to bring race clothes for all temperatures and we’ll decide that morning!

Proposed Road Changes in St. John’s Wood
Transport for London is proposing a new cycle super highway that will have an impact on traffic in SJW and surrounding areas. The proposals include removing the one-way system at Swiss Cottage and limiting traffic access to Avenue Road and parts of Regent’s Park as well as additional changes. They are collecting feedback until Sunday 20 March 2016. Please take a minute to look at the proposal and take the survey to offer feedback on the plan. https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/cs-11?cid=cs11

Finally, well done to all of you who made it to Canary Wharf before the break! Super proud of all of you and I loved our new burrito tradition! We’re really in the home stretch as far as race training goes – keep up the good work!

Keep running,



Monday, 22 February – Hyde Park  – always versatile! (6 – 8 miles)
Click here for all of the Hyde Park interactive route maps

Start:  Everybody starts the same way… head west on Circus Road, turn left on Grove End Road 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 take the first left on Stanhope Place to enter Hyde Park at the intersection with Stanhope Place. Cross into the Park—you’ll see a silver orb just inside the Park.  After entering the Park, turn right and run towards Speaker’s Corner.

6 Milers: upon entering the park, turn right at the silver sphere and run until you meet N Carriage Road where you turn left.  Run down to the Serpentine, crossing over the bridge then left to run along the Serpentine. At the end of the Serpentine, turn left again and make your way to the eastern edge of the park.  Exit the park at the Animals in War memorial and follow Upper Brook Street.  Turn left on Park Street, which becomes Gloucester Place and then Park Road back to SJW.


8 Milers: follow the 6-mile run but do not turn left at No Carriage Rd, instead cross over [this is tricky, be careful of the traffic] and follow until you reach the large broad walk where you turn left.  Run past Kensington Palace (on your right) and take a left to run along the southern edge of the park towards Hyde Park Corner, then turn left on the eastern edge of the park.  Exit the park at the Animals in War memorial and follow Upper Brook Street.  Turn left on Park Street, which becomes Gloucester Place and then Park Road back to SJW.


Wednesday 24 February –  The Wall (6 miles)

We head down towards Regents Park, then enter the canal at the Charlbert entrance and run east [left] cutting through Camden Lock Market until we run out of canal path at Islington and hit “The Wall.”  [Don’t forget to touch The Wall or else your run doesn’t countJ ].  At The Wall, we turn around and head back to St. John’s Wood.  This is a great route to do a tempo run because there are no traffic lights.  But please be careful and aware of the bikes on the path.


Friday 26 February – The Heath 5-8 miles

It’s Friday [again!], so everyone up Fitzjohn’s.  You can 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.

5 miles: The Betsy Route
6-7miles:  The partial Heath route
8 miles:  The full Heath route

Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.

7 – 11 February 2016 Running Info

Hello Runners,

This week we have the famous 9-mile run to Canary Wharf! It’s an important training run because most of the run is non-stop along the canal. Remember to watch your pace – don’t be tempted to go too fast. Also remember to wait for your immediate pace group when you exit the canal at The Wall. There are two tricky sections when we’re off the canal, but there are detailed descriptions below and pictures so all the groups should feel comfortable doing the route. Plus, there are great bragging rights that come from telling your family and friends that you just ran to Canary Wharf! Please try to be early on Monday so we can get organised into pace groups before we start. Also we will most likely stagger the start time so we don’t overwhelm the canal.

On Wednesday, we’ll be in Regents Park doing the tempo diamond work out. There is no school at ASL on Friday Feb 12 so we’ll meet at 8:30 for a hill run or route of your choice.

Race Hats are here!
Our famous race hats have arrived and they look great! If you’re going to the race, the cost of the hat is included in your race costs that you paid on Tuesday at McKenzie’s house. If you aren’t going to the race and you want one, we have extras for just £10. We’ll start handing them out on Wednesday at Starbucks after the run.

Marathon Prep Evening at Performance Rx Feb. 11
Betsy LaMaster and Shannon McHugh highly recommend the personal trainer Joel Proskewitz and his team at Performance Rx which is located near Swiss Cottage. They are hosting an information evening for Marathon runners. Joel says, “the evening will be packed with insight, experience and education which will aid novice runners through to regular marathon competitors.” The topics being discussed are include injury prevention, strength training and optimum nutrition. The event is free of charge and takes place on 11 Feb from 6:30-8:30pm. You need to RSVP to book your place to [email protected]. Also you can check out Joel’s website at www.performancerx.co.uk.

Recovery Week Feb 15-19
Yeah! Everyone gets a little mini-break from running next week. It’s important to “clock your vacation time” from running. Giving your body a week to rest and recover has huge pay-offs. Psychologically you’ll be itching to run the following week (hopefully!) and your body will thank you for the break. If you’re not able to run at all next week – no worries. It will be OK. If you have access to a treadmill, try to get in 2-3 runs of no more than an hour. If you are staying in London, come out and run with the group. There are other people in town and wanting to run. Run no farther than 6 miles or no longer than 60 minutes (whichever comes first.) Ideally you would run 6 miles (or 60 mins) once next week then add in another 2 runs of shorter distances 3-5 miles. Avoid speed/tempo work and consider running flat on Friday. We’ll leave the route selection up to you, but consider going somewhere fun! If you’re running, plan to meet at Barclays at 8:30.

Keep running,


Monday, 8 February – Canary Wharf (9.3 miles)

Section One – Canal to the Wall
The route starts out as the Wall.  Run along Prince Albert Road to join the canal at Charlbert Street.  Run along the canal for approximately 3 miles until the canal pathway ends at the famous “Wall.”

Section Two – Angel Roads
We need to run through the Angel neighbourhood until we can re-enter the canal path.   At the wall follow the ramp up to Muriel Street.  (This is a good place to wait for your pace group.)  Take a right and then an almost immediate left up a path that winds between the apartment buildings.  See the picture below for the entrance to the path.


Keep going straight on the path and it will become Maygood Street.  When you get to the intersection of a main road (Barnsbury Road) turn right.  Run until you make the second left onto Chapel Market.  (There is a metal archway saying Chapel Market and a zebra crossing at the intersection.)  Follow Chapel Market until the end.  (NB:  There is a public Ladies Room at the end of White Conduit Street, which intersects with Chapel Market about midway.)  Turn right at Liverpool Street to the major road Upper Street.  Cross Upper Street and turn left.  (NB:  Angel Tube Station is to your right if you are going home from here.)  Make your first right at Duncan Street and follow until the end.  The entrance to the canal path will be directly in front of you.  Go straight along the canal (NOT a sharp right turn.)

Section Three – Canal to Limehouse Basin
We run for about 4 miles following the canal path past Victoria Park to the Limehouse Basin.  We exit the canal path at the wire looking bridge – see picture below – and take the brown brick steps up to the left.

CanaryPic2  CanaryPic3

Section Four – Limehouse Basin to Canary Wharf
At the top of the brick steps, go straight.  At the Limehouse Gallery and Bronze Age shop turn right.  Run along the water until you reach the second metal foot-bridge leading to a park.  Cross the bridge and run through the park.  After the park, you’ll run straight, under an arch and the water will be on your right.  Run with the water on your right until you see the long flight of steps next to Royal China – see picture below.  You’re almost there!  Only a third of a mile remaining!


Run up the steps and straight ahead, through the small park to India Drive and then veer slightly right along Cabot Square.  You’re heading for the big skyscraper building in front of you.  Stop when you see the sign for the Canary Wharf DLR Station at the ‘mall’ entrance on the South Colonnade.  We’ll meet at the Starbucks inside the building, just right of the entrance.  After a much earned coffee, we’ll head to the Canary Wharf Tube station [Jubilee Line] and tube it home to SJW.  Congratulations!

Wednesday, 10 February – Regent’s Park Tempo Diamonds
We are continuing with our focused tempo running on Wednesdays.  This week we will do “diamonds”.

Head over to Regent’s Park, the normal way [down Wellington Road, left at the SJW Church roundabout, cross the zebra crossing before the High Street and enter Park at the Charlbert Entrance].  Enter the Park and veer to the left path.  When you reach the first intersection with the other sidewalk, it is time to turn on your running jets.  You will run hard for 1 minute, then recover by running slowly for 3 minutes; then run hard for 2 minutes and recover by running slowly for 3 minutes; then run hard for 3 minutes, recover run slowly for 3 minutes; run hard for 2 minutes, recover run slowly for 3 minutes and finally run hard for 1 minutes, recover run slowly for 3 minutes.

The ‘diamond’ looks like this:
1 minute hard                      3 minutes jogging recovery
2 minutes hard                    3 minutes jogging recovery
3 minutes hard                    3 minutes jogging recovery
2 minutes hard                    3 minutes jogging recovery
1 minute hard                      3 minutes jogging recovery

If you need to extend the amount of time for the jogging recovery, that’s fine, you can jog up to twice the amount of the hard run time [so 6 minutes max recovery jog for the 3 min hard run]

This type of running is best down within the park so you don’t have to contend with driveways etc.  If you find you need more mileage in Regent’s Park, just keep looping however you see fit.


Friday, 12 February –  The Heath
There are no ASL classes today, but anyone wanting to run should head up the hill as usual.  Meet at 8:30.

4 miles:  A great way to ease into running the hill.   Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back.
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.