Well done to everyone who ran to Canary Wharf last week! I loved hearing your positive reports. My favourite story was from Maureen’s friend who was visiting from Alaska. After hearing our cries of “BIKE” on the canal, she remarked that when they are biking on trails in Alaska they shout, “BEAR”! That’s an interesting reminder of our urban jungle!
We’re off to Greenford this week for our long run. The photo above is from our run to Greenford last year and I hope it gives you a bit of inspiration. We head west out the canal for almost 10 miles and the stretch past Wembley is very rural in parts. You can leave the hustle and bustle of London behind you. This is an excellent training run with no traffic lights. Watch your pace – don’t be tempted to go too fast. Remember long slow runs are the best way to build fuel. This is also a good route to test your gels. The photos of the exit in the route section are from last year as well, so hopefully they aren’t building a new apartment building or something crazy at the site. We’re going to assume the Black Horse pub is still there! The important thing is to look for the numbers on the bridges, we’re exiting at bridge number 15 – NOT 15a, don’t be fooled. Wednesday we’re going to The Wall. You can decide to do tempo work along the canal or have a more standard training run depending on how you’re feeling. This is our last official tempo run before the race!
Friday is the first day of spring break! If you’re in London this week we’ll plan to meet at Barclays at 8:30 and decide our route on the day. The plan is to maintain fitness by doing 6-mile runs. If you’re unable to run this week because you’re in the middle of the jungle or the ocean, you’ll still be fine for the race. Any type of cross training (2-3 sessions over the week) will be a bonus. If you’re really pushing for your best time during the half marathon, you may want to use the runs this week to practice your race pace or faster. One option would be to run your race pace less 30-60 seconds. That will be a good work out!
Looking ahead, our first official day back after the break will be Monday 4 April and we’re getting close to race day. We have the following routes on the schedule:
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
Enjoy your break – and keep running,
Monday 21 March Greenford 9.75 miles
We start out the regular way to get on the canal path at Maida Vale heading west. We’ll then run along the canal for about 8 more miles until we exit the canal at Oldfield Lane which is the next exit after Greenford Road. We’re looking for the following bridge which is pretty plain but does have a small black “15” in the center.
Just underneath the bridge there are steps leading up to the The Black Horse Pub.
At the top of the steps turn right and run along Oldfield Lane which is fairly industrial area until you reach the Greenford Station on the right just under the railway bridge. Tube home via the Central Line. If you want to stop for coffee, food or the bathroom, there is a little place with the great name of the Friendly Cafe just past the station on the left. (If you want fancy coffee, turn left at the railway bridge (instead of going under) and following the road until the next intersection where there is a mall with a Costa Coffee.) Note, there is no guarantee these coffee places are still there!
Wednesday 23 March The Wall 6 miles
Turn this into a speed workout by running a negative split! Run faster on the way back to SJW than you ran heading out to the wall.
Run South on Finchley/Wellington Road to the SJW Church Roundabout, follow the sidewalk to the left and cross Prince Albert Road at the crosswalk just beyond the SJW Church. Continue east and enter the canal at the Charlbert entrance. Run east [left], cutting through the Camden Lock Market until you run out of canal path at Islington. Touch the canal boat tunnel wall—this is The Wall!—then turn around and re-trace your steps back to SJW. When you come of the canal at Regents Park, take Charlbert to Allitsen to SJW High Street to Starbucks.
Friday 25 March ASL Spring Break
Meet at Barclays at 8:30 and decide as a group where to run!