Have you noticed that the daylight hours are beginning to stretch out a bit as we are already halfway through January? And though last Wednesday’s tempo run may have been a little soggy, Monday and Friday were perfect running days! We’re building a great base with the 7-8 mile runs we’ve been doing since break, and hopefully chasing away any January blues with the endorphins and the post-run coffee/breakfast stops.
Running this week. Monday we will fit in another 8-mile run, starting out on the canal and then cutting through Notting Hill, over Holland Park, and along the Kensington High Street again to Hyde Park, with a finish at either Green Park (Joe and the Juice, or a tube ride home) or St James Park (Benugo). Wednesday we are doing the Hyde Park Tempo Triangle (see full description from our awesome Routes Team below). Be sure to take your recovery jog segments at a really easy pace, and let your pace group recover together and then start the next leg together, though of course you will naturally spread out during the tempo segments. If you are not doing tempo work, this can easily be done as a nice 6.5-mile loop. And Friday, we’ll go back up the hill for the route of your choice, though it’s a good time to try the full 8-mile route if you’re feeling good.
Training notes. Last week I gave you an overview of the training plan, and links to Paula’s advice on slowing down for your long run (easier said than done sometimes, but it’s really, really true!) Just to reinforce all of that, here is a training pace calculator from Runner’s World, with more information on the different types of training runs. It’s important, though, to make sure you don’t overtrain. Our program does not include all the types of runs mentioned in the article, and it would be a bad idea to try to suddenly incorporate them all if you’ve been following our three-days-a-week schedule since September! But all of these points lead to a basic question we each need to consider: what is our personal goal for the race? Do you want to run it comfortably and finish feeling strong? Do you want to hit a personal best or a target time? Are you planning to run with a friend, or alone? Now is a good time to start thinking about these points, as they will affect how you think about your training. For example, if you are going for a personal best, you’ll want to keep up with all the tempo training. If you are thinking of running with a friend, you will want to begin to talk together about goals, pace, and how you will respond if one or the other of you is feeling stronger on race day. Please keep in mind as you think about these points, that all of us within the group– even within a pace group– may not be on the same page about goals, pace, and where running fits in our lives. The beauty of WRW is the way we support each other every time we lace up our shoes, no matter our running experience or speed.
Save the date. To help make planning easier, here’s a glance forward at some key runs coming up in the next two months:
Monday, 27 February – 9-mile local loop route through parks (flexible miles)Monday, 10 February – Stratford (9 miles)Tuesday, 11 February – WRW Kit pickup and race payment date!Monday, 17 Feb – Friday, 21 Feb – February break for ASL, no official running scheduleMonday, 24 February – Canary Wharf (9.3 miles)Monday, 2 March – Canada Water (10 miles)Monday, 16 March – Kew Gardens (11 miles)
I’m including a second photo collage this week… let’s call the top one ‘running’ and the one below ‘eating!’ Thanks to our Routes Team and many of our runners for the recommendation to hit Dishoom for breakfast Friday– it was delicious! Looking forward to seeing you all out and about running the parks and cafes this week. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
Monday 20 January – Holland Park to St James’s Park Benugo or alternative to “The Office” (8 miles)
We start out the same as our traditional Notting Hill Route: Circus Rd to Grove End, to St Johns Wood Rd to Cunningham, to Blomfield to the Canal, going west past the Westway to Ladbroke Grove. Once on Ladbroke Grove, run south all the way until it ends at Holland Park Avenue. Cross Holland Park Avenue, take a right and then a left on Holland Walk, just past Aubrey Road. Holland Walk is a pedestrian way. Run up Holland Walk until the first entrance into Holland Park on your right, opposite the Duchess of Bedford Walk. Run into the park and then turn left on the Broad Walk which goes the length of Holland Park. Just before it ends at Kensington High Street take a left onto the quiet Phillimore Walk. Follow Phillimore Walk, which runs parallel to Kensington High Street, until you reach Hornton Street, where we take a right and then a left onto Kensington High Street. Continue on until you reach Kensington Gardens, where you enter it at the junction with the Broad Walk, just before Palace Gate Road. Take the Broad Walk to the first path on the right which turns into South Carriage Drive. You’ll run past The Albert Memorial and cross West Carriage Drive at the light. Continue on South Carriage Drive all the way to Apsley House/Hyde Park Corner. Cross over Piccadilly and run under Wellington Arch, then cross at the light to run along the path to the left of Constitution Hill, the same route we take in going to Big Ben. Cross the Mall, run along the edge of the park, and take the angled path to the Benugo cafe. Do so some striders, have a stretch, and then indulge in some breakfast. An alternative cafe is the Joe and the Juice in Berkeley Street which has a large seating area downstairs. The 2019 Beginners are regular visitors and call it “The Office”. For Joe and the Juice turn left at the end of Green Park, with Clarence House on your right, and up past Green Park tube station. Turn right to cross Piccadilly at The Ritz and into Berkley Street. Joe and the Juice will be on your right. Running the whole way to Joe and the Juice is also 8 miles.
Wednesday 22 January – Hyde Park Tempo Triangle
Head down to Hyde Park the usual way at a very gentle pace. Once you reach the park pick up the pace a bit around Speaker’s Corner, and then run very fast down to the SE corner of the park. Jog slowly around the corner while you try to bring your heart rate back down to a recovered rate. Once you reach the straightaway, run hard again to Carriage Road. Slow down to a recover rate again as you cross over the bridge and up to the path, where you will turn right and run hard along the diagonal back to Speaker’s Corner. Jog very slowly back to SJW or, even hop on the bus or tube from Marble Arch. If you are not doing tempo work, you can do this run at a regular pace (if you run back to SJW it is about 6.5 miles).
Friday 24 January – 8-mile Heath Route
Start from Barclays running down Circus past the SJW High Street until it dead ends and turn left on Townshend Rd. Turn right on Acacia and then left on Avenue. Cross diagonally over Adelaide Rd to run past the Swiss Cottage tube and keep going on to Fitzjohns Avenue. Run up the hill to the Hampstead Heath Tube. After reaching the Hampstead Tube, continue to run up Heath St (to the left of the Tube) all the way uphill to the stoplight at E Heath Rd. Cross at the light and continue past Whitstone Pond (on your left) and past the roundabout to enter the Heath at the first trail entrance on your right. Run down this major thoroughfare trail, bearing right after 200 meters to continue as the trail meanders past Lime Avenue and other smaller trails, fields and forested areas. As the major trail starts to dip and veer right, take the sharp left to run up Parliament Hill. You may want to stop and enjoy the spectacular vista (and catch your breath!). Continue down the other side of the hill, bearing to the left to circle back around the bottom of Parliament Hill and running by the model boating and fishing ponds before turning right at the T-junction to run by the loos. Just beyond the loos, bear left to run along the eastern edge of the Heath. Keep going until you reach the iron fencing that marks the entrance to the Kenwood House grounds. Run past Kenwood House, exiting its grounds at the foot gate on the right before the path turns to the left. Continue on this gravelly path through a far gate, turning left as you continue towards a LARGE tree. Run past the LARGE tree, taking an immediate turn on the first path thereafter which leads to a steep down hill as you cross a small bridge. Turn right at the main trail intersect (this is the same trail you ran down at the beginning of the Heath, in the opposite direction) and run back up to where you entered the Heath. Turn left on Spaniards Rd and retrace your steps all the way back to SJW and Starbucks.
As always, the other Heath routes are always an option:
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+ miles: The partial Heath route OR the Reverse Heath route OR Pergola route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles: The full Heath route
Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.