24 – 28 January 2022 Running Info

Hello Runners!
What a great job everyone did this week!  Each of our official routes had an element of challenge to it– navigating something new, running hard on the track, or taking an extra hill.  That deserves a big ‘well done!’ at the very least!  And no matter which routes any of us ran, bravo to us all for being out there (in the cold, again!) putting in the miles and enjoying our time together.  What an incredible group of women!
Running this week.  Monday we will do a 9-mile route that runs down through Hyde Park and Sloane Square, then on across the Thames for a scenic lap around Battersea Park before crossing back over the river and running along it to Big Ben.  If you are not quite up to 9 miles, you could route yourself to the Pimlico underground station, which would give you about 8 miles, or you could shorten or skip the loop of Battersea Park.  (As you can see in the schedule below, we have another 9-mile run in the queue for next Monday, so you will get another chance soon!).  Wednesday we go back to interval training, with the pyramids in Regents Park.  See the description in the Routes section below for full instructions.  If you are feeling strong, feel free to add in another 3-minute interval at the top of the pyramid.  And finally, Friday we head back up the hill to the Pergola for 6.3 miles.

REMINDER!!!! WRW Kit Distribution and Collection is this TUESDAY.  We are so excited for the big annual shirt/race hat reveal!  If you ordered 2021-22 WRW kit items last fall or you are signed up for the Berlin Half Marathon, you received an e-mail this week with details for pickup and payment day.  Please read the e-mail closely and plan to come to the pickup location at the appointed time.  And if you have any questions, do let us know!

Shoutouts and Announcements.  The ballot opens Tuesday (January 25) for entry into the Royal Parks Half Marathon to be run on October 9.  Though it can be hard to get a spot in this one, many of our runners have run this ‘home course’ through all the parks we regularly run in, and the race always gets rave reviews.  You can also still register for the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run 10k to be run Sunday, February 13.  A WRW alum reached out this week with a connection to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which has some spots available (with fundraising requirement) for the London Marathon on October 2, 2022.  See here for the application information.  Last but not least, Kitmaster Marissa O’Malia has come through for us again with Lululemon extending us a 20% discount for this weekend in the Marylebone store (and possibly online).  If you didn’t see the coupon, check your pace group whatsapp chat again, or reach out to one of your pace group leaders for the code and coupon.
This week we’re sending a shoutout to someone nominated by her pace group friends for some extra grit in getting her training done… kudos to Tanya Sinha, who has been training for the last month in India, with some of her runs having to be around and around (and around) the garden because of local Covid restrictions.  Way to keep it going, Tanya!  We’ve also had Miki Neant and Kelly Willis continuing to race with their Surrey League XC team last weekend.  And a group of 10s– Clare Missin, Clementine Drackett, Katie Zolnierz and Abby Khatiblou– ran their first independent half marathon of the year last Sunday.  I’m very sure I’m missing kudos for some noteworthy runs; but as always, please let us know if you or someone you run with deserves a shoutout– for any reason!  

Training Notes.  Last week we gave you 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 running coach Luke Humphrey.  (Our usual go-to calculator from Runners’ World seems to have been taken offline– for those of you accustomed to that one).  If you put in a past race time (5k, 10k, half or full marathon) or the time you would like to run in our half marathon, it will calculate the optimal pace range for various types of training runs.  For our training plan, the most important one is the long run, and I will be the first to admit that I don’t slow down as much as advised on these long runs– which may also be true for many of us.  But the point of sharing this is not to prescribe what pace anyone should run, but just to emphasize that we are, indeed, meant to slow down for our long runs.  In addition to the physical aspects of building up mitochondria to improve our body’s ability to fuel for endurance, one nice psychological benefit of slowing down is that it also takes some of the ‘scary’ factor out of longer runs for those who are training for their first half or who haven’t done a lot of long runs yet.  As long as we are not fighting off injuries or other complications, we can do more than we might think we can if we just slow down!

Save the Date.  Whether you are planning to run the half or not, we have some great runs planned for the next few months.  Here are some upcoming dates for your calendar:
Tuesday, January 25 – WRW Kit pickup and collection for kit and Berlin trip
Monday, January 31 – Canary Wharf (9 miles)
Sunday, February 13 – London Winter Run 10k
Monday, February 14 – Greenford (9.75 miles)*
Monday, March 7 – Canada Water (10 miles)
Monday, March 21 – Kew Gardens (11 miles)
* optional swap of Monday/Wednesday runs the week of Feb 14 for those running the Winter Run 10k on Sunday

Can’t wait to see you out running this week, as well as at race and kit pickup/payment on Tuesday!  Keep getting out there– nothing chases away the January doldrums like a nice run with friends!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
xx  Micki

Monday 24 January – Battersea Park to Big Ben (9 miles)RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/eZjBUWocao
Let’s keep that race training going!  This route is a mash up of a few runs and includes a loop of Battersea Park.

Start out from the church gardens to Hyde Park, along the eastern edge of the park, and down to Sloane Street the usual way.  Continue through Sloane Square and down Chelsea Bridge Road, and over the Chelsea Bridge to the south bank of the Thames.  Turn right into Battersea Park and run along the outer perimeter of the park.  The park paths will meander some but that’s the fun of running in a park!  Once you make your way around the park and back to the Thames, run along the river path back to the Chelsea Bridge.  For the final part of the run head back over the bridge and run along the north side of the Thames along the Embankment all the way to Big Ben and the Westminster Tube Station. 

Wednesday 26 January – Regents Pyramids interval training

Continuing our tempo/interval training, this week we will do ‘pyramids’—they are fast but also fast to be done with so give them a try!

Head over to Regents Park, the normal way.  Enter the Park at the Charlbert Entrance and veer to the left path.  When you reach the first intersection with the other sidewalk (or when you feel properly warmed up– take more time if you need it!), 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; and then start back down the pyramid, running hard for 2 minutes, recovering for 3 minutes and finally running hard for 1 minute, and recovering for 3 minutes before doing an easy cool down in the park and back to the High Street.  If you are feeling strong, consider adding in a second 3-minute hard run and 3-minute recovery at the top of the pyramid!

The ‘pyramid’ 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

Please use the recovery time to circle up and reconnect with your pace group, as everyone will do the hard run at different paces.  This kind of workout is much more fun if done as a group, and it can be demoralizing to those at the back of the group if they are trying to catch up to the rest of the group during the recovery time.  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 done within the park so you don’t have to contend with street crossings or driveway entrances, and the workout is about progressing up and back down through the intervals rather than about the actual route– so just keep looping in the park however you see fit until the intervals are done and you’ve gotten a good cool-down run.

Friday 28 January – Heath Pergola (6.3 miles)RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/soXpd8ec3K/edit

Head out to Avenue Road, then up Fitzjohn’s per all the Heath routes.  Continue past Hampstead Tube Station all the way to the roundabout just beyond Whitestone Pond. At the roundabout, use the pedestrian crossings to cross counterclockwise over to New End Way to Jack Straws Castle (now a personal training gym) and continue past the parking lot entrance and past the bus stop to turn left onto a small street called Inverforth Close. A short way down, there is a trail to the right with a green barrier gate and a sign that says “The Hill Garden.”
Follow this trail until you come to an entrance on the left for “The Hill Garden and Pergola”, enter it and go to the right around the big bushes. You will see a beautiful reflecting pool. Run alongside it and up the stairs-you are on the Pergola! Run or walk the length of the Pergola.  Don’t forget to look at the beautiful views, admire the flowers and take a pic or two. Please be considerate and don’t run if others are walking the Pergola. When you have finished with your Pergola time and reached the far end, take the stairs down and turn left to run on the wide trail back to New End Road, turning right to run by Jack Straws Castle and crossing left at the pedestrian crosswalks by the roundabout to put you back on the standard Heath route. Turn left from the crosswalk and then right to enter the Heath. Run the wide path as usual but don’t turn left to run up Parliament Hill. Instead, veer right at that juncture and follow the trail across the ponds. After the ponds, the trail veers left and shortly after there is an opportunity to take a right turn on the intersecting trail that heads towards E. Heath Rd (taking you next to the fields used for the Art Fair, parking etc at different times of the year). Cross E. Heath Rd at the pedestrian crossing, then run on Downshire Hill Rd to Haverstock Hill Rd. Turn Left on Haverstock Hill, running home the usual way (turn right on Belsize Ave, left on Lancaster Grove, right on Crossfield, right on Adamson, then cut through the Swiss Cottage public area by the Hampstead Theatre, turning onto Fitzjohns to St Johns Wood Park Rd to St Johns Wood Terrace and then to Starbucks).

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