28 February – 4 March Running Info

Hello Runners!
I hope it’s been a good week for everyone!  Whether you spent it in London, the Alps, or the Maldives, hopefully you managed to take a little bit of down time (but not too much!) for our recovery week. 

Running this week.  This week we will ease back into our long run training schedule with a not-quite-9-mile route around Hyde Park and Regents Park on Monday.  Yes, despite ASL still being on break, we do have an official route and we will meet in St Johns Wood Church Gardens at the normal time– 8:20 for 8:25 departure.  If you’re not training for the half-marathon, this is a great one to join the group for, as it’s easy to customise to whatever length you are up for.  On Wednesday we will take in the Primrose Hillzzz for the 5-mile intervals and hills combo– getting our hills done early because the end of this week is the first Friday of the month, and we are off to Borough Market (6 miles)!  Full instructions and maps are in the Routes section below, as always.

Shoutouts and announcements.  Though it seems like forever ago, we don’t want to miss a shoutout to all who ran the London Winter Run 10K two weeks ago today.  There were over 50 WRW runners in the race, representing us across most of the age categories.  Congratulations and a big well-done to all who showed up and ran the race– you are amazing!  Additional shoutouts to those for whom it was a first-ever race.  And a couple of special shoutouts– to Kelly Willis, who won her age category, and to Miki Neant, who was the 9th-place overall female finisher!  It’s also worth a shout to the small group who followed that 10K with a London Landmarks virtual 10k last weekend, for which Laura Beal designed this fun ‘local landmarks’ route.  Great job, ladies!  

For anyone who is running their first race, first half-marathon, or who just wants some extra advice and discussion about the race, we are planning an information/Q&A session for next Wednesday, March 9 immediately following the run (around 9:30).  We will grab coffee and walk over to Devy Schoenfeld’s home at 16 Blenheim Rd.  Thanks to Devy for hosting us!  ALSO– a reminder to those running in Berlin:  please complete your Race Directory google form!  Jen Iannazzo is creating the handy little photo book for all 160 of us– no small task!– so we need to get her the information asap.

A fun social, non-running, evening event will round out the March 9 activities– the WRW Pub Quiz at the Warrington in Maida Vale!  Big thanks to Morgan Lintz for organising us!  All are welcome to this event, but please RSVP here so we can keep a headcount for the pub.  Further event details are in the evite.  

Save the dates.  Following are some key runs and events coming up– be sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss them:
Monday, March 7 – Canada Water run (10 miles).
Wednesday, March 9 – race tips info session after run (around 9:30) at Devy’s house –
Wednesday, March 9 – WRW Pub Quiz at the Warrington!! (details here)
Monday, March 21 – Kew Gardens run (11 miles)
Wednesday, March 23 – Pre-race Coffee (after run, in Regents Park) 

I don’t know about you, but a week away from running and the group makes me all the more antsy to meet up and hit the pavements together!  Looking forward to seeing you all out there this week– and hoping we get some of this gorgeous sunshine for tomorrow’s trip around the parks.  Enjoy the day, everyone!

xx Micki


Monday, 28 February – Hyde Park with Regent’s Park Extension (8.9 miles)

RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/n8Lunvp4jD
Begin with the usual route to Hyde Park, turning right at the silver sphere once you enter the park. Cross over N Carriage Rd and keep going until the very end of the park, then turn left (south) to run down toward the palace. Before the Palace take another left to run around the front, and then turn right after the Palace to take in the last corner of the park.  Follow the path on the south side of the park all the way to and across South Carriage Drive, continuing all the way around the perimeter to exit at the Animals in War Memorial.  Cross the street onto Upper Brook Street, then turn left on Park St, crossing onto the right side of the street. Proceed about a mile and keep an eye out for the Windsor Castle pub on your right, shortly after which you will turn right down a path called Kent Passage into Regent’s Park. Turn right just inside the park (or stay on the Outer Circle if you like), then take a left at York Bridge, another left into the Inner Circle, and left through the gate after the big gated driveway marked “The Holme”. Follow the path straight across the park to exit at Charlbert St and head back to Starbucks.

Wednesday 2 March – Primrose Hillzzz  (5 miles)
RunGo: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/rCmIF5iIyY
We’re combining hills and intervals this week with Primrose Hillzzz, the zzz for the zig zag hill repeats that are sure to get your hearts pumping and glutes working! We’ve doctored the usual start of the run to give us a little more warmup distance in Regents Park before tackling the first hill.

Head out from St Johns Wood Church Grounds to enter Regents Park by the Mosque. Run straight into the park and turn right after you cross the bridge, following along the water to the end of the lake and then curving around to the right to join the Broad Walk. Turn left and run to the fountain, and then go left to run the diagonal path alongside the zoo. Say hello to the camels, look for the tigers, and carry on out the park at the path that leads across the Outer Circle to Primrose Hill. Once in Primrose, take the first path on your left, run up past the entrance from St Edmund’s Terrace and continue up until the path forks, taking the path to your right all the way up to the top. Enjoy a brief moment taking in the view and then head down the left path all the way to the bottom corner of the park (corner of Albert Terrace and Prince Albert Rd). Run along the bottom of the park, past the Children’s Playground, Cafe and outdoor gym to where you entered the park. Repeat this loop two more times (or more if you like!). On your final loop run back up to the St. Edmund’s Terrace entrance and turn left out of the park. St Edmund’s Terrace will become Allitsen Rd and will take you back to St John’s Wood High St. Turn right and head back to Starbucks.

Friday 4 March – Borough Market  (6 miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/6U5vDjwEEA
It’s First Friday so let’s do our Borough Market run! We can grab coffee at Monmouth or Rabot Estates before doing any shopping and catching the tube at London Bridge station back to SJW. Don’t forget your mask and your contactless card! We start by heading to Hyde Park via the usual route. Head west on Circus Road, turn left on Grove End Road. At the corner of St. John’s Wood Road and Grove End Road, cross diagonally at the light and continue south on Lisson Grove. Cross over Marylebone Road and continue south on Seymour Place until it tees into Seymour Street. 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. Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill. Run past the Victoria Memorial, cross The Mall at the light and turn right at the grand wrought iron gates into 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 down the stairs to run along the Thames until the river path ends after Southwark Bridge. Just past Southwark Bridge, head right and then a quick left to go into a short tunnel that puts you onto Clink Street. Make a right on Stoney Street to get to the market (and Monmouth Coffee or Rabot Estates!).

14 – 18 February 2022 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Happy Sunday, and happy London Winter Run-day!  I don’t have a count on how many WRW runners are taking part in the Cancer UK 10k in London today, but good luck and well done to all!  We can’t wait to see the photos start rolling across our Whatsapp chats!  

Running this week.  We’re off on an adventure Monday– along the canal west past Wembley and all the way to Greenford (9.6 miles).  The stretch past Wembley is very rural in parts, and you will actually feel like you’ve left London behind. This is an excellent training run with no traffic lights, so we’ll get the chance to do some continuous running.  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 try out your gels (see training note below).  We haven’t run this one in a few years, so we are hoping the photos of the exit and the steps in the Routes section below will still be recognizable!  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.  Full directions are, of course, in the Routes section below, and we tube home from Greenford (it’s on the Central line).  
If you don’t have time for the Greenford jaunt and return trip, you could reprise any of the longer loops we’ve run (Battersea to Big Ben, perhaps?).  We have 7 weeks until race day, and our training calendar does have another 9, 10, and 11-miler scheduled.  Also, if you ran the 10k today (Sunday), you might want to flip your long run day to Wednesday, and do either an easy shakeout on Monday (maybe the bonus route we’ve also included below) or take the day off.  

After going that far afield on Monday, we’ll stick to Hyde Park on Wednesday for our old favorites– the Tempo Triangles (full directions in Routes section below).  These are another form of Fartleks, which is training-geek-speak for “periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running” and translates from Swedish as “speed play!”  So don’t forget to have fun with these!  Use the slow jog recoveries as a chance to regroup with your pace group, who will have spread out during the fast interval.  Give lots of high fives and encouragement, and practice your finish line smile and ‘victory arms’ on the last one!  If you’re not doing tempo work, it’s easy to adapt this one, just run to Hyde Park with your group, do a loop in the park, and either meet them near the silver sphere at the end of the tempo work, or back in St Johns Wood for coffee.  And finally, Friday is Runners’ Choice in Hampstead Heath.  Huddle up with your pace group and pick your favorite route before heading off on February break.  

Training note.  Another thing to think about as we continue with the long runs is what type of fuelling you’ll use during the race. This is different for each runner, but most of us will use some kind of gel or chew during a half marathon.  The rule of thumb passed on by WRW founder, Paula Mitchell, is that after about 80-90 minutes of running you’ll have used up your natural fuel sources and you’ll need to top up the tank with something. That’s based on the type of running most of us are doing– if someone is running a marathon at a 6 min/mile pace, their fueling needs will be different!  For most of us, taking a sports gels or some sports gummies or beans at around the 7- or 8-mile mark is the simplest place to start.  If needed you can take a second one 35-45 minutes later, but don’t be tempted to take one any sooner than that!  If you’ve never used these before it is crucial that you try it out during some of our long training runs to make sure they don’t upset your stomach.  Some people prefer gels (GU, Huma, SIS, Clif), which have a consistency of jelly or frosting; and some people prefer blocks or chews (Clif bloks, Jelly Belly Sports Beans), which are similar in consistency to a gummy bear or jelly bean. You can find a selection in most running stores and, of course, online.  Talk with other runners in the group if you need suggestions (and sometimes it’s a good idea to split an order online rather than everyone having to buy a case of them).  Dates are also a good natural alternative, though they can be a little messier to carry.  Again, talk to other runners in the group for suggestions.

Shoutouts and Announcements.  As mentioned, a big shoutout to those toeing the line for the London Winter Run 10k this morning!  I hope you are having a fabulous time and a great run!  Pre-race photos have begun to filter in, but I know there will be more to come with medals and big smiles!  Further afield today, Rebeca Ernrooth is running a marathon relay in Greensboro, NC– so a shoutout to her, as well!
Next week (Feb. 21-27) we will take a recovery week (aka, ASL February Break).  There will be no e-mail and no official routes.  Our training schedule includes a few shorter runs if possible during the week (a 6-mile Monday, and another 4 and 4-6 miles).  It’s great if you can get these, or any running in, but don’t worry too much if you can’t– when you get back to London your body will be wanting to run!  And at that point we will have five weeks of training to get ourselves primed for the Berlin Half.  Another event to look forward to in that timeframe is a fun, new social event organised by Morgan Lintz– pub quiz night for WRW (Big Thanks, Morgan!!)

Mark your calendars for these events you won’t want to miss:
Monday, March 7 – Canada Water (10 miles)
Wednesday, March 9 – WRW Pub Quiz at the Warrington!! (details to follow)
Monday, March 21 – Kew Gardens (11 miles)
Wednesday, March 23 – pre-race Coffee after run

That’s it for today, runners.  Happy “Galentine’s Day” to all of you!  (I googled it, and it’s not just a Parks and Rec episode anymore– Cosmo calls it “the only good fake holiday on the calendar”)!  It’s meant to be a February 13th celebration of friendship in all its forms, so I’ll celebrate all of you today!  And whether in observance of Galentine’s or Valentine’s… check out the little gift we’re including at the very end of this e-mail:  the Heart London run created by alum and route creator extraordinaire, Janelle Meyer– just in case you want to let your feet do the talking!  Looking forward to seeing you all out on the pavements this week!
xx. Micki


Monday 14 February – Greenford (9.6 miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/xkmeg978iC
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 Black Horse Pub.

At the top of the steps turn right and run along Oldfield Lane which is a 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 follow the road until the next intersection where there is a mall with a Costa Coffee.)  Note that after Covid and our 4-year hiatus from this route, there is no guarantee these coffee places are still there!  But we have faith in our collective ability to find coffee and restrooms!

Wednesday 16 February – Hyde Park Tempo Triangles (fartleks)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/yMDh08Ketw
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 (approx 0.5-mile interval). 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 (approx 0.8-mile interval). 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 (approx 0.45-mile interval). 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 18 February – Heath – runner’s choice
It’s Friday so up the hill we go!  Hills are a great way to build strength and stamina.  If you haven’t done them in a while (or ever!), just take it slow.  It’s a great feeling to make it up to the top!

<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.

**AND FINALLY…one last bonus for Valentine’s Day…  Alumnae and former Routes Team member Janelle Meyer left us this lovely Heart London run.  If your running schedule is out of sync because of Sunday’s race, this might be a good alternative run, and a nice way to send love to all those connected to you on Strava or other run trackers!
Heart London – 6.2 miles
RunGo: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/6sUSs0e3AI

7 – 11 February 2022 Running Info

Hello Runners!
What a joy to run with you all this week!  Even though it was cold, it was so much fun to get back to our classic Canary Wharf route, and to see so many of our newer runners experiencing it for the first time.  Extra kudos to the groups who had to creatively manage their schedules to get the trip in on Wednesday.  The Primrose Hillzzz were just as much fun as always, as we all circled the hills together.  And finally, oh my goodness, what a fantastic ‘bonding’ experience for all those runners who made it to Borough Market through a very soggy Friday!  
Running this Week.  This week we’ll step down our Monday mileage just a bit with an 8-mile trip through Holland Park to Green Park.  This is a really great route, but do be careful those first two miles on the canal if, as expected, it rains today and is near freezing tomorrow morning.  An easy alternative route we’ve used in the past if necessary on icy days is the full 8-mile Hyde Park route.  On Wednesday we will continue mixing in a weekly tempo session.  The route follows the Regents Park Outer Circle, with a two-mile segment at faster than our race pace.  See the Routes writeup below to calculate your target pace and get the landmarks for your start and stop points (and don’t forget to cool down with an easy jog!).  If you are not doing speed training (no worries!), just do the route at regular pace, or even add a trip around the Inner Circle when you get to York Gate.  And Friday we have a changed-up Heath route, through Golders Hill, into the Pergola, and back out to finish with the regular route through and back from the Heath.  Check in with your Whatsapp group for alternate times if the ASL Parent Teacher conferences mean a change in your running schedule.

Looking ahead/training notes.  A reminder that next Sunday, February 13 is the Cancer UK London Winter Run 10k.  I know that many runners are planning to participate, so look to your Whatsapp chats if you’d like to connect with a group, or reach out to your pace group leader (or here) to help you connect.  There are still spaces in the race if you want to join in!  A note from some who have registered and already been through the event notes– there will not be water available on the course.  So do bring your own hydration if you are running it.
We have some great runs planned for the next few months.  Some of our favorite race-prep destination runs take a little more time out of our days, so mark your calendar for these (slightly epic) WRW pilgrimmages:

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

If you are running the Berlin Half at the beginning of April, or another race anytime soon, this is a good time to start thinking about your personal goals 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?  Your answers will affect how you think about your remaining weeks of 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, speed, or plans.  
And… speaking of lacing up shoes, think about the timing on replacing your running shoes, and any other essential gear, between now and the race.  The rule is ‘nothing new on race day’ so be sure to plan ahead!  
Okay, somehow I always end up saying more than I meant to.  If you’re still reading, thanks, as always, for bearing with me to the end!  Have a wonderful Sunday, and I will see you in SJW Church Gardens in the morning for another great run together.
xx Micki


Monday 7 February – Holland Park to Green Park (8 miles)
RunGo: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/uKxwpqhOoZ
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. At the Mall, turn left to run to the easternmost path of Green Park, turn left and run by Lancaster House and up to Green Park Tube. After some striders, you can hop on the tube, or head across Piccadilly for Starbucks or Joe and the Juice in Berkeley Street.

Wednesday 9 February – Regents tempo run – 1+ mile warmup; 2 mile tempo run at sub race pace; 1 mile cool down
Head to the outer circle of Regent’s Park, taking the normal way to the Charlbert entrance. Turn right to pass the US Ambassador’s house (Winfield House) and continue past the mosque to York Bridge (this is where we sometimes turn left to run the inner circle). At this point pick up your pace, as the “tempo” part of the run begins (see guidance below). Stay on the Outer Circle and keep a sub-race pace back to the Charlbert entrance area (push yourself just past it to the second driveway of the Ambassador’s house for the full 2 miles). Ease into the wide entrance area and have a little recovery jog until your group is all gathered again. Consider a nice and easy cool-down just inside the park, then take an easy pace back to the St Johns Wood High Street for stretching, followed by coffee. 

Note that the tempo part of this run should be sub-race pace. Remember this is 2 miles, not 13, so it should be faster than race pace.  Everyone should be aiming for about 30 seconds faster than your race pace. If you are not sure of your race pace, this might be an opportunity to begin to gauge it. Below are suggested times, but these are just general guidelines. Please adjust if these are too fast or too slow!
For the 8’s – 7:45-8:00 per mile
For the 9’s – 8:45 per mile
For the 10’s – 9:55 per mile
For the 11’s – 10:55 per mile
For the 12s – 11:55 per mile

Friday 11 February – Heath Golders Loop – 7 miles
We’re exploring another part of the heath today! Head up Fitzjohn’s as usual BUT cross the road at the pedestrian crossing (opposite Oriel Place on the right and before the Tesco on the left) and backtrack a bit to turn into Church Row. Follow Church Row all the way until Frognal where we turn right and then quickly make a left onto Redington Road. Follow Redington Road as it curves around to the right until reaching the T junction with West Heath Road, where we turn left. Cross West Heath Road at the zebra crossing, continue left until you make a right onto a wide dirt path. There are many options of looping the whole park and seeing the zoo or the deer enclosure but for now we will cut straight through the woods, crossing a few paths, almost to the other side. Take a sharp right near the edge of the wooded area and some buildings. After the path curves to the right, take the first left and head uphill towards the pergola which will be on our right. We run out Inverforth Close, head right on N End Way back up to the roundabout where we cross to enter the heath at the usual Friday entrance. Run down the main path towards Parliament Hill but bear right at the bottom past the ponds and out to Downshire Hill. At the end of Downshire Hill, turn left down Rosslyn Hill and right on Belsize Ave to head back to St John’s Wood the usual way.