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
ROUTES
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
ROUTES

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.

31 January – 4 February 2022 Running Info

Hello Runners!
It was truly wonderful to see so many of you this week at kit collection!  Thank you for coming out for that, and for bringing your enthusiasm, good humor and correct change! More shoutouts on that below.  You are looking great out there in that new kit!  And I hope you are all feeling as strong as you look!  As the calendar takes us into February this week, our training is beginning to ramp up.  Lucky for us, the great company and the great routes make it so much fun.

Running this week.  Monday we do the famous 9-mile Canary Wharf run– always a milestone on the WRW training calendar.  The route mostly follows the canal all the way, with a few complications around Angel and when we exit the canal at Limehouse Basin.  All the details are in the Routes section below, or you can use the RunGo link (also below) for turn-by-turn navigation. You’ll feel great when you reach the end of this one, and you’ll be ready to celebrate, with several choices for coffee or food (including Tortilla, where some past runners have been known to talk the managers into firing up the margarita machines).  On Wednesday we will do Primrose Hillzzz to get some interval efforts and hills in.  Doing a run with repeats on Groundhog Day seems only appropriate!  And Friday is the first Friday of the month, so we are off to Borough Market– a flat, fun, 6-mile run with big foodie rewards at the end.

Shoutouts and announcements.  A really big thanks is due to our kit collection hostess, Jen Iannazzo, for graciously opening her door to about 200 of us this past Tuesday.  Kitmaster Marissa O’Malia deserves all of our gratitude for securing such great gear in this year of supply chain challenges– not to mention creating great and memorable items for us to wear.  Trip boss Sue Wheeler is doing an amazing, incomparable job of keeping all of our Berlin details cooking along, and keeping all of us straight as we put more details in place and collected payment.  Thanks also to Amy Grace, Jess Browne and Melissa Kay for helping with the kit pickup operation all morning.  Thanks as well to several ladies for participating in other valuable ways:  Abby Khatiblou, Fernanda Spinelli, Shakha Mehta, Stephanie Gladis and Veena Gopal.

Covid policy.  As things are once again changing rapidly around us, many have been asking for clarification and updates on how to handle household Covid exposure and running with the group.  For the time being, we are continuing to ask that runners do not run with the group if they have people at home who have tested positive.  We know that this is more strict than current UK guidance.  The reason for this is that we don’t always know how others feel about exposure or what vulnerabilities they or a loved one may have, and we don’t want to inadvertently push anyone out of the group because we are not doing enough to manage risk.  While we are sensitive to the fact that people may find themselves having to train outside the group for a few to several running days, we hope and believe the affected runner will rejoin us when their household has recovered. In the meantime, some women who have found themselves in that situation have been able to connect and run separately with friends who are comfortable with the level of exposure.  If you have recently recovered from Covid yourself (as in, within the last two months since Omicron has been dominant), you should be fine to run with the group while a household member recovers.  Meanwhile, we will continue to review this as conditions continue to change.  Be assured we are as keen as anyone to get back to normal and ditch all the restrictions, and we ask for your understanding as we try to balance our consideration for the comfort and safety of all of our women running the world.

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:
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

That is it for this week.  As I sign off here, I’m looking out at a beautiful Sunday morning, and I can hardly wait to get out and run to Canary Wharf with you all tomorrow!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday 31 January – Canary Wharf (9.3 miles)
RunGo: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/mLJsXpZAkm
Section One – Canal to the WallRun from the St Johns Wood Church Gardens to the Charlbert Street entrance to Regents Park and enter the canal to the left before the bridge. Run along the canal for approximately 3 miles until the canal pathway ends at the famous “Wall.”
Section Two – Angel RoadsWe 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 with 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 BasinWe 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 – and take the brown brick steps up to the left.

 

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. 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 often meet at the Tortilla or one of the many other options inside the building on the left. After a much earned break (and maybe even a margarita?!), we’ll head to the Canary Wharf Tube station and tube it home to SJW on the Jubilee line. Congratulations!

Wednesday 2 February – Primrose Hillzzz  (5 miles)
RunGo: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/rCmIF5iIyY
It’s Groundhog Day, so let’s celebrate with some repeats! 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.

Image 08-01-2022 at 12.38.jpeg

Friday 4 February – Borough Market  (6 miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/6U5vDjwEEA
It’s Borough first Friday! 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!).

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


ROUTES
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).

17 – 21 January 2022 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Well done on our first official week back to WRW running!  We had some cold days, but getting out and running does chase away the chills pretty quickly.  We all know the pavements in London are often mysteriously wet in the mornings, even if it hasn’t visibly rained– but we may forget that they become really frosty and slippery when the temperatures dip close to freezing!  I’m so relieved we seem to have escaped this week without any big slips, but please do continue to watch your footing if the cold temperatures hold!

Running this week.  We have a fun week ahead!  Monday we get to run a brand new and really cool route created by routemaster Miki Neant– into some territory we haven’t traditionally covered much.  We’re taking a spin around the City, past St Paul’s Cathedral, through Barbican, past a few Banksys, and back to Bond Street tube station for 8 miles, but also with options to go shorter (5, 6.25, or 7 miles) or longer (9.5), as detailed in the writeup below.  It’s going to be such a fun and rewarding route, and Amy Grace has given us some audio prompts in the RunGo route.  But it will be unfamiliar to many of us, and it gets a little complicated around Barbican– so make sure to study the route ahead of time and keep the directions and/or RunGo handy as you run!
On Wednesday we are doing a track workout at Paddington Recreation Ground, in Maida Vale.  We’ll warm up with the run to the track, do some striders, then four sets of 800 meters at an up-tempo pace (see below for details), and then a mile cool-down either within and around the park to finish at the large Starbucks in Maida Vale, or back to St Johns Wood High Street.  If you are not doing tempo workouts, then take a runner’s choice local route and meet the rest of your group for coffee afterwards.  And finally, on Friday we will head back to the Hill, with a recommendation to carry on up to Highgate this time and then run back across the Heath to our normal exit and return to St Johns Wood, for a 7.5-mile route.

WRW Kit Distribution and Collection.  It’s time for the big reveal!  Those who ordered 2021-22 WRW kit items last fall will be receiving an e-mail this week with details for kit pickup and payment, and we will finally see this year’s fabulous annual shirt with its mystery colors and slogan, as well as all the other great items brought to us by kitmaster Marissa O’Malia and trip boss Sue Wheeler!  In addition we will be collecting for Berlin Half-Marathon expenses (group meals and tours).  Watch your Inbox for details, and plan to personally collect and pay for (in cash, please!) your kit on the morning of Tuesday, January 25. The e-mail will provide details on what your total owed will be, so that you will have time to obtain cash for pick-up morning.  If you are unable to attend at the given time, please arrange for a friend to do the pickup for you.

Training Notes.  In case you missed it in last week’s email, here is our training schedule for the next eleven weeks up to the Berlin Half Marathon.  Last week we talked about the weekly schedule of long, slow runs, tempo training, and hill runs.  We mentioned that the long, slow distance run is the most important run to stay consistent with.  By “slow” we mean comfortable and conversational– about 60- to 90- seconds slower per mile than your goal race pace.  Paula Mitchell, our founder, explains the compelling reasons for slowing down on the long run here.  In a ridiculously oversimplified nutshell, long, slow runs are what triggers your body to produce mitochondria, which is the ignition tool for fueling our runs most efficiently.  If we don’t slow down, we miss out on that benefit.

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

That’s it for now, friends.  It was so much fun to see everyone out on our runs this week– you are all looking so strong!  Keep running, stay healthy, and don’t forget how lucky we are to be able to run together in this beautiful city!  See you out there!
xx Micki


ROUTES
Monday 17 January – Covent Garden/St Paul’s/Barbican Banksy (8 miles)RunGo: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/u1F8chnwdo
This route finishes at Bond Street tube for 8 miles.  You can shorten it easily by getting on the tube at Barbican (5 miles), Chancery Lane (6.25 miles) or Tottenham Court Rd (7 miles).  Lengthen it by running back to SJW to add another 1.5 miles.
Exit the church garden SJW high street entrance and turn to the right/south.  Cross Prince Albert Rd and turn right onto Park Rd to the Mosque.  Turn left onto Hanover Gate and continue straight to enter Regent’s Park.  Turn right at the first path and run along the lake.  Run straight, cross York Bridge Rd and continue straight until the first exit of the Park on the right – Park Square West.

Run onto Park Square West and cross Marylebone Rd. and run around Park Crescent on the right side.  Turn right onto Portland Place.  Cross Oxford Street and keep straight onto Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus.  Keep straight onto Coventry Street towards Leicester Square.  Keep straight, pass Leicester Square Tube station.

At the 6 street junction, keep straight onto Long Acre. After the Covent Garden Tube station, turn right onto James Street to Covent Garden.  Go straight through Covent Garden to the other end then turn left towards London Transport Museum.  Turn right into a small path onto Tavistock Court and then left onto Tavistock Street.  At the end of the street, Turn right onto Drury Ln.  At the end, turn left and run along the Aldrich crescents.  Continue onto The Strand and then onto Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill, until St Paul’s Cathedral.

Run into St Paul’s Churchyard and turn left to run under the Temple Bar Gate.  You are at Paternoster Square –  immediately turn right, turn left at the kiosk.  After the tube station, cross 2 streets to turn left onto St Martin’s Le Grand, then Aldersgate.  Keep right and at the end of the road, just before the roundabout, look for the little entrance on your right to the escalator that invites you to go upstairs.
Cross the footbridge and head towards the Museum of London.  Turn right to continue onto Bastion Highwalk.  At the first opening, turn left onto Albian Highwalk.  Keep running straight onto Gilbert Bridge.  Keep straight, pass the huge golden statue on your left.  Turn right onto the Speed Highwalk, following the yellow line.  At the end, take the stairs down to Moor Lane and turn left.
Turn left onto Chiswell St.  As you continue straight, run past the street sign for Lamb’s Passage.  Be vigilant and continue straight about 10 meters.  STOP in front of Sundial Ct.  TURN LOOK BACK! Banksy’s Robb London is there.  Continue running towards West on Chiswell St.  Keep right and head into the tunnel.  At the first street on your right, Golden Lane, STOP! look right on both sides of Golden Lane are 2 Banksys.

Continue running until the end of the tunnel and cross Aldersgate St.  You can stop at Barbican tube to make it 5 miles.  Otherwise, continue straight onto Long Ln.  Turn left at W Smithfield and half way through turn left onto Giltspur St.  Turn right on Newgate St and continue straight onto Holborn Viaduct.  Continue straight onto Holborn.  You can stop at Chancery Lane station for 6.25 miles.  Continue straight onto New Oxford Street and then Oxford St.  Finish at Bond Street Station or head back to SJW to add another mile and a half.

Wednesday 19 January – Paddington Rec Track intervals (4 x 800s) (approx 5.5 miles total)

Meet as usual, then the groups will jog the 1.5 mile warm-up to the track at Paddington Recreation Ground.  Run up to Barclays and turn left on Circus Road, which becomes Hall Rd and then Sutherland Rd (without any turns). There is a crosswalk just before Randolph Ave. and the rotary. Turn right onto Randolph Ave, pass Maida Vale tube, then the entrance to Paddington Rec is on your left on the next block.  Look for the red phone booth!

The workout is a total of 5 miles:

– 1.5 mile jog to track

– Stretching and some striders before you begin the workout. (See link for explanation of striders).

– 4 x 800 meters (2 laps) with one lap recovery at a very slow jog in between each 800.  

– 1 mile warm down around the park at Paddington and on to the Starbucks in Maida Vale, or a 1 mile warm down back to St. John’s Wood

Two quick tips:
1. Try to run each of the 800s at a similar speed. Ideally you don’t want to push so hard on the first one that you are significantly slower on the last one. It would be better to hold back a bit in the beginning so that you can maintain the same speed or even speed up toward the end.  The following are suggested pace group targets, but please adjust according to how you feel, your current fitness level, and whether you have been doing any speed work or tempo runs so far this season:

8’s – 3:30 for 800 metres

9’s – 4:00 for 800 metres

10’s – 4:45 for 800 metres

11’s – 5:15 for 800 metres

12’s – 5:45 for 800 metres

2. See if you can get into a group of 5-8 runners that have a similar pace and then do the workout together. It is so much more fun and inspirational if you tackle this challenge together. You will likely spread out a bit in the running, but when you get to the recovery lap, wait for the others to catch up so that you can start the next interval together.
Image 15-01-2022 at 17.23.jpg

Friday 21 January – Highgate (7.5 miles)
Head up Fitzjohn’s, as usual, and continue past the Hampstead Tube and Whitestone Pond to stay on Spaniards Road.  Do not enter the Heath at the normal entry point, but stay on Spaniards Road as it wraps around the outside of the Heath, past Kenwood House and past The Bishops Road where Spaniards Road turns into Hampstead Lane.  Continue on Hampstead Lane as it edges around the outside of the Heath in a gentle rise until you reach The Grove, where you turn right. [The Grove is a pretty, tree lined street just before the Highgate roundabout.]  Run to the first right turn, a lane called Fitzroy Park with a traffic barrier across the road. Pass around the traffic barrier—this is fine!  And continue down the road, past lovely homes and a famous allotment on the right side. This road curves downhill to the left and takes you to the entrance of the Heath on your right side, near a set of bathrooms and just before Merton Lane to the left.

Enter the Heath, run past the loos (on your left) and take the path to the left as it runs along the model boating pond, the men’s bathing pond and a third pond. When the sidewalk dead ends, take a right to run along the exercise fields and running track. Exit the Heath past the paddling pool, crossing over the bridge onto Constantine Road. Take a right, running past South End Rd/Fleet Rd, past the Royal Free Hospital and cutting up the path to the left just past the Royal Free’s entrance driveway to take a short cut to Haverstock Hill. Go left on Haverstock Hill, crossing at the pedestrian stoplight to the other side, then turn right on to Belsize Avenue. Stay on Belsize Avenue (its name changes to Buckland Crescent) to Fitzjohn’s where you turn left to run towards Swiss Cottage Library, then scoot over to St Johns Wood Park Road and back to Starbucks.

OR – run the route of your choice in the Heath:
<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

10 – 14 January 2022 Running Info

Happy New Year, Runners!

I hope 2022 has begun splendidly for you, and that the long break was filled with good things– whether it was favorite people and places, or simply a chance to relax and recharge!  Whatever the news cycle is on a given day, let’s begin our running year together with gratitude and optimism.  Every day that begins with a run with friends is something to be grateful for!  

Running this week.  We like to come back from break with a few old favorites that give us all the flexibility to run together even while adjusting the routes according to whatever kind of running we’ve each been able to do while apart.  So Monday we will run the Big Ben route– which can range from 4 to 8 miles.  Route instructions for various distances are in the writeup in the ‘Routes’ section below.  Whichever you choose to do, don’t forget to greet Big Ben, as it is emerging from the scaffolding cocoon it’s been inside for the last few years!  Wednesday we will run the Primrose Hillzzz.  We’re extending the warmup run a little bit, and then three hill reps is our official workout.  But if that’s too much straight off, we will be repeating this run in a few weeks, so you can do what you are able to this time, and work toward the full three loops (or more?) next time.  And Friday we will do our ‘first Friday’ Borough Market run.

Training Note.  We are 12 weeks out from our planned half-marathon in Berlin!  It’s time to take stock of where we are and look at the training plan that will get us to 13.1 miles.  Below is a screenshot of the standard training plan from now to the race.  This is what we base our route planning on, but remember it is a guideline, not an absolute prescription!  We know that some of you regularly run more miles than this, and that some have to be very careful about mileage totals so as not to get injured.  We trust you will tweak the schedule as necessary for your own goals and circumstances.  


Just a reminder of a few basic tenets of our training schedule:

  • Our long, slow, distance runs are generally scheduled for Mondays.  These are our key, endurance-building runs, and they are essential– probably the most important run of the week!  They are best done at a steady pace considerably below your race pace.  We’ve talked about this before, and I will provide the links and explanation again in an upcoming training note.  But trust us, you will benefit from taking these at a contained pace that will build your endurance rather than depleting your legs and your energy!
  • We will be offering a tempo workout option most Wednesdays from now until early March.  This is the way to improve your speed and pick up your pace if you have time goals for your half (or if you just want to run faster).  If you don’t want to do the tempo workouts, no problem!  There will definitely be people running a normal mid-distance run on Wednesdays, and that is absolutely fine!  A 5-6 mile midweek run, perhaps at a slightly faster pace than your Monday runs, is a perfectly solid training plan!
  • We still do hill runs on most Fridays.  These are great for building your cardio, strengthening the legs, and getting us up into the green spaces of the Heath!  There will always be people who are not running the hills, so if you need to keep to a flat run, you will not be alone.  We schedule the Borough Market run the first Friday of every month, and in those weeks we try to work a little bit of hill work into the runs on the days around it (like doing Primrose Hillzzz on Wednesday, or Holland Park the following Monday).

Shoutouts and Announcements.  Don’t forget to let us know what shoutouts and recognition to give in our weekly note.  As we head into the long, dark part of winter, we’re keen to celebrate every bright spot!  It looks like registration is still open for the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run 10K on February 13.  Though we do not officially do it as a group, this has been a popular run amongst WRW runners for several years now.  There is a good chance you have friends already signed up, and that makes it easy to make an event of it!
There’s an old Irish blessing that goes: “May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.”  I love that an old, wishful saying basically summarizes our daily experience in this group!  It’s wonderful to get back to our running routine– can’t wait to see you all in the church gardens Monday morning!  

xx Micki

ROUTES

Monday 10 January – Big Ben  (4- 8 miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/JDPjKnb1VC

On Monday let’s get back into the routine with an oldie but a goodie.  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 along the edge of Green Park, past the Victoria Memorial and cross The Mall at the traffic light. Run down The Mall and enter St. James Park.  Run over the bridge across the lake and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben. Those running four miles will take the tube back to SJW from here and those running eight will turn around and follow the same route back.  You can also make it a five-mile run by turning back at Big Ben and running to the Green Park Tube Station, then tubing it home.

Wednesday 12 January – 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 14 January – Borough Market  (6 miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/6U5vDjwEEA
It’s not the first Friday in January, but it’s our first Friday together– 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!).

13 – 17 December 2021 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Can you believe it’s our last official week of running together in 2021?  I’m going to resist the urge to wax all philosophical about the year behind us– because it seems like that just tempts fate to make the year ahead of us even more interesting.  I will just say that together we all are an amazing force for powering through whatever comes our way– the great, and the not-so-great.  But lately it has been mostly great– with that Chelsea Baubles run last Monday, our first tempo workout on Wednesday, and a fun Friday with some groups heading up the hill and some to Borough Market.  We’ve got a couple more festive runs you can hopefully squeeze in during this coming busy week.  

Running this week.  Monday we have a new route, created by routemaster Paola di Meo to let us take in for ourselves the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree we’ve been hearing so much about (for the record, I think it is a lovely and generous tradition for Norway to gift us the tree each year).  Paola’s 7.5-mile route covers familiar territory, but takes us on slightly different streets to mix it up a little, so be sure to take a look at the map and directions, so you don’t just autopilot onto our usual routes!  On Wednesday we’re giving two official options– the popular Primrose Hillzzz workout, which is a 4-mile loop ending back on the SJW High Street.  OR you can opt to go for one lap of Primrose Hill and then divert to run through Regents Park, down Regent Street, through Carnaby and Seven Dials, to finish at Covent Garden (5 miles).  And Friday we will cap off the 2021 running year with one last trip up to the Heath with your route of choice.

Training over the holidays.  There’s so much to think about at this time of year, whether it’s kids out of school, travel, or simply celebrating with friends and family.  It’s okay to back off of your running schedule a little bit during this busy time.  You can maintain your fitness for up to a couple weeks with 2-3 maintenance runs (per week!) of 30-60 minutes.  Of course it’s great if you can do more, but your body will also appreciate a little break.  However, because our break is a full three weeks, it’s really a good idea to try to hit some longer, more regular runs either in the first week or the last week before we officially resume.  If you are in London, there will likely be others running, so you can organise on Whatsapp and do some of your favorite routes together.  When we start back up on January 10, we will give a flexible route (4-8 mile options), a regular Wednesday run, and a Borough Friday to help ease back into our training before we begin to turn up the training for the April 3 half marathon.

Shoutouts and announcements.  The next regular email will hit your inboxes the weekend of Jan 8-9 (unless I just get too lonely without you all, and start writing you random notes in the meantime;)!  If you are on the Berlin Half Marathon list, look for an update from tripmaster Sue Wheeler in the next day or two.  
A shoutout this week goes to Marigold Dooley, who will complete her final half marathon of the year tomorrow, after having taken on the challenge of running one a month with alum Janelle Meyer last January.  Also sending a shoutout to Janelle, who finished hers last weekend!  The half that Marigold will run tomorrow (with many from her pace group, as well as other friends she runs with) is notable in another way as it is her big farewell-for-now run, as she will be moving to Texas with her family over break.  As a beloved 9s pace leader, social run organiser, friend-to-all and general force-for-good, she will be very much missed!  

And just like that, it’s time to wish you all a wonderful holiday, with warmest wishes for peace, love and enjoyment of this season– whatever, however, and with whomever you are celebrating.  I know many of you will be traveling, so I’ll add wishes for safe journeys, good health, some stability in the travel rules, and negative Covid tests!  (Not exactly a classic holiday wish, is it??).  As we ring in a new year, I look forward to every mile we will run together, every post-run coffee we will enjoy together, and most of all to the friendships that will continue to grow as we share those miles and cafe tables.  You are an extraordinary group of women!  Have an extraordinarily happy holiday!
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday 13 December – Trafalgar Square Tree and Chinatown Loop (7.5 miles)
We start by heading to Hyde Park via the usual route down Wellington Road and turning right on St Johns Wood 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 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 to Constitution Hill and The Mall all the way to Trafalgar Square. Cross the square, turn left onto Charing Cross Road and then left again onto Irving Street entering Leicester Square. Keep running clockwise the square and turn left onto Swiss Ct where is the Swiss Glockenspiel clock. Turn right onto Wardour street and the second right onto Gerrard Street. Turn right onto Newport Place and left onto Little Newport Ct. Turn left onto Charing Cross Road heading towards Tottenham Court Road tube station. Cross New Oxford Street and take Tottenham Court Road, keep running all the way north to Euston Road. On Euston Road turn left and keep going straight. In proximity of Regent’s Park Tube Station cross Marylebone Road and take Park Square West. Cross Ulster Terrace outer circle and enter Regent’s Park. Take the first path on your left. Cross York Bridge and keep following the path passing over the Boathouse Cafe and crossing the bridge on your right. Take the first path on your left and run the usual way back to St Johns Wood High Street for coffee!

Wednesday 15 December – Primrose Hillzzz, with option to Covent Garden via Seven Dials (4 – 5 miles)
Both options today begin the same– head out from Barclays, past Starbucks, and take a right on Charlbert Street, heading into Regent’s Park at the North Gate entrance. Run straight into the park, following the left fork until you get to the first intersection, where you go left. The Hub and the cricket nets will be on your far right. Follow this path until the end, over the Outer Circle and the bridge, then bear right and cross the zebra crossing to the entrance to Primrose Hill. Once in the park, 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. From here you have two choices today:

OPTION 1: Primrose Hillzzz to Covent Garden (5.15 miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/4p1y05bYRZ
To head for Covent Garden and more of festive London, turn left to cross back over into Regents Park.  After you cross the Outer Circle, bear left on the path that runs along behind the zoo.  Turn right when you reach the Broad Walk, and run straight down to the southern edge of the park, where you will cross the Outer Circle again and run around Park Square East.  Run halfway around Park Crescent and turn onto Portland Place, which becomes Regents Street.  After you pass the Oxford Circus tube station, take a left on Great Marlborough St, run past Liberty, and then take a right onto Carnaby Street.  Run through Carnaby’s butterflies to the end, where you will turn left on Beak Street.  Make a right on Lexington St. after just a few blocks, and follow it until it runs into Shaftesbury Ave., where you will turn left.  Follow Shaftesbury to Earlham, a small street just after you cross Charing Cross Road.  Turn right on Earlham, run through Seven Dials (hopefully the lights will be on!), and continue one block to the end of Earlham to turn right at Neal St.  Follow it for just a couple of blocks, making a slight jog to continue onto James St., then turning left on Floral St.  Make the first right onto Bow St., and then the first right onto Russell St., and follow it into the center of Covent Garden.  There are some great options for coffee or breakfast here, including Pain Quotidien, and the Covent Garden, Leicester Square, and Charing Cross tube stations are all an easy walk whenever you’re ready to head home.

OPTION 2: Primrose Hillzzz (4 miles)

If you are keen to get more hills in, or you don’t have time to leave the neighborhood today, you can stick with the standard Primrose Hillzzz route.  Repeat the loop up the hill, back down on an angle, and across the bottom of the park 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 go find yourself a nice hot drink!

Friday 17 December – The Heath – 4 – 8 miles
It’s Friday so up the hill we go!  Join us for the last official Heath run of 2021.  Which route will you choose?
<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.

6 – 10 December 2021 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Sooo many lights!  What a fun week to run together– the early start for the Lights Run is a little brutal, but so rewarding!  And extra, extra credit for those who were so creative with holiday attire at that hour (Carol, Fernanda, Abby, Meredith, Alysia, Vera, Charlotte, Roni… I’m looking at you guys!  But also sure I’m missing some– it was early, and dark!)

Running this week. Don’t forget to don your crazy tights apparel for Monday’s festive run through the holiday baubles and decorations of Chelsea. And since we’re going to the trouble, let’s take a moment before leaving the park to gather up for a big, group photo opp.  This run is a new addition to our repertoire, based on one created by Janelle Meyer last December.  We hope the baubles we visited last year will be there again this year, but even if not, it should be a fun run on new streets!  
Wednesday we have lined up our first tempo workout for this year– the Regents Park pyramids.  See the description  in the Routes section below on how to do this run.  If you prefer not to do tempo training or you have an injury or other consideration, there is always the option to do a usual, looped Wednesday 5-6 mile route instead– no questions asked!  But otherwise, why not give this workout a try?  If it seems intimidating, just remember that you are in control of how you do your fast runs; and also remember it is natural to have women of all different fast speeds in the same pace group.  Your group likely will start to separate on the hard running intervals, but you can use the recovery jogs to regroup so that you set off on the next interval together.
Finally, Friday we will head back up the hills to Hampstead Heath.  Pick your route with your group, enjoy the view from the top, and meet your friends from all pace groups back in St Johns Wood for coffee!

Training note.  As we begin to add in a tempo training option on Wednesdays, you might like to read over these notes from our founder, Paula Mitchell (scroll down past the stretching section at the start of this page– but also, don’t forget to stretch!).  Tempo runs are what help us increase our speed and build the physical and mental endurance to hold a faster pace for a longer time.  They are key to improving speed if you have a time goal for the half marathon or any other race.  There are so many training resources available online, and they go into varying degrees of technicality and specificity on the different types of tempo/speed training.  For our purposes at the whole-group level, we will keep it simple for this one:  the ‘running hard’ intervals mean you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone into a pace that is only sustainable for you for a short time (ideally the 1-, 2-, or 3-minute interval in the workout!).  Again, that pace will vary from runner to runner even within the same pace group, and that is fine!!  Here are a few things (again, from Paula!) you could think about to help you during the fast intervals: 

  • swinging your arms straight forward and backward (if they come across your body, they slow you down),
  • relaxing your arms/shoulders by shaking out your hands (don’t keep your hands in fists),
  • thinking about increasing your foot turnover instead of just running faster (you’re not lengthening stride, but picking up your foot faster– like a hot potato game), and
  • keeping your chin up and shoulders back (hunching over compresses your lungs and decreases your oxygen intake ability).

Most of all, try to have a little fun with these different workouts!  There is NO judgement here about how fast you do them OR whether you choose to do them.  But for anyone with a time goal or a desire to increase speed overall, these workouts will help.

Shoutouts and announcements.  Such a big shoutout to give today… (drumroll)… Miki Neant has finished her goal of running the distance from London to Kabul this year!  That’s 4166 miles (6704km)!  Miki took on this challenge to benefit an organisation called Free to Run, which supports women and girls in conflict-affected areas of the world.  You can read more about her personal running journey and this epic endeavor here.  We are so inspired by both your running and your heart, Miki!
Please let us know what you’ve been up to, so we can give you a shoutout!  And apologies if I miss anyone (I absolutely have the nagging feeling I’m forgetting someone now even as I write).  I don’t often know what’s happening with our alums, but I did see that Bridget Perry ran the Seattle Marathon last Sunday, and Chris Roberts ran the Atlanta Thanksgiving Half Marathon on– Thanksgiving!– to complete the Atlanta Triple Peach series.  Congratulations and well done to both of you!
Registration is still open for the 2022 London Winter Run 10k to be held February 13.  This is a popular race with many WRW runners, and it is good timing on our training calendar and a good opportunity to remember what a race atmosphere feels like for those who are headed to Berlin in April!

In other news, the weather apps claim we are going to be rained upon all week.  We know that’s not a problem– running in the rain just makes us feel all that much more awesome when we finish (at least, after we dry off!). But just a cautionary word to all at this time of year, that should temperatures dip a little lower than predicted, we may get some icy pavements.  Please pay attention as you head out this week.  Areas that tend to get icy first include the canal walkways, bridges, and sometimes the pavements in the Heath.

I’ll close the note today with a photo from a few runners who braved the rain early this morning for a trip to the Columbia Rd Flower Market for festive goodies.  Looks like so much fun!  I can’t wait to get out there and run with you all this week!  But meanwhile, hope you are keeping warm and happy this weekend.  Warm and light wishes especially for those of you celebrating Hanukkah!  See you tomorrow morning…
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday 6 December – CRAZY TIGHTS RUN!  Chelsea Baubles to Green Park – 7 miles
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/yJCrjgiMvE
We are going to tour some of Chelsea’s holiday decorations on this run so keep your eyes peeled as you’re running to so you don’t miss anything!  We start out the usual way to Hyde Park, down Lisson Grove to Gloucester St and over to Hyde Park.  Once in the park, run straight and keep going straight to the southern edge of the park.  Cross over the street and pass the French Embassy.  Cross the street and turn right and then bear left onto Brompton Rd just after Sloane St.  Run down Brompton for about half a mile and turn left onto Egerton Terrace, then right on Egerton Gardens and left on Egerton Crescent.  At the end of the crescent, turn left and then left again to get back onto Brompton Rd.  Shortly, turn left onto Draycott Ave and take your first left onto Walton St.  After a quarter mile, turn right onto Lenox Garden Mews and continue straight onto Halsey St and then a right onto Cadogan St.  When that street merges into Cale St, cross immediately and turn left onto Godfrey St.  Turn right at King’s Road and run a little over a quarter mile where you will turn right into Carlyle Square.  Run around the square and make a right onto King’s Road again and then a quick left onto Old Church St.  Run down to the river, taking a left onto Chelsea Embankment and the first left onto Cheyne Walk. Take the second left onto Cheyne Row and then a right onto Upper Cheyne Row and then the first left onto Oakley St. Take a right onto King’s Road and run to Sloane Square, crossing the square diagonally to get onto Sloane Square Rd which turns into Cliveden Pl.  Run through Eaton Square and at Grosvenor Gardens, cross over straight onto Lower Grosvenor Place. Turn left onto Buckingham Palace Rd and then left at Spur Rd.  Cross in front of the palace, making sure to wave hi to the Queen.  Continue to Green Park and the tube.

Wednesday 8 December – Regent’s Tempo Pyramids

We will now start focusing on tempo running on Wednesdays.  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; 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 ‘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

You can 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’s obviously about progressing up and back down through the intervals rather than about the route.  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 driveways etc.  If you find you need more mileage in Regents Park, just keep looping however you see fit.

Friday 10 December – The Heath
It’s Friday, so time to head up the hill!  Choose from any of our routes, from 5 to 8 miles.
<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.

29 November – 3 December 2021 Running Info

Hello, Runners!
Wherever this finds you, I hope those of you who celebrate American Thanksgiving have enjoyed a happy and ‘full’ holiday!  It never hurts to take a moment to be thankful for the good things in your life, whether you celebrate this holiday or not.  And I am thankful for the abundance of friendship and positivity that flows through this community we have together!  Though it was a short week for scheduled runs, it seems from the chats that many of you have managed to meet up for runs on your own schedule this week.  Well done!
Running this week.
  This week we begin with a run to St James Park Benugo via Holland Park.  We start on the canal and exit at Ladbroke Grove, then continue on through Kensington, along the south side of Hyde Park and straight on to St James Park.  If you need to get back to St Johns Wood, simply cut north in Hyde Park and run home our normal way.   

Wednesday is a group favourite– our annual Holiday Lights Run at 6:00am sharp!  The mileage is flexible, so you can cut out at Bond Street (4.4 miles) or Baker Street (5 miles) to get back to your households as needed for morning demands.  This year we’ve added a little loop to the route to take in Annabel’s and Hedonism Wines, two local holiday decor highlights– thanks to Tamar Brooks for flagging these festive locations!  NOTES ON EARLY MORNING RUN:  The St Johns Wood Church Gardens are not open at this time in the morning, so let’s gather (quietly!) on Wellington Place outside the garden gates.  People in the nearby residences have told us before that we’ve woken them up on our early meet-up, so best to save the chat for after we’ve left St Johns Wood!  For safety, wear bright colors or reflective clothing, and maybe even bring a bike light or headlamp if you have one.  And most of all, pay attention to your footing– uneven pavements, curbs, and other obstacles like benches and light poles(!) can be especially problematic in the dark.  

It’s the first Friday of the month, so we are off to Borough Market.  Look for holiday touches along the South Bank, and stock up on Borough treats for the season!  As always, you can find the routes, maps, and directions in the “Routes” section below.

Announcements and Shoutouts.  As you are all aware, our old friend Covid has taken another turn.  In light of the rising numbers, the alarming new variants, and the upcoming holidays, we ask that everyone please be extra considerate and thoughtful in our interactions.  It’s a good idea to take a lateral flow test before meeting up with your group if you have been traveling (the new guidance on Day 2 PCR tests is emerging as I write this, but this is based on information at the moment).  Don’t forget to bring a mask on your runs, as they are now required on public transit and in shops.  And of course, keep up with all the precautions we all have been taking vis-a-vis symptoms, exposures and self-isolating.

Congratulations to Jess Browne and alum Litsa Savastino on the Lisbon Half Marathon last weekend!  Well done, ladies!  Please keep us posted on your running adventures– we are always happy to give a shoutout here.

Looking ahead.  Monday, December 6 is our Crazy Tights Run.  Excavate those bright, tacky, or maybe just beautifully coloured tights from the bottom of your sportswear drawer… or do a little home crafting on some old tights, or online shopping for something unique.  It’s always good fun, and yes, we are quite a spectacle on that day!
Monday 6 December – Crazy Tights Run
Wednesday 15 December – Hyde Park to Covent Garden

Enjoy your last bit of the long weekend today, running friends!  Take good care of yourselves and your families.  It will be great to see everyone out running together again this week!
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday 29 November – Holland Park to St James Benugo (8 miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/uKxwpqhOoZ (note that this version ends at Green Park– to reach St James Park Benugo, follow along the Mall and cross the street into St James Park, following the path angled to the left before the bridge)
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 some striders, have a stretch, and then indulge in some breakfast. (Or, if you need to get back to SJW, instead turn left at the end of Green Park to run by Lancaster House and up to Green Park tube station.)

Wednesday 1 December – London Holiday Lights Run (4.5- 7 miles)
RunGohttps://routes.rungoapp.com/route/LlClVDQFBD (note that this version does not include the detour at Bruton Street for Annabel’s and Hedonism Wines)
We start out straight down Wellington Road past the Mosque onto Park Road and down to the Baker Street tube station. Turn left and run along Marylebone Road, crossing after Madame Tussaud’s to cut through the Marylebone Church courtyard and turn right to follow Marylebone High Street, enjoying its lights until you turn right on George Street. After just a couple of blocks, take a left on Spanish Place to Manchester Square, running to the right (past the Wallace Collection) to make a right on Fitzhardinge Street, then a left on Orchard Street (at Portman Square) until you reach Oxford Street. Turn left on Oxford Street and continue until you reach Regents Street and turn right. Follow Regents Street to Great Marlborough Street, take a left, go past Liberty and then take a right on Carnaby Street. Follow Carnaby to its end at Beak Street, right on Beak then left on Regents Street, all the way into Piccadilly Circus. Turn right on Piccadilly Street and then right on Old Bond Street. Follow Old Bond which turns into New Bond, but take a detour to the left at Bruton Street to run around Berkeley Square and see Annabel’s lights, then just a quick further detour up around the block beginning with a left at Mount Street. Return to the regular route via Bruton, turning left onto New Bond and then left onto Brook Street. Turn right onto South Molton Street and run through the iconic blue arches up to Oxford Street. You can stop at the Bond Street Station (4.4 miles) or continue up Gee’s Court (a tiny alley street diagonally across from Bond Street Station) which becomes St. Christopher’s Place. Cross Wigmore Street up Marylebone Lane, back up the Marylebone High Street, through the Marylebone Church courtyard to Marylebone Road.
Options: turn left at Marylebone Road to reach Baker Street Station and you will have run 5.4 miles; alternatively, retrace your steps through Regents Park outer circle back to Starbucks via Allitsen and St Johns Wood Terrace and you will have run 7 miles. Latte time!

Screenshot 2021-11-28 at 00.38.14.png

Friday 3 December – Borough Market First Friday – (6 miles)RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/6U5vDjwEEA
Let’s mix it up with a destination run to Borough Market, official address 8 Southwark Street SE1 1TL. We can grab coffee at Monmouth before doing any shopping and catching the tube at London Bridge station back to SJW. Don’t forget your Oyster! 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!).

22 – 26 November 2021 Running Info

Hello Runners!
It’s been another solid week of training, with some great runs done and great company had!  It was so much fun to visit Ted Lasso’s world in Richmond on Monday– we even got an ‘us-ie’ with him!  And as always, the run along the Thames to Hampton Court Palace was beautiful.  Apologies that we did not know about the palace now being closed on Mondays, or that they have changed the grounds such that you can’t access the cafe without paying admission.  That was disappointing, but good that we could take consolation in the great little cafes across from the train station.  For those who weren’t able to make the trip this time, we do usually try to run this adventure route again in the Spring after the half marathon.

Running this week.  This is a short running week, as ASL’s Thanksgiving holiday begins Wednesday.  Our only official run will be Monday, when we head to Whole Foods Piccadilly on a 6.5-mile urban run that takes in a variety of iconic London locations.  We start out east on the canal for a few miles before exiting at the Wall to head down Farringdon Road, under the Holborn Viaduct, and close to St Paul’s Cathedral (look to left at the Fleet Street intersection).  Then we run along Embankment before turning up toward Trafalgar Square and ending at Piccadilly Circus.  See the “Routes” section below for full directions, a map, and a RunGo link.  Whole Foods has a seating area upstairs if you want to take a coffee and hang out a bit, and it’s a great place to get your shopping done if you are cooking a Thanksgiving meal!  Wednesday and Friday are ‘runner’s choice’ days– reach out to your pace group via Whatsapp to coordinate if you want to do a group run with those who are in London for the break.  And don’t forget to make plans for our annual lights run next week (Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 6am). 

Shoutouts and Announcements.  Jess Browne is in Lisbon today, running the Lisbon half marathon with our alumna friend, Litsa Savastino.  The race is starting as I write this– so sending out good luck and all of our wishes for a strong and happy run!  Kudos and congratulations to the ladies who went out and ran the Grand Union Canal Half Marathon outside London last weekend: Marigold Dooley, Phil Kelvin, Abby Khatiblou, Clare Missin, and Meredith Snizek.  Well done, ladies!  And big congratulations to Francesca Rangheri on her first marathon last weekend, to Rebeca Ernrooth (who ran it as an ultra), and to Stephanie Gladis, who rocked the Ravenna marathon.  Last, but certainly not least, congratulations to Miki Neant and Kelli Willis, who quietly ran another virtual Abbott Global Marathon last weekend.  Do keep us in the loop on your upcoming running events– it’s an inspiration to see what everyone is doing and to get to cheer you all on.
Lululemon Marylebone are giving us early access to their Black Friday sale, this Wednesday morning (24 November) at 9am.  We can shop their sale an hour before it officially opens.  You can ask about our regular 15% discount, but in the past that has not always been available on top of their Black Friday sale prices.

The ever-popular London Winter Run, a 10k to benefit Cancer Research UK, is back on for 13 February, 2022 after two missed mid-winter dates (one because of high winds and one because of Covid).  While this is not an official event we run, many WRW runners sign up each year and enjoy a fun Sunday morning out running through London together, amid inflatable snowmen and people in penguin costumes!  It’s also a great opportunity and good timing to take part in a local race ahead of the Berlin half marathon.  You can find the signup page here.

Berlin Half Marathon.  Anyone planning to run the Berlin Half Marathon in April with WRW should have received an email this week confirming that you are signed up or on the waiting list for our group events.  Please let us know if you think you are registered but you did not receive an email this week.

Training note.  We will publish the training calendar leading up to the Berlin Half Marathon after Thanksgiving (last year’s training plan can be found here, if you just can’t wait for a peek). Be assured we are well on track, building a strong base now to begin going longer distances after the Christmas break.  We will also begin offering some speed training and interval options beginning next month, to help not only with speed but with overall endurance and strength.  These are always optional, depending on any physical limitations/injuries, or your inclination.  But if you are able, these sessions can be fun when done with your WRW friends!

Save the date.  Be sure to mark your calendars for some highlight runs in the coming month.  Details for the Lights run will be in next week’s e-mail, of course, but just a reminder here so you can make whatever arrangements are needed in your household to make the 6am start!  Many women manage to do the run each year, hop on the tube at Bond Street or Baker Street, and make it home before their kids leave for school.  And meanwhile, fish around in the back of your sportswear drawer, or do a little crafting or shopping if you like, to find some crazy tights for the Monday, December 6 run.  It’s always good fun, and yes, we are quite a spectacle on that day!
Wednesday 1 December – Annual Holiday Lights Run @ 6 amMonday 6 December – Crazy Tights RunWednesday 15 December – Hyde Park to Covent Garden
That’s it for this week, ladies.  Safe travels to everyone on the road for American Thanksgiving and the ASL school break.  You know that I won’t let this slip by without telling you once again how thankful I am for all of you, and for our running community. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I hope to see you in the park tomorrow morning!

xx Micki

ROUTES

Monday 22 November  – Whole Foods Piccadilly via Embankment (6.5 miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/sPLE0JCI3K

Here’s a chance to do some pre-Thanksgiving shopping after the run!  We start out heading east on the canal and run to the Wall.  We’ll exit the canal there and turn right onto Rodney, which will turn into Penton Rise, then King’s Cross Road, and eventually Farringdon, which we will stay on until we reach the embankment. We then turn right and run along Victoria Embankment to Northumberland (just past Embankment Tube Station). Turn Right onto Northumberland and run through Trafalgar Square onto Cockspur and then turn right onto Haymarket. Take Haymarket into Piccadilly Circus and turn left onto Coventry. Run through Piccadilly Circus, across the street and onto Glasshouse Street, where you will see Whole Foods Market.

Wednesday and Friday, 24 and 26 November – Runner’s Choice!  Thanksgiving break
Round up your running friends who have stayed in London, and pick the route of your choice!