23 – 27 March 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Hope this finds everyone healthy and in good spirits!  Such strange times we are living through.  The photos you’ve posted and sent this week have really been uplifting, as we all try to find a new, temporary sense of ‘normal.’  Lots of new running partners– kids and husbands– and more solo or duo photos, but the really important thing is that the smiles are still there!  
We did manage a last group run on Monday before new restrictions were announced, and the beginners did squeeze in a very happy run to Kew together on Tuesday.  I know the animation above moves quickly (no way to slow it down– I’ve searched!), but it’s worth a couple of spins through it to see those triumphant faces as they achieved their 11 miles!  And with this e-mail, they are officially joining our main group, so a great big WELCOME to the Beginners’ class of 2020!  In addition to your own awesome moniker:  “The Social Distance Runners,” you will always be remembered as the group that kept going, no matter that everything else got cancelled along the way!

WRW Global Run MONDAY!  Our wonderful founder, Paula Mitchell, reached out with a suggestion for this week– a virtual, worldwide run together (except, you know, NOT together)!  The idea is just to get as many of us as possible– from all around the world– out for a run on the same day (but again, solo/duo to respect physical distancing rules).  We’ve chosen this Monday as WRW Runday!  If you can get out, even for a few miles, please take a selfie and either post it to the WRW Facebook page or e-mail it to us.  Amy will make sure it gets posted to our group Flickr page, and you can view all your WRW campadres around the world as their photos come online at this link!  If you are self-isolating, or are in a region where you are not allowed to go out for a run, please send a selfie anyway– we know that you are running in spirit!!

Running this week.  Our Routes Team is thinking about all of our best interests, as ever, and we’ve decided together that we will refrain for now from posting specific routes by day.  That’s to keep us from all encountering each other and facing the irresistible temptation to run in a big group or do a group selfie.  In addition, now that we are not meeting in central SJW or taking public transport back, each of us needs to tailor routes to our home location.  BUT… we would never leave you without maps or directions if you need them!!  Please check out the extensive collection of routes on our website!  And we will still highlight one route that’s not on the website each week, just to help keep it all fresh.  Thanks to all our routemasters through the years for this collection, and a special award to webmaster Amy Grace for having the foresight earlier this year to invest hours and hours into updating this site and making all the maps so clean and interactive– what would we do without her??  

Pace Group Running Challenge.  The Perfect 10s have created a fun challenge to help stay connected in our time of solo/duo runs.  They have challenged themselves to running 500 collective miles by April 17 (they’re killing it– they’ll definitely have to up their goal!).  Each runner who wants to participate is tracking her mileage by week on a group Google Sheet.  The 9s (okay, sometimes known as the Naughty 9s) have joined in with their own sheet now, so it is possible there could be a friendly rivalry stirring up.  And another great thing is that our alumni who have stayed connected can also join in.  Here’s a screen shot (from earlier this week) of the sheet Devy came up with if any other group wants to jump in and create their own!  Thanks for the model, Devy!

I believe the 11s are doing something similar with overall exercise minutes, which is another great idea, especially as we don’t know exactly where things will go with how much we are allowed to be out and about (more on that below).  In addition, we’ve heard about groups within WRW having virtual meetings/hangouts via Zoom or Houseparty, and the Beginners even doing yoga together via a video chat platform.  I love hearing how you’re all staying socially connected despite the physical distancing– if you have any other great ideas or fun experiences, please share!

Coming soon.  We are working with Karen Hough, known to some as ‘The Boss’ for her Thursday bootcamps, to create a shared workout experience that doesn’t rely on being able to get outside and run.  Karen is also a coach on fitness platform Beachbody, and she has agreed to extend an invitation to all of us who want to join a private, nonmembership group with her to complete and track together challenges and workouts set within the group.  If you are interested in joining this group, please register your e-mail on this Google form.  There’s no commitment and no cost, but we will keep you in the loop and let you know when we’re ready to get started.
You are truly a strong, resilient group of women.  I’ve seen nothing but positivity and humor in all the chats and communications I’ve been a part of as we’ve transitioned this week to a new kind of community.  Keep chatting, keep lifting each other up– you are all inspiring!  Most of all, as always but especially now, take care of yourselves, and take care of each other!
xx Micki

FEATURED ROUTE OF THE WEEK
Camden/Mornington Crescent – 5 Miles
Head to the canal going eastbound to Camden Lock, where we cross the small, cobblestone bridge, exit the canal and turn right onto Camden High Street (alternatively, turn right just at the bottom of the bridge and go through the opening between the buildings to get to Arlington Road). At the first intersection with Jamestown Road take a right after crossing Jamestown Road and then the first left onto Arlington Road. Run straight down Arlington Road, make a slight right onto Mornington Crescent, follow it around and turn right onto Hampstead Road. At the first intersection, turn right onto Granby Terrace and the second left onto Stanhope Street. Continue down Stanhope until we reach Trinton Square. Turn right and run between the office buildings at Regent’s Place, past the nice fountains, to the end of Trinton Street. Use the pedestrian crossings to cross Osnaburgh Street and Albany Street. Head left to the intersection of Euston Road, where you take a right and run briefly along Euston Road. At Park Square East, turn right through the gates towards Regent’s Park. We enter the park at the Outer Circle intersection and stay on the path on the far right (east side) of the park, cross the Broad Walk at the ornamental fountain and head along the path with the Zoo to our right. Turn left onto the Outer Circle, past the Avenue Road exit, and right at the second exit (where we usually enter for the canal or park). Run up Charlbert Street to St John’s Wood Terrace and make a left to head back to the High Street.

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Website:  http://womenrunningtheworld.com/
Facebook Group:  Women Running The World (request to join)
Email: wrwlondon@gmail.com

16 – 20 March 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
What a week. 
I’ve delayed sending this e-mail as things continue to change so rapidly.  At the moment there is no official advice to prevent or discourage our meeting up and continuing to run, so long as we are following guidance on self-isolation if one of us, or someone in our family, is feeling unwell with fever, a dry cough, or breathing difficulties (though as someone pointed out, running up Fitzjohn is not the right time to assess whether you are short of breath!).  We will keep sending routes and encouragement as long as being out and about falls within public health guidance.  We know you all will do what you need to in terms of taking care of yourselves and your families, as well as keeping up with our responsibilities to public health.  
In thinking about our disappointment over the weekend, and looking at the photos you sent this week, I was struck again by how we smile, and run, and take care of each other through it all.  If you didn’t see this on our WRW Facebook page, here is a “cheer up” slideshow from the photos you’ve sent in over the last weeks of our training.  

Running this week.  Monday was our planned 11-mile run to Kew Gardens, and we’ve heard from quite a few people who are still keen to go on this favourite annual trek!  So we’re keeping that on the schedule.  But of course you are welcome to switch gears to a different route if you’re not interested in pushing to this training milestone.  Wednesday we are planning to do the Primrose Hill to Regents Park 5+mile route.  And Friday we’ll go back up to the Heath, but head for a change of scenery in the Pergola for about 6.5 miles.  All maps and directions can be found in the Routes section below.  
Important change to meet-up time/place!!  As ASL has now closed school until at least April 17, we will move to the 8:30 meetup time, as we generally do when there is no school for one reason or another.  In addition, thinking both about public health and perceptions, we have decided to disperse our morning meet-up so we are not such a big group massing on the Barclays corner.  Let’s be sure this is just a temporary measure– we will all come together again for our morning meet-up whenever this virus dies down!  In the meantime, here’s the new arrangement:
8’s will meet in the courtyard next to the old Post Office (across the street from Barclays)
9’s will meet in front of the SJW tube stop
10’s will meet in front of the Duke of York (across the street from Pret)
11’s will meet at Barclays as usual.

Shoutouts.  I first want to say an immense, slightly teary thank you to all of you from those of us– particularly Carolyn, Sue, Amy and myself– who’ve been involved in planning the race, as well as in the decisions over the last several days.  You have been SO gracious, supportive, positive, and appreciative!  We’ve appreciated every single note and word you’ve offered.  You are an exceptional group of women, and we each feel lucky to get to run with you and serve WRW.  
Another thanks to Magali for organising our Elgin breakfast last week– that was lovely, and such a great opportunity to come together after the news of the day before.  And though I hope we will have the chance to do a celebration dinner and properly recognise all who worked on the ‘race that never was’– I can’t miss thanking a few people right here, right now, just in case.  As you know, Carolyn worked tirelessly both planning and cancelling plans regarding everything around the trip.  Sue has spreadsheets of her spreadsheets from keeping all of our data straight.  Amy spent countless hours putting together our annual photo directory, in addition to the countless other things she already does for us!  Marissa designed and procured such fabulous kit– we would have looked amazing all running together!  Megan has a BAFTA-worthy video ready for our entertainment.  Julie, Mariya and Devy organised tours and meals, respectively, working initially to expand capacity to include our huge numbers, and then going back and securing refunds for us when we had to cancel.  This was a fantastic, efficient, great team working behind the scenes, and I hope we have the opportunity to give them all the appreciation they deserve, in person!

Looking ahead.  We all know that things are changing daily at this point.  For the time being, it seems like running is one of the things we can still do– as it’s outside and not a contact sport.  This article in Runner’s World is encouraging, saying “it’s safer to be outside than inside when it comes to disease transmission.”  But of course we know some may not be comfortable coming out to run with the group, or perhaps not able to, given school closure.  Know that we understand and support everyone’s personal decision in these matters!  We will continue to watch for the latest guidance, and will make any changes to our running plans as necessary.  In the short term, that may mean the Routes Team will work out a new schedule with runs that rely less on public transportation.  It’s reasonable to assume that at some point our schedule may be disrupted, but we will get through that together, too!
Stay healthy and sane through all of this, and keep your connections to each other tight no matter what your physical distance!  Sending each of you my best,
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday, 16 March – Kew Gardens (11 miles)

Bring your Oyster or contactless card and wear running shoes you don’t mind getting muddy if you have them! You’ll be feeling exhilarated as we do our 11 mile run to the cute village of Kew. We start out the normal way running to Hyde Park. Once in the park, we’ll turn to the left and run down the main walkway as we regularly do, to Hyde Park Corner. At the end of the walk, turn right to follow the main cross route in the park—beware of the bike lane! When this ends at West Carriage Drive, cross the road at the crossing and continue on the pathway towards the southwest corner of Kensington Gardens. We’ll run out of the park at the Broadwalk, turning right onto Kensington High Street and continue for about two miles until we reach the Hammersmith Tube gyratory. Run counter clockwise towards the left, ending up on Queen Caroline Street which gets you to St. Paul’s Church green. Run along the green to the right, heading to and crossing over Hammersmith Bridge. Exit Hammersmith Bridge Road to your left, go down the stairs and run under the bridge onto the Thames footpath. Now it’s time to enjoy the view as we run along the Thames for almost four miles—it’s beautiful! We will exit at the Kew Bridge, see photo below:

Run UNDER the bridge and then turn left, past a couple of tiny shops and garages. Run through the small parking lot until you see the stone steps leading to the top of the bridge.

At the top of the steps turn right towards town (not back over the river) and run along this road [Kew Road] for about a third of a mile until you reach a 3-way intersection. Here there are two options. Option 1 is on the route map but option 2 may be easier to remember. The distance is the same. Option 1 – At the 3-way intersection, veer left on Mortlake Road, then shortly thereafter turn right on Cumberland Road, which will merge into Kew Gardens Road. You’ll do a turn to the left onto Station Approach [follow the Kew Gardens Station signs]. There is a Starbucks around the small bend where we’ll all meet up to congratulate ourselves on such a great run! Option 2 – At the 3-way intersection, veer right and follow Kew Road along the boundary wall to Kew Gardens until you reach the first main pedestrian entrance to Kew Gardens, the Victoria Gate. Across from Victoria Gate, is Lichfield Road (it is only sign posted on the left-hand corner). Follow Lichfield Road straight into Kew village. Starbucks is on the left where we’ll all meet up to congratulate ourselves on such a great run!

Wednesday, 18 March – Primrose Hill/Regents Park (5+ miles)
Start out as if we’re headed for the Heath, running down St Johns Wood Terrace until it reaches the T.  Turn left, then right, then left again at Avenue Rd.  At the crossing just a short distance up Avenue Rd, cross over and run down Elsworthy Rd a short distance until you see a small road on the right that ends in the entrance to Primrose Hill park.  Once in the park take the path that angles to the left, then bear right at the first fork and left at the second.  This will take you up for a fantastic view from the top of Primrose Hill.  After you’ve caught your breath, take the path that goes down on the right (if you are looking out toward London), then curve around to the left at the first split.  Follow this path all the way down the hill to the crossing at Prince Albert Rd.  Cross at the zebra and head straight into the park via the bridge and across the Outer Circle (NOT a zebra, please note!).  In Regents Park, take the path that angles to the left, running behind the zoo.  Cross the Broad Walk by the fountain and continue across on the path that heads toward, but not all the way to, the perimeter of the park.  Follow this to the far corner, and then turn right to run along the southern edge of the park, inside the fence.  Continue to follow this around  the boating pond to run across the little bridge at the far end of the pond, then bear right to follow the contour of the pond to its end.  Continue on the same path until it meets the diagonal path that runs behind the zoo (the same one we ran in on).  Turn left to follow that to its end and then turn left onto the Outer Circle and follow it for a short distance to the crossing at Charlbert.  Exit the park and take Charlbert to St Johns Wood Terrace to finish at our Starbucks/Pret corner of the High Street.

Primrose Hill/Regents Park

Friday, 20 March – The Heath Pergola (6.3 mile)Head out from Barclays 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.” Here are pictures of the trail:

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).

And of course there are always the other Heath routes if you prefer:
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.

9 – 13 March 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners,
Happy Saturday, and well done on a strong week of running!  Monday’s Canada Water run was a fun way to get another long one done and dusted, and it’s also great for our photo library, with those Tower Bridge views from both sides:)  But with a sunny Friday run, and a celebrity-sighting on Wednesday, we were spoilt for choice on photos once again.  

Running this week.  Monday we will repeat the new 9-mile Battersea to Big Ben route.  Directions and the map are below, as always.  Wednesday we are doing a 6+ mile Notting Hill loop that will end at The Elgin in Maida Vale for an All-WRW Coffee!  The Elgin is at the corner of Elgin Ave and Lanark Rd, near the Maida Vale tube station, and we will be there from about 9:30 to 11:30.  So even if you can’t make the run, please do stop by the pub (I’m so sorry to warn those of us among the injured that the function room is upstairs… but you know you will have all the assistance you might need– or maybe more than you need– from all of us!).  This is also a chance to meet some of the Beginners’ Group, so be sure to introduce yourself and make them feel welcome!  Friday?  We’re going to the Heath again, of course. 

Prague update.  I know it’s very hard to wait for news and decisions when the whole world is responding to the COVID-19 virus, but that is the space we’re remaining in for now.  You all will have received an e-mail from RunCzech on Thursday with their current status and thinking, and they set an expectation for an update on Monday afternoon.  Our plan at the moment is still to go if the race is on, but we are considering it from many angles, taking in all the new recommendations, and carefully watching all new developments.  Carolyn continues to be in touch with the race organizers, the hotel management and the restaurants to gauge their flexibility, and we are factoring both of those inputs into our thinking as well.  Please bear with us as the situation continues to develop.  And meanwhile… if you haven’t sent in your photo directory google survey yet, please do so!!

Shoutouts and Announcements.  We had several women run the Vitality Big Half in London last weekend, and I missed a few in the shoutouts!  So here’s another try… congratulations to Laura Beal, Jess Browne, Veena Gopal, Alysia Hoyt, Axelia Larsen, and Charlotte Sinclair!  Well done, ladies– and what a great day for running!  As I sit here sincerely hoping I haven’t missed anyone, it feels like a good time for me to remind you to let us know at wrwlondon@gmail.com if you or a friend are running a race– we love to give shoutouts, and it’s completely free!!  
Send out a happy birthday wish for our founder, Paula Mitchell, as we do our lovely run around Battersea Park on her birthday Monday!  Many of us would not be running if it weren’t for her– myself absolutely included!  

And finally, I really, really hate to ask this question… but it’s the time of year when we start to think about who will be leaving us at the end of the school year.  Please let us know if you will be moving away from London, so that we can include you in our plans to give the fondest of farewells.  You can drop us an email (again, wrwlondon@gmail.com) or speak with Megan Marine, myself, or your pace leaders.  And if you’re not quite sure and you want us to keep it quiet for now, just let us know that as well!

Looking ahead.  Don’t forget to come to the all-WRW Coffee on Wednesday morning at the Elgin after the run!  Spread the word amongst your pace groups and to anyone who doesn’t read the e-mail!
Our last long run before the scheduled half will be Monday, March 16 to Kew Gardens for 11 miles.  It’s a great run, so mark your calendars and try not to miss it!  After the half marathon, we will send out a new list of noteworthy runs to work your schedule around– we always do lots of fun ones in the Spring, so there’s plenty to look forward to!
Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, and I just want to tell you all how inspirational I find your strength, your solidarity with and support for one another, and the deep well of joy and gratitude within each of you despite whatever big or small issues you’re dealing with in life.  You are amazing, individually and collectively!  Raise a thought, or even better a glass, to yourselves and one another sometime on this day!  Looking forward to seeing you at Barclays Monday morning, as always…
xx Micki


ROUTES
Monday, 9 March – Battersea Park to Big Ben (9 miles)

Start out from Barclays to Hyde Park, along the eastern edge of the park, and head towards Sloane Square down Sloane Street the usual way.  Cross Sloane Square onto Lower Sloane Street (which turns into Chelsea Bridge Road), then over 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 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 Westminster tube station. 

Wednesday, 11 March – Notting Hill to The Elgin  (6.3 miles)
Start out heading west on Circus Road, turn left on Grove End to St John’s Wood Road and go west, turning left on Cunningham then right on Aberdeen to work your way to Blomfield Rd. Run along the street sidewalk and cross the Westbourne Terrace Road bridge. Turn right after the bridge, follow the sidewalk along Delamere Terrace, and join the canal path heading west at this point. Run to the Ladbroke Grove exit then run down Ladbroke Grove to Elgin Crescent and make a left. Cross Portobello Road and continue on what is now Colville Terrace until it meets Ledbury Road where we turn right and then left at Westbourne Grove. Run down Westbourne Grove to the top of Bishop’s Bridge, then left down the steps into Sheldon Square (across from the Paddington Station entrance). Stay left along the canal until you can cross the blue bridge at Westbourne Terrace Rd. Run along Blomfield, left on Randolph Rd, left on Randolph Ave, right on Sutherland, and left on Lanark until you reach Elgin Ave and The Elgin.

Friday, 13 March – The Heath (8 miles)
It’s Friday which means everyone up to the Heath. You can pick your distance and whatever you choose, there will certainly be someone else interested in running that distance. All of these routes are on the website.

Run down Circus Rd past Starbucks to the end and turn left on Townshend Rd. Turn right on Acacia then left on Avenue. Cross diagonally over Adelaide Rd to run past the Swiss Cottage tube and proceed up Fitzjohn’s Avenue. Run up the hill to the Hampstead Heath Tube. Continue up Heath St (to the left of the Tube) all the way to the stoplight at E Heath Rd. Cross at the light, continue past the roundabout, and enter the Heath at the first trail entrance on your right. Follow this major trail down past Lime Avenue and other smaller trails, fields and forested areas. As the trail starts to veer right, take the sharp left to run up Parliament Hill. Enjoy the spectacular vista (and catch your breath before continuing down the other side of the hill), keeping left when the path splits and taking a sharp left at the bottom of the hill. Run past three ponds on your right, turn right after the third pond and up the rise to a wide gate (loos on your left here). Go through the gate and turn left along the eastern edge of the Heath. Follow the path downhill then up until you reach the gate on the left that marks the entrance to the Kenwood House grounds. Enter the grounds, turn right to run past Kenwood House, then right again through the gate onto a gravelly path. Follow the path through a gate, and stay on the path as it bears left and passes a wooden bench on the left. Keep your eye out for a small clearing ahead on the left with another bench — when you see it (but before you pass it!) take a hard right down a steep path that crosses a small bridge and heads uphill again. Turn right at the main trail intersect (this is the same trail you ran down at the beginning of the Heath, in the opposite direction) and run back up to where you entered the Heath. Turn left on Spaniards Rd and retrace your steps all the way back to SJW and Starbucks.

If you are not up for a hill run, no problem. Every week there are a group of women who prefer to do a flat run. We can help make sure that you find each other.
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.

2 – 6 March 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Congratulations, we’ve just weathered the wettest UK February in history! (I hadn’t noticed, had you??). Seriously, I am so proud of us all for just getting out there to do our training, no matter what the skies do!  Take a look at those beginners in the collage above and you might even be able to see the snow pelting down (yes, it was pelting snow!) on them as they set out for Wembley in the best of spirits last Thursday.  Amazing! 

Let’s take a second here at the start of this note to talk about the Prague trip in light of the COVID-19 issue, because it really has been a surreal week since we’ve returned from break.  Carolyn is in close contact with the Prague half marathon organizers, and everything is still on for the moment.  We will let you know immediately if we hear of any changes.  Meanwhile, do take care of yourselves and your families, follow the health guidance issued by NHS and the government, stay well, and keep running!  Your WRW team is hoping for the best with Prague, but also working on contingency plans.  Please do fill out the Meal Choices google survey by Monday, March 2; and the Photo Directory survey by Wednesday, March 4.  And let us know if you are planning to go to Prague and did not receive an email about these items!

Running this week.  Plan to arrive at Barclays on time or a little early Monday morning for our film-making phenom, Megan Marine, to get some footage for this year’s WRW video.  After the brief filming, we will run 10 miles to Canada Water.  This route debuted just last year, so everyone please take time to have a look at the route map and description below so we can all help each other out!  It’s a fun route that sets out like our Borough Market and Tower Bridge runs, but then instead of crossing the river, continues along the south side all the way to Rotherhithe, with a loop to finish right at ten miles on a nice little basin area outside the Jubilee-line Canada Water station.  Quite conveniently, there is also a big Decathlon sports store right nearby if you happen to need any supplies for your training or the race.  On Wednesday we’ll do a 2-mile tempo loop around the Regents Park outer circle– see guidance in the Routes section below.  And Friday we will return to the 8-mile full Heath route we’ve been working on learning this winter.  We may have been lost a few times, but so far everyone has found their way back eventually!

Training notes.  You are all doing a great job of showing up and getting the miles in.  Now is the time to keep it steady– continue to follow the planned training, but don’t do anything that’s too much of an increase in distance or intensity.  Our founder Paula used to say that if your legs are sore on the day after a long run, you are running the wrong pace (too fast).  But if you run too slowly on the long run, your hips and knees may scream at you.  Concentrate on your own sweet spot, and keep it up with the stretching, rolling, nutrition, hydration, and sleep.  Make sure you have the shoes and any other kit you will want for the half, and that you break them in on some mid-distance runs rather than on a long one in which blisters could become an issue.  Remember, “nothing new on race day!”

Shoutouts and Announcements.  A salute to a few ladies who are running the Vitality Big Half tomorrow in London– Jess Browne, Veena Gopal, and Charlotte Sinclair.  Good luck, ladies!!  Also tomorrow morning, some members of this year’s Beginners’ Group are running the Regents Park 10K to get that first race under their belts before Prague, despite the London Winter 10K having been cancelled earlier in February.
And finally, a huge shoutout to our fearless founder, Paula Mitchell, who finished the Alps to Ocean Ultra in New Zealand this week!  This was a 200-mile, 7 stage event run over 7 days, with stages varying in length from 29k (18 miles) to 88k (54 miles!).  Another astonishing achievement by the woman who taught so many of us to run, and who gave all of us the gift of this group!  All of her Women Running the World are so proud of her!

Looking ahead.  After this week, we have only two more long runs!  And this week is our last official tempo run before the half marathon.
Monday, 9 March – Battersea Loop (9 miles)
Wednesday, 11 March – All-WRW Pre-race Coffee (details to come!)
Monday, 16 March – Kew Gardens (11 miles)
Thursday, 26 March – Depart for Prague!

I know I say something like this every week, but… I can’t wait to run with you this week!  I love meeting up with the runners from my neighborhood, and seeing others meet up coming from other directions as we all home in toward Barclays three times a week.  And then the miles melt away when we’re doing them together, and we get to feel strong all week for what we achieve together!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend– see you soon!
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday, 2 March – Canada Water 10 miles
To view the route in detail, click here to for a zoomable map of the route on our MapMyRun site: https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/2407126285. This route takes us along the Thames Path past Borough Market and Tower Bridge to Canada Water tube station (Jubilee line) in Rotherhithe. Head to Hyde Park in the usual manner. At the park, cross North Carriage Road, turn right at the silver sphere, and left just after the Italian Gardens, keeping the Serpentine to your left. Turn right at the end of the Serpentine to run along the southern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner. Proceed towards Borough Market – past Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, across Westminster Bridge, and left along the Thames Path to the Golden Hinde. Follow the walkway to the right of the Golden Hinde and at the junction with Southwark Cathedral, turn sharply left and follow Montague Close, passing through the tunnel. You are now on Tooley Street. Shortly, you will see the “Number 1” bar on the right and a London map sign on the sidewalk – turn left here (photo below)

Canada Water

Turn right at the end of the passage – you are back on the river. Run under Tower Bridge, turn left down the tiny alley called “Maggie Blake’s Cause” (photo below), then right at the river. If you look behind you, you will see Tower Bridge – we don’t usually get this view!

Turn right off the river at Maguire Street (between the Ask Italian restuarant and the Blue Print Cafe). Turn left on Shad Thames and follow Shad Thames until it ends, then turn left on Jamaica Road. After a short stretch on this busy road take a left into George Row (directly opposite the Tesco Metro on the other side of Jamaica Road. The road sign for George Row is hard to see, so keep your eye out for the Tesco.) Follow George Row for a few blocks, heading back towards the river, then turn right onto Chambers Street. After the Thames Water building site on the left take the next left onto Loftie Street, then right at Bermondsey Wall East. Continue along Bermondsey Wall East – you’ll see glimpses of the river to your left. If in doubt, the black Thames Path/Rotherhithe Village signs point the general direction. Go straight through a narrow passage (see photo below) to reach the historic heart of Rotherhithe where the road turns into Rotherhithe Street.

You will soon see a small burial ground on your right, where Christopher Jones, the captain of the Mayflower, is buried. Then on the left you’ll pass The Mayflower pub, named in honor of his ship. Continue along Rotherhithe Street until you come to a red metal bridge — turn right immediately before the bridge and go down the path alongside a canal, keeping the water to your left. (photo below)

At Salter St, cross the road and follow the path with the water on your left, and continue alongside the water/canal until you reach a large open area with Canada Water station (Jubilee Line) to your right and the Canada Water library in front of you. This is the end of the route, you made it!

Canada Water

There is a coffee shop on the left called Mouse Tail Coffee Stories where you can find some refreshments. And, if you want to shop for athletic gear, check out Decathlon just beyond the coffee shop!

Wednesday, 4 March – 2-mile Tempo Regents
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). If you want a longer tempo segment, carry on to the mosque for 2.15 miles or all the way back to the York Bridge turn for 2.75 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– aim for about 30 seconds faster than your anticipated half-marathon pace. Remember this is 2 miles, not 13! If you are not sure of your race pace, this might be an opportunity to gauge it. Below are suggested times, but these are just general guidelines. Please adjust if these are too fast or too slow, and realise that not everyone in your pace group will be running at the same pace for this run.
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

Friday, 6 March – The Heath 8 miles
Run down Circus Rd past Starbucks to the end and turn left on Townshend Rd. Turn right on Acacia then left on Avenue. Cross diagonally over Adelaide Rd to run past the Swiss Cottage tube and proceed up Fitzjohn’s Avenue. Run up the hill to the Hampstead Heath Tube. Continue up Heath St (to the left of the Tube) all the way to the stoplight at E Heath Rd. Cross at the light, continue past the roundabout, and enter the Heath at the first trail entrance on your right. Follow this major trail down past Lime Avenue and other smaller trails, fields and forested areas. As the trail starts to veer right, take the sharp left to run up Parliament Hill. Enjoy the spectacular vista (and catch your breath before continuing down the other side of the hill, keeping left when the path splits and taking a sharp left at the bottom of the hill. Run past three ponds on your right, turn right after the third pond and up the rise to a wide gate (loos on your left here). Go through the gate and turn left along the eastern edge of the Heath. Follow the path downhill then up until you reach the gate on the left that marks the entrance to the Kenwood House grounds. Enter the grounds, turn right to run past Kenwood House, then right again through the gate onto a gravelly path. Follow the path through a gate, and stay on the path as it bears left and passes a wooden bench on the left. Keep your eye out for a small clearing ahead on the left with another bench — when you see it (but before you pass it!) take a hard right down a steep path that crosses a small bridge and heads uphill again. Turn right at the main trail intersect (this is the same trail you ran down at the beginning of the Heath, in the opposite direction) and run back up to where you entered the Heath. Turn left on Spaniards Rd and retrace your steps all the way back to SJW and Starbucks.

As always, the other Heath routes are always an option:
4 miles:  A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6+ miles:  The partial Heath route OR the Reverse Heath route OR Pergola route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles:  The full Heath route
Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.

24 – 28 February 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
I hope you’ve had a wonderful break and are looking forward as much as I am to running together on Monday!  Hopefully most of you survived holiday travel and activities without injury, though I’m sorry to say we have already heard about a couple of ski injuries.  (Ladies, we will be cheering you on as you take on your treatment and recovery!)

Thanks to everyone for coming out for kit pickup and race payment just before break.  A big thank you and congratulations on a job well done to kit-master Marissa O’Malia for all the hard work creating a fabulous annual shirt for us!  What a smooth kit distribution she ran, along with helpers Stephanie Gladis and Miki Neant.  And another thank you to Carolyn Perelmuter for opening her home to be our distribution center, in addition to sourcing the cool race hats and all the other things she is already doing to get this race and trip organised for us all!  Thanks also to Carolyn, Sue Wheeler, Amy Grace, and Melissa Kay for being the data, finance and banking team.  Keeping the records straight for all of us is a big effort!  

Running this week.  Monday we have our 8-mile Holland Park to St James Park route.  It’s a lovely run, and a good way to pick back up on our long, slow run training if you took a bit of a break last week.  If you feel you need a bit more mileage, it’s easy to add with an extra loop in the park or by continuing back to the Green Park tube station or beyond.  Wednesday we will resume tempo training– if you’ve been doing it all along– with the tempo pyramids in Regents Park.  If you haven’t been doing tempo work, a 5- or 6-mile loop such as the Regents Park Inner/Outer Circle would be a good route for keeping us all somewhat together, and getting us all back to St Johns Wood for our coffee.  And Friday we will head uphill as usual, but this time to Finsbury Park and Happening Bagel.  If you can’t take the time for a destination run, you could always do the Heath Highgate route, which allows you to run with the group all the way to Highgate before cutting back through the Heath and toward St Johns Wood.  Both options are about 7 miles.

Training note.  Counting this week, we have four long runs remaining before Prague.  It is important to get those long miles in as the most important run of the week.  It’s also important to take good care of yourself as you take on increased mileage.  Stretch well and often, get enough rest, and pay attention to your nutrition and hydration.  If you are concerned about a niggling injury or a new ache or pain, see a professional right away.  They can often help you through a minor issue; but even more important, they can help make sure you are not risking a more serious injury by pushing through your training.

Looking ahead.  In the coming week, those of you planning to go to the Prague Half Marathon will be receiving two important trip e-mails.  Please look out for these, and send in your responses as promptly as possible, to help facilitate planning for our big weekend.  
Mark your calendars for these key runs and events:
Monday, 2 March – Canada Water (10 miles)
Monday, 9 March – Battersea Loop (9 miles)
Wednesday, 11 March – All-WRW Pre-race Coffee (details to come!)
Monday, 16 March – Kew Gardens (11 miles)
Thursday, 26 March – Depart for Prague!
Safe travels to all who are headed back to London this weekend.  And to those already in London, enjoy the calm, rested feeling you’ll have heading into Monday!  Can’t wait to see you all at Barclays!
xx Micki

ROUTES

Monday, 24 February– Holland Park to St. James Park cafe (8 miles)

We start out the same as our traditional Notting Hill Route [Circus Rd to Grove End, to St Johns Wood Rd to Cunningham, to Blomfield to the Canal, going west past the Westway to Ladbroke Grove].  Once on Ladbroke Grove, run south all the way until it ends at Holland Park Avenue.  Cross Holland Park Avenue, take a right and then a quick 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 until it ends at Kensington High Street; turn left and run along Ken High Street.  (For a shorter run, you can leave at the Ken High St Tube which makes it about a 5 mi run).  Otherwise, continue on until you reach Kensington Park, 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 So Carriage Dr. You’ll run past The Albert Memorial and cross West Carriage Dr at the light. Continue on So Carriage Dr 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, cross the street to run along the north side of St. James Park.  Turn right into the second entrance and go diagonally to the left (not straight as we usually do to run to Big Ben) and run to Benugo cafe where we will all meet up for coffee.  We can take the Jubilee Line home from Green Park after our coffee.  

Wednesday, 26 February — Regent’s Park Tempo Pyramids
Head over to Regent’s 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, 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 ‘diamond’ 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

If you’ve been doing consistent tempo work and would like a challenge you can up your game with the following:

2 minutes, then 3 minutes recovery 
3 minutes, then 3 minutes recovery
4 minutes, then 3 minutes recovery
3 minutes, then 3 minutes recovery
2 minutes, then 3 minutes recovery

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 Regent’s Park, just keep looping however you see fit.

Friday, 28 February — Finsbury Park via Highgate/Parkland Walk (7 miles) For this run we start up Fitzjohn’s as if we’re going to the Heath, but pass the Heath entrance and continue up Spaniards/Hampstead Lane into Highgate. Bear right onto Highgate High Street. Turn left down Southwood Lane (the road next to Gail’s) and go down the hill, then veer to the right (not a hard right turn!) onto Jackson’s Lane. Continue down Jackson’s to Archway Road and make a right, then a relatively quick left onto Holmesdale Road. Run a short distance on Holmesdale and the entrance to Parkland Walk will be on your left. Follow the path to Finsbury Park, cross over the train tracks, turn right and run along the western edge of the park and exit onto Seven Sister’s Road. Happening Bagel is across the street, Costa is to the right, and Finsbury Park Station is further down on the right (on the Piccadilly and Victoria tube lines).

Finsbury Park

10 – 14 February 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
This weekend and the week ahead are feeling like an oncoming whirlwind… literally!    So stick with me as we try to sort out running plans for the coming week AND not lose sight of our important event Tuesday morning (kit distribution and race payment morning, see details below!).  But first, a moment of appreciation for another great week of running.  The route around Battersea Park last Monday was such a pleasure!  I hope everyone enjoyed running in a ‘new’ park– there’s a good chance we’ll make that a repeat route.  

Running this week.  As most of you know by now, the London Winter Run 10k many were planning to run on Sunday has been cancelled due to expected high winds from the storm Ciara.  In fact, for safety reasons, they have now officially closed all Royal Parks on Sunday– which includes Hyde Park, Green Park, Regents Park and Primrose Hill, most of our normal running territory.  That leaves us with a bit of a dilemma for Monday, when winds are expected to moderate some, but as of now are still predicted to be steadily in the 25-30 mph range and gusting over 60 mph when we are running!  So.  We have to figure out how to get in a long run (about 10 miles), a tempo workout or mid-distance run, and some hills this week– preferably without having anyone get blown into the canal or hit by a falling tree!  
With that context, it seems most sensible to officially keep the long run scheduled for Wednesday to Canary Wharf (with a Regents Park extension at the beginning) so that we can definitely get the most important run of the week in.  Monday can be the tempo or mid-distance day, but please keep safety in mind.  If the winds are extreme, it might be a good idea to switch to a tempo run on the pavements rather than going into the park for our triangle workout.  The Notting Hill route or the Kensal Rise route could be good options(see links in the Routes section below).  Friday we can stick with the Full Heath 8-mile route, or your choice in the Heath.  Communicate within your pace groups regarding these routes and decisions, of course; and we will reach out from this e-mail or via Pace Group Leaders if any new information impacts plans.  There are likely to be people running different routes at different times this week to fit changing conditions and individual schedules, and sometimes that’s just how it works out.
Kit Pick-up and Payment.  We know you know, but…please plan to stop by Carolyn’s house between 8:30-11am on Tuesday to pick up and pay for the WRW shirt you ordered, as well as for the race expenses if you are going to Prague.  You will have received a separate e-mail if we are expecting to see you there.  Please let us know if either you think you ordered something, or you are signed up for the race and you did not receive an e-mail about it this past Monday.  If you can’t make it on Tuesday, please send a friend to pick up and pay on your behalf!

Training notes.  Counting this week, we have just five long runs left before we depart for Prague.  Be sure to get in those long ones each week, and concentrate on keeping your pace down to optimally build your body’s capacity to fuel for the longer run.  Also, don’t forget to practice mid-run fueling and hydration.  We’ve covered both of these in recent notes, but I’m including the links to Paula Mitchell’s original posts in case you missed them.
Save the dates.  Here’s the ongoing look ahead to our key runs and a few other upcoming events.
Tuesday, 11 February – WRW Kit pickup and race payment date!
Monday, 17 Feb – Friday, 21 Feb – ASL February break, no official schedule
Monday, 24 Feb – Holland Park (8 miles)
Friday, 28 Feb – Finsbury Park Friday
Monday, 2 March – Canada Water (10 miles)
Monday, 9 March – Battersea Loop (9 miles)
Wednesday, 11 March – All-WRW Pre-race Coffee (details to come!)
Monday, 16 March – Kew Gardens (11 miles)
Thursday, 26 March – Depart for Prague!

February 17-21 is a “recovery week”– aka, February Break!  We don’t meet officially to run together while ASL is on February break, and there won’t be an e-mail next week.  If you are in London, plan to meet others at Barclay’s at 8:30 (or, as always, check your group WhatsApp) and go out with the group for runs of no longer than 6 miles or 60 minutes– whichever comes first.  Avoid speed or tempo work, consider running flat on Friday, and choose your own fun destinations.  If you are away and unable to run, don’t worry, it will be OK!  But if you have access to a treadmill, try to get in 2-3 runs of no more than an hour.  Giving your body a week to rest and recover has huge pay-offs.  Psychologically, you’ll be itching to run the following week, and physically your body will also thank you for the break. 
Meanwhile, hold onto your hats this week!  No, really, I’m not just saying that… hold on to them– especially the new 2020 race ones many of you will pick up Tuesday at the kit/race payment and pickup (don’t forget!).  I look forward to seeing all of you incredible, strong women out running sometime this week despite whatever forces nature wants to throw our way!  Have a great week, and a fun, relaxing break.  See you at Barclays!
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday 10 February – Hyde Park Tempo Triangle (or tempo/mid-distance on pavements)*Head down to Hyde Park the usual way at a very gentle pace. Once you reach the park pick up the pace a bit around Speaker’s Corner, and then run very fast down to the SE corner of the park. Jog slowly around the corner while you try to bring your heart rate back down to a recovered rate. Once you reach the straightaway, run hard again to Carriage Road. Slow down to a recover rate again as you cross over the bridge and up to the path, where you will turn right and run hard along the diagonal back to Speaker’s Corner. Jog very slowly back to SJW or, even hop on the bus or tube from Marble Arch. If you are not doing tempo work, you can do this run at a regular pace (if you run back to SJW it is about 6.5 miles).

*Alternatively, if the winds are as strong as predicted, consider an up-tempo run on one of our more urban routes, like the Notting Hill or Kensal Rise loops or the out-and-back to The Wall

Wednesday 12 February – Canary Wharf Extended (10 miles)
Section One – Regents Park to Canal to the Wall
Run to Regent’s Park via Charlbert St and turn right at the Inner Circle. Turn left through the gate opposite the mosque, staying straight to cross the little blue bridge. Turn right after the bridge and at the Broad Walk turn left and run straight to the traffic light. Cross here, over the canal, and turn right on Prince Albert Road, through the first gate on your right to descend to the canal towpath. Turn left onto the towpath and run for approximately 3 miles until the path ends — this is the famous “Wall”.

Section Two – Angel Roads
At the “Wall” take the ramp that leads up to to Muriel Street (this is a good place to wait for your pace group). We will run through the Angel neighborhood until we can re-join the towpath. Turn right and then an almost immediate left up a path that winds between the apartment buildings. See the picture below for the entrance to this path.

Keep going straight on the path and it will become Maygood Street. When you get to the intersection of 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 towpath will be directly in front of you. Go straight along the canal (NOT a sharp right turn).

Section Three – Canal to Limehouse Basin
We run for about 4 miles following the towpath past Victoria Park to the Limehouse Basin. We exit the towpath at the wire looking bridge – see picture below – 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 below. 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. Stretch by the mall entrance, then head inside for a much earned coffee. Afterwards, we’ll head to the Canary Wharf Tube station [Jubilee Line] and tube it home to SJW. Congratulations!

Friday 14 February – 8-mile Heath Route
It’s Friday which means everyone up to the Heath. You can pick your distance and whatever you choose, there will certainly be someone else interested in running that distance. All of these routes are on the website.

Run down Circus Rd past Starbucks to the end and turn left on Townshend Rd. Turn right on Acacia then left on Avenue. Cross diagonally over Adelaide Rd to run past the Swiss Cottage tube and proceed up Fitzjohn’s Avenue. Run up the hill to the Hampstead Heath Tube. Continue up Heath St (to the left of the Tube) all the way to the stoplight at E Heath Rd. Cross at the light, continue past the roundabout, and enter the Heath at the first trail entrance on your right. Follow this major trail down past Lime Avenue and other smaller trails, fields and forested areas. As the trail starts to veer right, take the sharp left to run up Parliament Hill. Enjoy the spectacular vista (and catch your breath before continuing down the other side of the hill, keeping left when the path splits and taking a sharp left at the bottom of the hill. Run past three ponds on your right, turn right after the third pond and up the rise to a wide gate (loos on your left here). Go through the gate and turn left along the eastern edge of the Heath. Follow the path downhill then up until you reach the gate on the left that marks the entrance to the Kenwood House grounds. Enter the grounds, turn right to run past Kenwood House, then right again through the gate onto a gravelly path. Follow the path through a gate, and stay on the path as it bears left and passes a wooden bench on the left. Keep your eye out for a small clearing ahead on the left with another bench — when you see it (but before you pass it!) take a hard right down a steep path that crosses a small bridge and heads uphill again. Turn right at the main trail intersect (this is the same trail you ran down at the beginning of the Heath, in the opposite direction) and run back up to where you entered the Heath. Turn left on Spaniards Rd and retrace your steps all the way back to SJW and Starbucks.

If you are not up for a hill run, no problem. Every week there are a group of women who prefer to do a flat run. We can help make sure that you find each other.

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.

3 – 7 February 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
I’m writing this week from somewhere in now-entirely-separate Europe.  I missed seeing you all yesterday morning, but loved getting the photos you sent, and am so excited that so many of you chose to take on the Heath Full 8 route!  Well done– this is making us SO strong!

Running this week.  For Monday our Routes team has created a new variation on an old run– through Sloane Square and on to the Thames, but then crossing the river and circling around Battersea Park before crossing back and running along Embankment to Westminster.  The route is 9 miles, but do keep an eye on your mileage because it may vary depending on which paths you take in Battersea Park.  If you need extra distance, you can always carry on to Green Park.  On Wednesday we’re doing the 2-mile tempo loop around Regent’s Park Outer Circle.  See the Routes section below for full instructions.  And Friday we’re going up the Hill and once again conquering the full Heath, 8-mile route.  This is a great time in our training to keep taking on this challenge, and hopefully it will begin to feel quite do-able and a little more familiar– but you also have the other Heath options, as always, 

Training Notes.  I’ll keep it brief this week with just a couple of reminders.  There are only six long training runs before the Prague Half Marathon!  We’ve laid out a training plan and given you routes and distances each week, and over many years this plan has trained hundreds of women to successfully run a half marathon.  But it’s important to remember that following the plan means getting out consistently for these runs.  If you aren’t training regularly, and then you go out for a long run or a tempo workout, you may injure yourself.  If you are feeling some niggling aches and pains, try to get in to see a physio/osteo/doctor or other professional as soon as possible.  And if you need help figuring out how to adapt the plan and ramp up to being ready, please get in touch– though we are not professionals, we’ve got some great resources in this group!  Another good reminder for this time of year is to think about your shoes and running kit.  If you will need to replace something before the race, it’s a good idea to take care of it now so you can get some good miles in them and be sure they are comfortable and ready to take you through the race.  It’s also good to be trying out your fueling options (which we covered in last week’s note)– gels, shot blocks, etc– during these long training runs.  The best policy is ‘nothing new for the race!’

Shoutouts and Announcements.  The Royal Parks Half Marathon ballot is open right now, but closing very soon (notifications come out February 7!).  This event, held October 11 this year, is our home-course race, encompassing the lovely park routes we run on a weekly basis.  Sign up now if you want a chance at a spot in the race.  Or, if you want to secure a charity spot, we’ve heard from The Eve Appeal– the UK’s leading gynaecological cancer charity– to offer us access to some of their places (with a fundraising commitment, of course).  You can find out more at  https://eveappeal.org.uk/getting-involved/take-on-a-challenge/running/ or reach out to our contact by e-mail.  And of course, coming up next Sunday, February 9, is the Cancer Research UK London Winter 10K.  Many of our runners will be participating, so be sure to look out for each other and cheer one another on in true WRW fashion!  Our running schedule the following week will be flexible, given that the ladies who ran the race will want to postpone their long run to Wednesday.  

Tuesday, February 11 is Kit pickup and race payment morning!  Look for an e-mail early this week with details on what the race costs are and a reminder if you ordered an annual WRW shirt, and please, please plan to stop in to settle your account and pick up any new kit you ordered in the Fall.  If you can’t make it that morning, please send a friend to do so on your behalf!

Save the date.  Our hard-working Routes Team met this week and made some updates to the upcoming schedule!  If you’ve already put in the runs as listed in the last couple weeks, please have a look and update your calendar!
Sunday, 9 February – Cancer Research UK London Winter 10K
Tuesday, 11 February – WRW Kit pickup and race payment date!
*Wednesday, 12 February – Canary Wharf w/Regents (10 miles) — *(long run that week suggested for Wednesday because of the large number of runners doing the 10k on Sunday)
Monday, 17 Feb – Friday, 21 Feb – February break for ASL, no official running schedule
Monday, 2 March – Canada Water (10 miles)
Monday, 16 March – Kew Gardens (11 miles)
Thursday, 26 March – Depart for Prague!

That’s it for this week.  Have a great weekend, everyone!  I’m looking forward to catching up with you all Monday morning for our fun, new route and, of course, the coffee afterwards!

xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday, 3rd February – Battersea Park to Big Ben (9 miles)
This route is a mash up of a few runs and includes a loop of Battersea Park…somewhere we haven’t run in a long time!

Start out from Barclays 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, 5th February – 2 mile tempo run at sub race pace; 1 mile warm up/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

Friday, 7th February – The Heath 8 miles
Run down Circus Rd past Starbucks to the end and turn left on Townshend Rd. Turn right on Acacia then left on Avenue. Cross diagonally over Adelaide Rd to run past the Swiss Cottage tube and proceed up Fitzjohn’s Avenue. Run up the hill to the Hampstead Heath Tube. Continue up Heath St (to the left of the Tube) all the way to the stoplight at E Heath Rd. Cross at the light, continue past the roundabout, and enter the Heath at the first trail entrance on your right. Follow this major trail down past Lime Avenue and other smaller trails, fields and forested areas. As the trail starts to veer right, take the sharp left to run up Parliament Hill. Enjoy the spectacular vista (and catch your breath before continuing down the other side of the hill, keeping left when the path splits and taking a sharp left at the bottom of the hill. Run past three ponds on your right, turn right after the third pond and up the rise to a wide gate (loos on your left here). Go through the gate and turn left along the eastern edge of the Heath. Follow the path downhill then up until you reach the gate on the left that marks the entrance to the Kenwood House grounds. Enter the grounds, turn right to run past Kenwood House, then right again through the gate onto a gravelly path. Follow the path through a gate, and stay on the path as it bears left and passes a wooden bench on the left. Keep your eye out for a small clearing ahead on the left with another bench — when you see it (but before you pass it!) take a hard right down a steep path that crosses a small bridge and heads uphill again. Turn right at the main trail intersect (this is the same trail you ran down at the beginning of the Heath, in the opposite direction) and run back up to where you entered the Heath. Turn left on Spaniards Rd and retrace your steps all the way back to SJW and Starbucks.

As always, the other Heath routes are always an option:
4 miles:  A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6+ miles:  The partial Heath route OR the Reverse Heath route OR Pergola route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles:  The full Heath route
Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.

27 – 31 January 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Running up the hill yesterday, I overheard a dad walking his kids to school. ‘See?’ he said, ‘Here comes more of the running group.’  And he said it in a nice way, just pointing us out as a local fixture in the neighbourhood, coming up the hill in waves on a Friday, as usual.  His comment gave me a contented sense of belonging– here we are, doing our running thing, day after day, all about our city, where some people have come to recognise and expect to see us.  Looking through the photos this week gave me a similar feeling– there’s so much going on within our group, and yet we all share this experience and hopefully, a sense of WRW belonging– whether passing out the golden batons from the Ragnar Relay win (a shoutout to the amazing Crazy 8’s team!), smiling up the hill to Holland Park (go 10s!), hearing race and training tips from an accomplished marathoner (Kelly and the 11s!), working up to more mileage after long injuries (looking strong, ladies!), or smiling with a favourite alum in our midst after a tough tempo workout (Kathy McMahon and the 9s!).  I hope you all feel you’ve found a comfortable place within WRW!  For the several ladies who’ve just joined us– or anyone who’s been with us but may be struggling– please feel free to get in touch with me if you need help settling in.

Running this week.  Monday we will run a 9-mile loop route through Regents Park, around Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens and back to St Johns Wood.  Our Routes Team has created this option to also be a go-to route for anyone who needs to get in longer mileage but doesn’t have time for a destination run in any given week during this season of longer training runs.  It’s also a great alternative if we get a Monday with particularly bad weather or icy conditions.  Please check the description and map below, and we’ll set up a link and keep it handy for you in future e-mails!  On Wednesday we will continue the optional tempo training with Pyramids, previously called diamonds (we’ve done a geometric reassessment!), in Regents Park.  These faster-tempo timed intervals are explained fully in the Routes writeup below, but in summary they are graduated, short intervals of hard running, interspersed with 3-minute recovery jogs.  Remember to keep that recovery jog slow, and to regroup during the jog so your pace group can all begin the next interval together.  If you are not doing tempo work, we suggest a 5-6 mile route of your choice.  And Friday we will head back up the Hill again, aiming for another round of the Full Heath 8-mile route– it’s a challenge, it feels great to complete it, and we are on a mission to ‘learn where to turn’ on it!

Training notes.  As our long run mileage continues to slowly grow, I can’t help repeating that it is meant to be, indeed, the long, slow, distance (LSD) run.  Here’s the link again to a good pace calculator that can help you see what your training pace should be in order to hit your desired race pace.  If you notice that your long run pace lines up with a much faster race pace than you expected, maybe you will want to consider slowing down the Monday runs– or maybe you’ll want to revise your race goals!
Another thing to think about as we move into the long runs is what type of fuelling you’ll use during the race. This is different for each runner, but our WRW founder, Paula Mitchell, left us with some general guidelines. The rule of thumb 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!  Most of the women in this group use some sort of sports gel in a half marathon. If you’ve never used a sports gel before it is crucial that you try it out during some of our long training runs. The gels are very concentrated so a brand that might work well for one person could make another person feel sick. Some people like the gels, which have a consistency of jelly or frosting; and some people like blocks or chews, which are similar in consistency to a gummy bear. Talk with the women in your pace group if you need suggestions. A good place to start is trying the Gu brand, which has a wide variety of flavors from blueberry pomegranate to salted caramel, some with caffeine, some without.  It’s worth stocking up now so you’ll have them for our longest runs. You can find a variety of different brands of gels and fuelling options in Runner’s Need stores, or order them on the internet (Amazon has a good stock).  And if you have some leftovers at home, make sure to check the expiration date because they don’t last forever.
We’ll review this again before the race, but in general during a race you would take a gel somewhere between 7-8 miles and then not take another one for 35-45 mins. (Don’t be tempted to take more than one gel in 30 mins!) If you don’t want to get into too much of the science of it all, Paula recommends that you take a gel at 8 miles during the race if you’re running at a medium pace for you (not as compared to anyone else) or 7 miles if you’re running at a faster pace for you.  In a 9 or 10-mile training run, many of us will take a gel around the 7-8 mile mark. Even if we don’t feel we desperately need it at that point, it gives a boost for those last few miles, helps us feel better at the end of run, and gives us practice taking a gel. If you are interested in learning more about fuelling, Paula’s full note is here.

Announcements and Shoutouts.  Carmine Najjar quietly ran the Naples Daily Half Marathon in Florida last weekend!  She was in good company, having a chance to meet the inspiring and formidable Jeannie Rice, the 70+ year-old, record-holding marathoner.  See our WRW facebook page for the message Jeannie sent us via her new friend, Carmine!  The entry ballot for next fall’s Royal Parks Half Marathon (October 11, 2020) will open this coming Tuesday, Jan. 28!  This has been a popular run for our group in the past, though it is difficult to secure a ballot spot.  Here is the link for entry.   Coming up much sooner is the Vitality Big Half Marathon, which takes place in London on March 1.  Though the race has sold out, we’ve received an offer of charity places from the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) for only a £300 fundraising commitment.  Their deadline for registering runners is coming up very soon, so register with them here right away if you are interested in running for them.  And finally, just a reminder that our annual Kit collection and race payment day has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 11.  Details will follow, but please plan to either pickup and pay in person that morning, or have a friend take your payment and collect your kit!

Save the date.  Our hard-working Routes Team met this week and made some updates to the upcoming schedule!  If you’ve already put in the runs as listed in the last couple weeks, please have a look and update your calendar!
Sunday, 9 February – Cancer Research UK London Winter 10KTuesday, 11 February – WRW Kit pickup and race payment date!*Wednesday, 12 February – Canary Wharf w/Regents (10 miles) — *(long run that week suggested for Wednesday because of the large number of runners doing the 10k on Sunday)
Monday, 17 Feb – Friday, 21 Feb – February break for ASL, no official running scheduleMonday, 2 March – Canada Water (10 miles)
Monday, 16 March – Kew Gardens (11 miles)Thursday, 26 March – Depart for Prague!
Thanks for persevering through this long e-mail.  I hope you are having a wonderful weekend, whether you are celebrating Chinese New Year, Burns Night, or simply the warmth of home on a cold, grey afternoon!  Can’t wait to see you Monday morning at Barclays!
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday, 27 January – Hyde Park with Regent’s Park Extension (9 miles)
Begin with the usual route to Hyde Park, turning right at the sliver sphere once you enter the park. Cross over N Carriage Rd and keep going until the very end of the park. Turn right to exit the park, then left on Bayswater Road. After just a couple of blocks turn left again, passing through a guard booth and onto Kensington Palace Gardens. Run on the left side of the road for most of the length of the street, and then turn left after a stretch of fenced garden, when you see the first entrance into Kensington Gardens, on a small road called Palace Avenue. Pass the Palace on your left, turn right on the Broad Walk…back in familiar territory…left at the base of the park, and follow all the way around the perimeter to exit at the Animals in War Memorial, onto Upper Brook Street, and left on Park St, crossing onto the right side of the street. Proceed about a mile and keep an eye out for the Windsor Castle pub on your right, shortly after which you will turn right down a path called Kent Passage into Regent’s Park. Turn right on the Outer Circle, left at York Bridge, left into the Inner Circle, and left through the gate after the big gated driveway marked “The Holme”. Follow the path straight across the park to exit at Charlbert St and head back to Starbucks.

Wednesday, 29 January – Regent’s Park Tempo DiamondsHead over to Regent’s 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, 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 ‘diamond’ 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

If you’ve been doing consistent tempo work and would like a challenge you can up your game with the following:

2 minutes, then 3 minutes recovery 
3 minutes, then 3 minutes recovery
4 minutes, then 3 minutes recovery
3 minutes, then 3 minutes recovery
2 minutes, then 3 minutes recovery

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 Regent’s Park, just keep looping however you see fit.

Friday, 31 January – The Heath (8 miles)Run down Circus Rd past Starbucks to the end and turn left on Townshend Rd. Turn right on Acacia then left on Avenue. Cross diagonally over Adelaide Rd to run past the Swiss Cottage tube and proceed up Fitzjohn’s Avenue. Run up the hill to the Hampstead Heath Tube. Continue up Heath St (to the left of the Tube) all the way to the stoplight at E Heath Rd. Cross at the light, continue past the roundabout, and enter the Heath at the first trail entrance on your right. Follow this major trail down past Lime Avenue and other smaller trails, fields and forested areas. As the trail starts to veer right, take the sharp left to run up Parliament Hill. Enjoy the spectacular vista (and catch your breath before continuing down the other side of the hill, keeping left when the path splits and taking a sharp left at the bottom of the hill. Run past three ponds on your right, turn right after the third pond and up the rise to a wide gate (loos on your left here). Go through the gate and turn left along the eastern edge of the Heath. Follow the path downhill then up until you reach the gate on the left that marks the entrance to the Kenwood House grounds. Enter the grounds, turn right to run past Kenwood House, then right again through the gate onto a gravelly path. Follow the path through a gate, and stay on the path as it bears left and passes a wooden bench on the left. Keep your eye out for a small clearing ahead on the left with another bench — when you see it (but before you pass it!) take a hard right down a steep path that crosses a small bridge and heads uphill again. Turn right at the main trail intersect (this is the same trail you ran down at the beginning of the Heath, in the opposite direction) and run back up to where you entered the Heath. Turn left on Spaniards Rd and retrace your steps all the way back to SJW and Starbucks.

If you are not up for a hill run, no problem. Every week there are a group of women who prefer to do a flat run. We can help make sure that you find each other.
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.

20 – 24 January 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Have you noticed that the daylight hours are beginning to stretch out a bit as we are already halfway through January?  And though last Wednesday’s tempo run may have been a little soggy, Monday and Friday were perfect running days!  We’re building a great base with the 7-8 mile runs we’ve been doing since break, and hopefully chasing away any January blues with the endorphins and the post-run coffee/breakfast stops.  
Running this week.  Monday we will fit in another 8-mile run, starting out on the canal and then cutting through Notting Hill, over Holland Park, and along the Kensington High Street again to Hyde Park, with a finish at either Green Park (Joe and the Juice, or a tube ride home) or St James Park (Benugo).  Wednesday we are doing the Hyde Park Tempo Triangle (see full description from our awesome Routes Team below).  Be sure to take your recovery jog segments at a really easy pace, and let your pace group recover together and then start the next leg together, though of course you will naturally spread out during the tempo segments.  If you are not doing tempo work, this can easily be done as a nice 6.5-mile loop.  And Friday, we’ll go back up the hill for the route of your choice, though it’s a good time to try the full 8-mile route if you’re feeling good.
Training notes.  Last week I gave you an overview of the training plan, and links to Paula’s advice on slowing down for your long run (easier said than done sometimes, but it’s really, really true!)  Just to reinforce all of that, here is a training pace calculator from Runner’s World, with more information on the different types of training runs.  It’s important, though, to make sure you don’t overtrain.  Our program does not include all the types of runs mentioned in the article, and it would be a bad idea to try to suddenly incorporate them all if you’ve been following our three-days-a-week schedule since September!  But all of these points lead to a basic question we each need to consider:  what is our personal goal for the race?  Do you want to run it comfortably and finish feeling strong?  Do you want to hit a personal best or a target time?  Are you planning to run with a friend, or alone?  Now is a good time to start thinking about these points, as they will affect how you think about your training.  For example, if you are going for a personal best, you’ll want to keep up with all the tempo training.  If you are thinking of running with a friend, you will want to begin to talk together about goals, pace, and how you will respond if one or the other of you is feeling stronger on race day.  Please keep in mind as you think about these points, that all of us within the group– even within a pace group– may not be on the same page about goals, pace, and where running fits in our lives.  The beauty of WRW is the way we support each other every time we lace up our shoes, no matter our running experience or speed.
Save the date.  To help make planning easier, here’s a glance forward at some key runs coming up in the next two months:
Monday, 27 February – 9-mile local loop route through parks (flexible miles)Monday, 10 February – Stratford (9 miles)Tuesday, 11 February – WRW Kit pickup and race payment date!Monday, 17 Feb – Friday, 21 Feb – February break for ASL, no official running scheduleMonday, 24 February – Canary Wharf (9.3 miles)Monday, 2 March – Canada Water (10 miles)Monday, 16 March – Kew Gardens (11 miles)
I’m including a second photo collage this week… let’s call the top one ‘running’ and the one below ‘eating!’  Thanks to our Routes Team and many of our runners for the recommendation to hit Dishoom for breakfast Friday– it was delicious!  Looking forward to seeing you all out and about running the parks and cafes this week.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday 20 January – Holland Park to St James’s Park Benugo or alternative to “The Office” (8 miles) 
We start out the same as our traditional Notting Hill Route: Circus Rd to Grove End, to St Johns Wood Rd to Cunningham, to Blomfield to the Canal, going west past the Westway to Ladbroke Grove. Once on Ladbroke Grove, run south all the way until it ends at Holland Park Avenue. Cross Holland Park Avenue, take a right and then a left on Holland Walk, just past Aubrey Road.  Holland Walk is a pedestrian way. Run up Holland Walk until the first entrance into Holland Park on your right, opposite the Duchess of Bedford Walk. Run into the park and then turn left on the Broad Walk which goes the length of Holland Park. Just before it ends at Kensington High Street take a left onto the quiet Phillimore Walk. Follow Phillimore Walk, which runs parallel to Kensington High Street, until you reach Hornton Street, where we take a right and then a left onto Kensington High Street. Continue on until you reach Kensington Gardens, where you enter it at the junction with the Broad Walk, just before Palace Gate Road. Take the Broad Walk to the first path on the right which turns into South Carriage Drive. You’ll run past The Albert Memorial and cross West Carriage Drive at the light. Continue on South Carriage Drive all the way to Apsley House/Hyde Park Corner. Cross over Piccadilly and run under Wellington Arch, then cross at the light to run along the path to the left of Constitution Hill, the same route we take in going to Big Ben. Cross the Mall, run along the edge of the park, and take the angled path to the Benugo cafe.  Do so some striders, have a stretch, and then indulge in some breakfast. An alternative cafe is the Joe and the Juice in Berkeley Street which has a large seating area downstairs. The 2019 Beginners are regular visitors and call it “The Office”. For Joe and the Juice turn left at the end of Green Park, with Clarence House on your right, and up past Green Park tube station. Turn right to cross Piccadilly at The Ritz and into Berkley Street. Joe and the Juice will be on your right. Running the whole way to Joe and the Juice is also 8 miles.


Wednesday 22 January – Hyde Park Tempo Triangle
Head down to Hyde Park the usual way at a very gentle pace. Once you reach the park pick up the pace a bit around Speaker’s Corner, and then run very fast down to the SE corner of the park. Jog slowly around the corner while you try to bring your heart rate back down to a recovered rate. Once you reach the straightaway, run hard again to Carriage Road. Slow down to a recover rate again as you cross over the bridge and up to the path, where you will turn right and run hard along the diagonal back to Speaker’s Corner. Jog very slowly back to SJW or, even hop on the bus or tube from Marble Arch. If you are not doing tempo work, you can do this run at a regular pace (if you run back to SJW it is about 6.5 miles).

Friday 24 January – 8-mile Heath Route
Start from Barclays running down Circus past the SJW High Street until it dead ends and turn left on Townshend Rd. Turn right on Acacia and then left on Avenue. Cross diagonally over Adelaide Rd to run past the Swiss Cottage tube and keep going on to Fitzjohns Avenue. Run up the hill to the Hampstead Heath Tube. After reaching the Hampstead Tube, continue to run up Heath St (to the left of the Tube) all the way uphill to the stoplight at E Heath Rd. Cross at the light and continue past Whitstone Pond (on your left) and past the roundabout to enter the Heath at the first trail entrance on your right. Run down this major thoroughfare trail, bearing right after 200 meters to continue as the trail meanders past Lime Avenue and other smaller trails, fields and forested areas. As the major trail starts to dip and veer right, take the sharp left to run up Parliament Hill. You may want to stop and enjoy the spectacular vista (and catch your breath!). Continue down the other side of the hill, bearing to the left to circle back around the bottom of Parliament Hill and running by the model boating and fishing ponds before turning right at the T-junction to run by the loos. Just beyond the loos, bear left to run along the eastern edge of the Heath.  Keep going until you reach the iron fencing that marks the entrance to the Kenwood House grounds. Run past Kenwood House, exiting its grounds at the foot gate on the right before the path turns to the left. Continue on this gravelly path through a far gate, turning left as you continue towards a LARGE tree. Run past the LARGE tree, taking an immediate turn on the first path thereafter which leads to a  steep down hill as you cross a small bridge. Turn right at the main trail intersect (this is the same trail you ran down at the beginning of the Heath, in the opposite direction) and run back up to where you entered the Heath. Turn left on Spaniards Rd and retrace your steps all the way back to SJW and Starbucks.

As always, the other Heath routes are always an option:
4 miles:  A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6+ miles:  The partial Heath route OR the Reverse Heath route OR Pergola route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles:  The full Heath route

Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.

13 – 17 January 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Big kudos to all of us for starting the year strong!  I know for many of us, myself included, it wasn’t easy getting back out on those runs after all the luxuries of a long holiday– but we did it!  No doubt all the pent-up chatting we had to catch up on helped us get through the miles!  It was great to see everyone again, and our efforts this week will pay off in weeks to come.  

Running this week.  Monday we’re headed to Sloane Square and on down to Embankment, then along the Thames to Westminster (6.33 miles) or Green Park (7+ miles).  Wednesday we will begin some tempo training– shorter runs at a quicker pace– to help prepare for the half marathon.  We’ll run to the Regent’s Park Charlbert entrance the usual way and along the outer circle until we’ve warmed up, and then we pick up the pace for two miles before cooling down and heading back to SJW for coffee.  Specific directions and target pace ranges can be found in the description below, and if you don’t feel ready for tempo work, you can substitute the Inner/Outer Circle route.  Friday we’re headed to Whole Foods via Green Park (or mix it up and try the Kensington Dishoom just around the corner!).  This is a newer route that people really enjoyed when we trialed it, so give it a chance if you’re up for the extra miles (remember there’s no Hill in this one!).  But if you’re not there yet, no worries– there are suggestions in the writeup below for how to take the mileage down if you’re not up for 8 on a Friday.
Training notes.  We have 11 training weeks until our half marathon in Prague– including the week of February break.  That’s plenty of time to prepare ourselves with either the standard training program (below) or the gradual training program (the full program can be found there as well, but it’s not calibrated to this year’s race date).  Believe it or not, the distances on our Monday long runs do not differ greatly between the two plans.  The routes on our schedule tend to follow the standard plan, but we try to offer options at least in January to make it possible to cut a mile off the distance if you prefer.  

For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, here is a brief overview of how our weekly schedule works.  We do three scheduled runs per week:

Mondays are a long, slow run.  Of the three runs each week, this is the most important for building endurance toward the race.  This is the one not to miss!  But even if you do have to miss a Monday, try to make sure you get that long, slow run in every week from now to the race.  And 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.
Wednesdays are a mid-distance run with tempo and speed training options.  The tempo runs are important for anyone trying to get faster.  If you have a goal time, tempo training will help you achieve it, and many runners enjoy the challenge and bonding of going through tempo and speed workouts together.  But it is perfectly okay to opt for mid-distance (4- to 6-mile) runs instead!  Or split the difference and do the mid-distance and occasionally pick up the pace for some stretches of the run.
Fridays we generally do a hilly run.  Hills are fun!  And good for overall fitness.  Sometimes we mix it up and do a flat run, especially if we’ve done some hill work in our other runs for the week, or have a hill coming up on the following Monday.
Finally, after all that, I have to say it– remember that WRW is really just a group of friends who like to run together. We have a lot of experience in the group, and our training program is designed by a very experienced runner, but we are not professionals. We can offer general wisdom about training, but it’s crucial that if something is bothering you, little or big, you should seek out professional advice from an expert. We have some resources listed on our website, or you can always ask around and many of your fellow runners can recommend local experts. 
Shoutouts and Announcements.  The big shoutout this week goes to Miki Neant, who ran the Country to Capital Ultra marathon Saturday, covering 43 miles to finish in Little Venice with a great time and a big smile on her face!  The photo of her in the collage above was snapped no more than five minutes after her finish– and she looks amazing!  We are so proud of the ultra accomplishments she has taken on in the last few months!
If you are going to Prague, look for more communications soon about tours, meals, and other bits of planning.  Please try to respond promptly to any info requests– you’ve been great about that so far!  Carolyn and her team are creating another amazing itinerary for us, and we’d love to make it as smooth as we can for them.

Save the dates.  We are still tweaking our schedule a bit for the spring, but here is a look forward at the main dates for long and/or destination runs up until the half marathon.
Monday, 20 February – Holland Park to Green Park (8 miles), with coffee at “The Office” in Joe and the Juice (hat-tip to Beginner Class of 2019!!)
Monday, 27 February – 9-mile local loop route through parks (so flexible miles)
Monday, 10 February – Stratford (9 miles)
Tuesday, 11 February – WRW Kit pickup and race payment date!
Monday, 17 Feb – Friday, 21 Feb – February break for ASL, no official running schedule
Monday, 24 February – Canary Wharf (9.3 miles)
Monday, 2 March – Canada Water (10 miles)
Monday, 16 March – Kew Gardens (11 miles)

Thanks for bearing with me through all the information this week– and the late delivery as I pulled it together.  There’s more to come with training notes, but I’ll try not to let the e-mails get any longer than this…  Meanwhile, it’s going to be a great week, and I am so excited to start this part of our training journey together!  See you at Barclay’s!
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday, 13 January: Sloane Square/Embankment/Westminster/Green Park – from 3.75 to 10 miles
Everybody starts out to Hyde Park, taking the usual route. Once inside the park, turn left and run down towards the southern edge, following the path to the right before it leaves the Park. Run to the large gated exit (Albert Gate) before the tall ‘One Hyde Park’ complex, cross Knightsbridge and turn right on Knightsbridge, then a left onto Sloane Street after Harvey Nichols. Follow Sloane St until it ends at Sloane Square.

Mileage options:3.75 miles: take the Tube home at Sloane Sq.
6.33 miles: continue past Sloane Sq down Lower Sloane St/Chelsea Bridge Road to the Thames. Turn left on the Thames side of Grosvenor Rd and run along the embankment to Westminster Tube.
7+ miles: continue left on Birdcage Walk, cutting through St James Park to the Mall, then left on the Mall towards Buckingham Palace, crossing before the circle to reach Green Park. Run up to the Green Park Tube on Piccadilly St and head home.
10 miles: continue north after Green Park, through Mayfair, Marylebone and Regents Park to SJW – this will give you about 10 miles.

Wednesday, 15 January – 2 mile tempo run at sub race pace; 1 mile warm up/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

Friday, 17 January – Royal Parks Loop to Whole Foods – 8.2 miles

This is an extended route to Whole Foods in Kensington. Quick route summary: Run to Hyde Park, past the Italian Gardens and the Serpentine to Wellington Arch, loop around Green Park and St James Park, and then back inside the southern edge of Hyde Park to end up at Whole Foods.

Run to Hyde Park the usual way. Turn right at the silver sphere after entering Hyde Park. Cross over N Carriage Rd and turn left just after the Italian Gardens. Run along the Long Water/Serpentine, with the water to your left. At the end of the Serpentine bear right then left to run along the southern edge of the park. Cross Hyde Park Corner, through Wellington Arch, then left inside Green Park to run along the northern side of the park. Turn right at Green Park Station, then left at The Mall, to do a full circuit around the perimeter of St James Park and end up back at Buckingham Palace. Cross in front of the Palace and turn left to head back to Hyde Park Corner. Re-enter Hyde Park and run along the southern border of the park, all the way through Hyde Park, past the Albert Memorial and along the edge of Kensington Gardens. Exit the park at the Broad Walk gate, turn right to Kensington High Street and Whole Foods will be up the road on your left.  Dishoom is just around the corner after the Whole Foods entrance, on Derry Street.