The Great Newham London Run has been added to my race calendar for 2015 and I am very excited about the option of finishing in the Olympic Stadium. It was closed for refurbishment last year when I ran the National Lottery Newham Anniversary Run and the finish line was next to it (not the same). This year, we will follow in the footsteps of the famous Olympians from London 2012 and I cannot wait.
After over 30 races last year I wanted to focus on the races I really enjoy. I really like the organisation of the Great Runs, have run several before across the country, and it was a no-brainer when asked to be an ambassador for the Great Newham London Run. That, and I know a lot of people running it and the #ukrunchat Tweet-up is going to be epic.
The race also comes at just the right time for me; as training for the Berlin Marathon in September is in its early stages. A fast 10K is just what I need to test myself after two midweek runs, a Park Run and long slow distance runs on Sundays.
I live in Hampstead and my training week is made up of 10K runs around the Outer Circle at Regents Park, with a few additions. Once a fortnight I add sprints at the running track by Primrose Hill, similarly, once a fortnight I run the 10K Fartlek (varying pace runs). I also run a 10K made up of hills fortnightly (2K climbing, 2K descending, the rest easy).
The route is great for me as the Outer Circle is just under 4.5K, and I can always up my distance by going round and round until I am dizzy. The proximity of Primrose Hill means I can add some hilly fun to the mix, and the running track allows me to add some sprints.
What is also really good for me, and is a nugget of knowledge – especially in the recent heatwave – is that there are drinking fountains dotted around Regents Park, an essential break and water pit-stop for many a runner. If it is hot on the day of the race, ensure you take on plenty of liquids. I have a Salomon Soft Cup that I can carry with me for fountains. A very nice piece of inexpensive kit.
And so for the race I am following this plan.
In three years of running I have run over 80 races in 6 countries, and so the Great Newham does not hold any fear for me. It does make me think back to my first 10K though; when I wondered how I would get through. The answer is simple: if this is your first race then just enjoy it. There is no rule that says you have to run the whole way, walk if you need to, use the run/walk method of running that a lot of the training plans adopt (e.g. C25K).
It’s going to be a fun one.