In a bid to transform myself into an early morning workout obsessive, (which I’ll need to be to clock up the miles needed to actually get a decent time in the Royal Parks) I made to commitment to meet my running BFFs, Emily and Laura at 7am on Sunday morning. That’s a 6am wake up call on my usual Day of Rest (i.e. 11am lie in!).
Needless to say, it was a struggle turning off the snooze button and lacing up my trainers. Even Stella didn’t budge in her basket as I left this morning.
I did feel very smug to have arrived at High Street Kensington before any of the morning trains had even kicked in for the day. Less smug seeing hoards of Olympic volunteers merrily striding down the streets looking polished and ready for action, while I was still yawning and checking if I had my t-shirt on the right way round!
We had decided to trial Sweaty Betty’s Run Britannia, a program of sightseeing runs (5k or 10k) through London running over the Olympic period. Although we were slightly apprehensive at first thinking we may just be running alongside very fast, very experienced Sweaty Betty Staff and uber runners, we were greeted with huge smiles from the team and set off at a manageable but challenging pace. Note: I am slow, clocking 11 minute miles, so needed a push!
We chose the Royal Park run, which seemed fitting for our training, and with beautiful weather and early enough to be a bit cooler – we meandered through Kensington Park Gardens, via the Royal Albert Hall clocking up 10kms, with a few tips on form and pace along the way from coach Hannah.
Those tips clearly paid off immediately as I clocked up my fastest training 10km! Shaving nearly 4 minutes off my last race time
Back at the Hight Street Ken branch, we were presented with fantastic goody bags (the coconut water went down a treat!) including water bottle, bag and flash neon laces. Nice reward for the weekly long run indeed, thank you Sweaty Betty!
Planning on a few more sessions, taking in up Soho and a bit of window shopping around Harrods – fitness, fashion and soaking up the Olympic atmosphere? Perfect.