Winter running

It’s always harder to be motivated in winter. Less daylight creating shorter days. Harsher weather. Choice on TV. All the seasonal snacks appearing on shelves.

All these things and more can create obstacles for getting outdoors, whether that be to run or just to enjoy our surroundings in the daylight. So find some tips below for what we enjoy of winter running.

Sunrise autumnal mornings make for real variation of what can be well trodden paths. With sunrise being a bit later means you don’t have to set an early alarm to capture the beauty

Sunrise on Tooting Common

New paths with lockdown meaning plans are on pause, take that time to explore your local area, what new delights can you find? Exploring trails in parks whilst it’s still light. Or sticking with urban streets by street lamp light.

Tooting Common

Going further if you’ve dropped your commute with working from home or have some extra time at weekends can you explore further afield? Where have you always wanted to explore? Where have you not yet gotten to, yet intended to? Maybe switch up your legs for wheels to take you on new adventures 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️

Richmond Park

Alternate views are you missing getting away? Mix it up, take a break from your usual route and explore something new. Maybe you frequent your local common or park… switch it up, run or cycle to a river, find a local feature and discover it.

Thames path

Interval sessions mix up your run with intervals, we share a session weekly on our instagram stories try it out for something different, see if you like it, no obligation to join, but we’ll be welcoming when restrictions lift!

Pre-lockdown!

What are your tips for staying motivated through the winter months or for our Clapham Runners in the Southern Hemisphere how do you get out in the heat?? Share your tips with us in the comments or tag us in your training on Twitter and Instagram

Happy running. Stay safe

Franks soggy, eccentric marathon – Run for the Lifeboats

The 40th London Marathon was certainly different, an unsupported solo event thanks to Covid and my slowest, soggiest, most socially isolated so far. I had 24 hours to complete it so what’s an hour or two? The official app shows 14:47:40 and an active time of 5:31. I can’t argue with either even if my tracker doesn’t agree.

Orage Alex forced a rethink on my ‘Here to Shere’ route which would have ended with a pub lunch with friends. Instead I opted, starting at midnight, for London streets under ‘lockdown’ with foxes, the homeless and the occasional addled group up to something nefarious.  One ghostly trainer footprint on a dry stretch of pavement but not a single other runner – after all who else would be crazy enough to run a marathon distance in the dark and rain?

Ready….
…and go!

Out into the night
True to the forecast it rained throughout the 24 hours. Dodging standing water added hazard, time and distance, especially facing the torrents and pooled water on stairs in the dark to cross the bridges between Battersea and Tower and back (17 times in all). Ankle deep puddles almost had me sending for the Lifeboats. 

Prune-like at 4:30am and 33km later I needed a hot shower. With my clothes set to drain I was ready for bed but my legs didn’t let me sleep. To leave something on the plate was the plan as it hadn’t been my intention to complete the distance in one go – I lacked the strength of will anyway That might have been a better plan for my legs though.
Still raining at 2:00pm Geoffrey came out to support me for stage 2 and we ran the remaining distance ‘doodling’ or dawdling round Clapham Common. There were plenty more virtual marathon runners around in daylight.

*Fund raising for charities is an essential part of the London Marathon as it is the largest single money raising event/day worldwide. This year’s cancellation meant that charities rely on this virtual event. Please think about giving generously to the RNLI or to your preferred charity to boost their activities. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Frank-Elston1

Apres la deluge

Green Belt Relay Challenge 2020

On the weekend that would have been our Green Belt Relay organised by @stragglers_running_club we set out on our own 220 mile challenge.
25 runners, 5 countries and 250 miles later looks what we’ve created.
Fi even managed to fit in most of the glory leg on the official Green Belt Relay Route! And Lizzy visited another stage close to home.

We might have missed getting together and the challenges of coordinating and navigating around the Green Belt but at very short notice letter routes were planned and executed – see our results below!
A great example of how our team can come together and deliver a great team event.
Excellent running by all and great to bring everyone together (virtually) with amazing cheer leading from those who couldn’t run. 
Thanks team – for getting organised and joining in. That was fun what’s next?
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To the official Green Belt route – we’ll see you in 2021
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April 2020

Whilst our group sessions have been postponed we are still in touch with John to keep our solo efforts going.  This can certainly be testing on motivation however our team are still getting out there all be it alone to keep the training up ready for when we can come back together again.

Working from home gifts us the flexibility to run as we feel which means we have been treated so some beautiful spring sunrises & sunsets, blossoms and also wonderful clear views with the sunniest April

26th April 2020 was set to be Charli’s first Marathon attempt taking part in the VLM, sadly this is currently postponed however still motivated as ever Charli got on out there and hit a PB 13.1 miles!

Charli’s PB inspiring more running with David heading out in the rain to secure his 10km PB

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At the start of lock down Frank started his own little alphabet project and sent us this motivating message to keep us going to the end of the month…. STAY ACTIVE – created from his local alphabet street work!

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Clearly inspired Ken has started his own challenge…. still waiting on B!img_6555

And if you are running around Tooting Common keep a little eye out for these messages to brighten up your walk / run… I believe there are 125 in total!

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March 2020

Over in New Zealand George kicked off our month by completing his first  ironman 70.3, what a great achievement and example of if you go for it you’ll absolutely achieve what you want to.

Andrew placed 35th in the Riverside 20 trail run 15th March organised by the Clapham Chasers – completing his 20 miles in 20hr 20mins!

“Awesome 20 mile out and back race along the Thames. Stuck with the 7min/mile pacer group, dropped off at 17 miles but caught them with 100m to go”

Well done Andrew!

Social distancing became the norm in March and as a club we quite quickly made the decision to no longer meet on Tuesdays or Thursdays (or any other day) to run together – we continue to share our sessions each week as its important to stay connected even when training moves into a solo activity.

With solo sessions becoming a little more normal its allowed us to run at different times of day and appreciate some wonderful sunrises and sunsets outside of our working hours, for those who are out of London some of the views are a wonderful change from our usual paths.

With the London Marathon off Rob didn’t let that deter him from achieving Spring Marathon goals, by completing a solo 26.2 in Battersea Park!  And without support from cheering crowds and no matched pace from other runners he also got a PB!!!

What an incredible time for starters but also running those same laps that many times, with no enthusiastic crowd to carry you, we applaud you!

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Feb 2020

Clapham Runners take on New Zealand to kick February off to a flying start – Steph & George met up (pre social distancing) to complete Cornwall parkrun together, well done guys.

Parkrun attendance continued throughout Feb with Clapham Runners both running and volunteering at their local and new parkruns… looking forward to our 9am Saturday fix returning!

February brought an array of storms Storm Ciara and Dennis did not stop our Tuesday training sessions or Amanda, Marikje & Charli powering through their miles still preparing for spring marathons

And the training continues to pay off for Katy, who has now achieved her 10km PB at the Battersea Park runthrough event… how many PB’s is that now?!?!

Marathon training for Phoebe meant miles in Miami – in slightly different weather conditions to our stormy month here.

 

Stormy Tuesdays

Jan 2020

This is coming to the press a little late (very late) but there has been lots going on and now even more!

So taking us back to less confusing times it was clear how people were kicking off their 2020, with a New Years Day parkrun! Or recuperating from New Year’s Eve… or a combination of both!

Ken, M-A, Kieran + friends went all out and completed doubles visiting both Peckham & Tooting Common

Completing the double also earned Ken his 200th parkrun outing – the reward will be his t-shirt with the new big number on!!! Great work Ken!

Our first social of the year took its form in the Kebab run organised by Rob a great team outing and loved the free Kebab to finish off a Sunday morning of activity.

Marathon training also kicked in (with our team so unaware that these miles would have to be saved) ….  Phoebe, Tom W, Frank, Marikje, Jessica, Damian, Ellie, Rob, Charli keep those legs moving, appreciate enforced recovery and come back stronger!

 

 

November & December

Winter well and truly hit our Tuesday sessions, we did prevail… possibly one week our smallest ever captured on camera Katy, Jarred & Rob showing full commitment!

Over in Athens temperatures were kind to Anneka getting her sub-4 at Athens Marathon, ft. Super fan helping the motivation at the finish line 🙌🥇

Emma was also back on it with a 10km race in November with friends

Ken travelled further afield to join the Tribe Run for Love team in the Azores, a half marathon up and around a volcano… that’s a new one! Well done.

December brought us the run up to Christmas and still finding time to fit in our training… we even got fed on our final session Jon’s suet soup!

 

Rob hit all the right notes not trading in training for festivities and completed Advent Running, being active everyday through to Christmas 🙌

Rob was also selected in the club London Marathon Ballot so another name to cheer come April!

Towards the end of the month Ken hit 2019 in 2019 to break his 2018 mileage record, what can be achieved in 2020?!

And best of all 2 of our Clapham Runners Abroad team met up for New Year in Sydney. Our Clapham Runners Abroad team continues to grow. Cheers to Rachel & Steph, stay safe downunder!

A very happy new year to everyone.

October round up

Ken hitting the 1,500km for 2019 so far keeping him on course for hitting 2,000km for the year 😀. Great work Ken!

…also showing up best dressed to our Thursday track sessions… is a suit shirt going to help your speed…???

A very well done to Kim who is keeping up the running since moving out to Bristol, Pb @ Cardiff half, still representing in the Clapham Runners kit!

October brings us the London Marathon ballot results… the Clapham Runners 2020 team is looking strong with Phoebe, Tom W, Frank, Marikje, Jessica, Damian, Ellie all securing places.  A couple of rejections received, however there is still the opportunity for members to claim a place through the club ballot… watch this space!

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Kieran hit a great milestone of 200 parkruns, the team joined him at Tooting to cheer him round and cover the line to double that 100 and now he can claim his next milestone t-shirt!

We had a huge weekend in the middle of the month of Marathon running, Emma – headed up to York for the Yorkshire Marathon,

George nipped across to Amsterdam

…..and Rob over to sunny Lisbon

Building up the distances for Azores in November Ken completed the Royal Parks Half on a damp and drizzly Sunday in London, a twisty, turny, muddy affair taking in some great landmarks and what an excellent medal!

As a club we love to support our local parkrun events, with members being involved in our local Tooting & Clapham Common parkruns since their conception.  In October we took up our positions and organised a volunteering take-over at Tooting offering our bit back to what this excellent event provides us week in week out, as we are a small club we brought in some friends of Clapham Runners to bulk our numbers for a great morning of cheering and giving our bit back.

October was a month where we’ve had to say a reluctant farewell to one of our longest standing members and most reliable Thursday track attendee… Hannah has now moved on up t’north, we hope you find a lovely club to keep up the running once you are settled in. As her final Thursday act she managed to get the illusive John out to the pub for a drink after the track session 👏

We have also said goodbye for now to Steph, as she heads away on her travelling adventures, keep us posted on your running, another member of the Clapham Runners Abroad club!

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We are always happy to welcome new members to our friendly group, and in October we say hello to Katy & Jessica who have joined our team.

 

If you were lucky in the London Marathon ballot and want to improve your running, or are just looking for some company and motivation on these darker nights, drop us an e-mail or just turn up and say hello at either of our sessions to see what you think.

Well done everyone on a busy October, now for recovery and jumping head first into November!