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Serpentine Running Club
One of the largest running and triathlon clubs in London
For details see the club website serpentine.org.uk
Lee Valley Athletics Centre Tel - 020 8344 7230
61 Meridian Way, Edmonton, London N9 0AR
400m outdoor running track (8 lanes)
200m indoor running track (6 lanes)
130m and 60m indoor sprint tracks
Largest athletics centre in the London area, used by elite athletes, open to everyone.
Finsbury Park Athletics Track Tel - 020 8802 9139
Finsbury Park, Hornsey Gate, Endymion Road, London N4 1EE
400m running track (6 lanes)
Parliament Hill Athletics Track Tel - 020 7332 3774
Highgate Road, London NW5 1QR
400m running track (synthetic, 8 lanes)
Willesden Stadium Tel - 020 8955 1120
Willesden Sports Centre, Donnington Road, Willesden, London NW10 3QX
400m running track, synthetic surface, 6 lanes.
Nearest Tube: Dollis Hill, also Willesden Green (both on Jubilee Line)
Paddington Recreation Ground Tel - 020 7641 3642
Randolph Avenue, Maida Vale, W9 1PD
(access also from Grantully Road, Morshead Road, and Carlton Vale)
400m running track, newly upgraded in August 2012
Nearest Tube: Maida Vale (Bakerloo Line)
Waltham Forest Pool & Track Tel - 020 8527 5431
170 Chingford Road, Walthemstow, London E17 5AA
400m grade A running track
Nearest Tube: Walthemstow Central (Victoria Line)
Bus Routes: 34,97, 215, 357
Battersea Park Millennium Arena Tel - 020 8871 7537
Albert Bridge Road, London SW11 4NJ
400m running track (8 lanes), fully synthetic
Ladywell Arena Tel - 020 8314 1986
Silvermere Road, Catford, London SE6 4QX
400m synthetic running track
Recreational use and private hire
Athletics coaching available
Crystal Palace Athletics Track Tel - 020 8778 0131
Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, Ledrington Road, London SE19 2BB
Astroturf 400m running track
Wimbledon Athletics Track Tel - 020 8545 3677
Wimbledon Park, Home Park Road, London SW19 8AU
400m synthetic running track (8 lanes)
Available for casual use and private hire
Ashton Playing Fields
598 Chigwell Road, Woodford Bridge, Essex IG8 8AA
400m running track
East London Runners organises runs here (join them on Facebook)
Nearest Tube: Woodford (central line) and walk down Snakes Lane East
Bus: 275, W14 (Ashton Playing Fields stop)
London Heathside Running & Athletics Club
For details email: secretary (at) londonheathside.org.uk
Wimbledon Windmilers Running Club
For details email: membership (at) windmilers.org.uk
Parkrun (just google parkrun for their website, and register free)
Weekly 5K timed runs, every saturday, in parks across the UK
Your results are emailed to you, and posted to the members area of the parkrun website
Cancer Research UK charity runs
Raise money for Cancer Research UK by taking part in sports events in London and beyond.
From local 5K runs to international marathons, open water swims and triathlons, there's something for everyone.
Visit http://running.cancerresearchuk.org/events to find your event and request your sponsorship pack.
For more info contact sportsteam @ cancer.org.uk or ring 0871 641 2403
Need a personal trainer in London to improve your muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness for running? Click the link.
Why not try fartlek sessions? This is the Swedish term that means 'speed play', where you combine slow/medium/fast speeds over a given distance. This adds variety to your running, and activates more muscle fibres than just jogging at one steady pace. Also try varying the length of your stride from time to time.
How should I breathe when I run? This is a common question. Some people just breathe in through their nose, which is wrong. You won't get enough oxygen in that way. Breathe in through your nose and your mouth. Breathe deep from the belly, and breathe in for 3 strides, then out for 2 strides. If you get out of breath, or get a stitch, slow the pace.
Why not try running with a personal trainer for a few sessions, to make sure your technique is correct? Foot placement, length of stride, breathing, relaxed posture (and what to do with your arms! - they all contribute to running well.
Why not time yourself at an athletics running track in London, and see how fast you are over these distances? If you want a personal trainer to help you warm up, time you, and help you to cool down and stretch afterwards, click here for personal trainer in London.
If you've never entered a race before, a good one to start with is the 5K (which is 3.1 miles). How should I train for a 5K race, I hear you ask. Here's some 5K tips:
You can train on a 400m running track: 5K (ie 5,000 metres) is 12.5 laps
Train for 8 weeks before your first 5K. Run 3 times a week, with one day's gap between each run. On 2 of the other days, do core strength and resistance training. One day a week rest completely.
Before every training run, walk for the first 5 minutes to warm up. Then after your run, walk 5 minutes before going back indoors. When you're indoors, stretch for at least 10 minutes, focusing on hamstrings, quads, and calves.
Here's a guide to the length of each run, in your 8 weeks of training:
Week 1: 1 mile 1 mile 1 mile
Week 2: 1.5 miles 1.5 miles 1.5 miles
Week 3: 1.5 miles 1.5 miles 2 miles
Week 4: 2 miles 2 miles 2 miles
Week 5: 2.5 miles 2 miles 2.5 miles
Week 6: 2.5 miles 2 miles 2.5 miles
Week 7: 3 miles 2.5 miles 3 miles
Week 8: 3 miles 2 miles rest
10K is 6.2 miles, the next step up from a 5K run. I recommend you do a couple of 5K races before attempting a 10K.
You can train on a 400m running track: 10K (ie 10,000 metres) is 25 laps.
When training for a 10K race, build up slowly over several months, and remember to stretch at the end of each training run, particularly hamstrings and calves. Hold each stretch position for at least 1 minute.
British 10K (Community Links)
Check website for dates of future runs.
Starts Hyde Park Corner, run past Big Ben, Downing Street, St Paul's Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, finishes Whitehall.
Training for the half marathon is not unlike training for the 10K. The half marathon is 13.1 miles, which is 21K. Make sure you're familiar with 10K races before attempting a half marathon.
If you want to train for a marathon, I can recommend personal trainers in London who train clients for marathons, just ask me