Tiers for Fears

Latest England Athletics Update

EA has updated its Covd-19 guidance for clubs following the announcement of the new tier system on 26 November. We’ll be in tier 2 from 2 December. The two slides above sum up the main things that we need to know. Our Club activities like track, Thursday night and Sunday runs, and EA compliant races are OK to go ahead, but note that we aren’t supposed to travel into tier 3 areas, like Kent, either for training or racing.

Cardio Tuesday

It’s your last chance to join in one of Debbie’s running-specific HIIT sessions on a Tuesday evening. Just head over to Comradesincoaching on Instagram at 5.30pm for an hour of full-on fitness, or you can do the recording session afterwards if that time isn’t good for you.

We’re hoping to be back at track on 8 December, pending confirmation from Everyone Active, the track management company. Rory will be leading the session – thanks for volunteering, Rory. Watch this space for further details.

Planned BRR activities

As well as our return to track on the 8th, we have the following activities coming up in the next few weeks:

6 December – Chingford League race #02, 5k undulating tarmac course, starting at 12 noon at Hog Hill (Redbridge Cycling Centre, Forest Road, Hainault). Free to participate but pre-entries only; let Alison know your date of birth and 5k time before ‘I’m a Celebrity’ on 30 November if you want to take part.

12 December – Barking Park 3k, starting 9.30am at the Barking parkrun start line. Nice, flat, and quick, two-lap course. If the race goes well, we’ll look at doing more in the new year.

13 December – Annual Christmas Royal Parks run. A gentle social run of around 7.5m or so taking in St James’s Park, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Meeting at Faircross at 8:30 sharp, or Matthew Parker Street, Westminster at 9.15am.

BRR in action

Woah!! Some of you are just getting too, too fast! Debbie Coyle was second overall at Saturday’s Virtual Park Run (#VPR37), finishing in 19:40; Martin P finished fourth in 20:18; Belinda was second female and seventh overall in 24.01; Rory was 11th in 24:52; Bev was 37th in 31:33; and Kresh was 51st in 37:45.

Ron Vialls was just pipped at the post to finish second over the virtual line at Barking (not)parkrun this week, with a new Personal Best time of 22:30 and the top age grading of 76.67%. Belinda was third overall in 24:01. Good to see her Mum and Dad recording times for walking 5k as well. Other BRR participants were:

Jason – 26:29

Greg – 34:05

Alison – 35:08 (PB)

Mrs Li is obviously going for that BRR membership, hat and gloves for Christmas, completing three NPRs during the week and recording a new PB of 37:25. You’d better watch it Jason, I think you have competition.

A few of us were due to travel to Leiden in the Netherlands last May to take part in their 10k/HM/Marathon. The race was then postponed until November, then postponed again until next May. Participants were given the option of transferring their place, asking for a refund, or doing a virtual race instead. Rob and I opted to do the virtual 10k, which we completed today over at Hainault. I finished in 1:12:08 (my best 10k time since my stress fracture – you can tell from the photo I was ecstatic about it). Rob has a foot injury at the moment and was walking, but still finished in 1:50.

The BRR Poll – Results

Thank you to everyone who voted in the ‘what’s your favourite distance?’ poll. Here are the results:

We have a few distance freaks, but I was quite surprised by the number of you who preferred the 5k distance. Maybe that’s because it’s harder to motivate yourself over the longer distances if you are running them virtually, so we’ve been more 5ks this year as a result. The 10k distance was also very popular; perhaps something for us to bear in mind when we are choosing our Grand Prix races for next year, always assuming the GP series can go ahead, of course.

We’ll have some more polls in the weeks to come – any suggestions for subjects gratefully received.

Have you had your daily dose of sunshine (vitamins)?

Vitamin D is often called the Sunshine Vitamin, as you can get it from the sun as well as from foods like oily fish, mushrooms, eggs and fortified cereals. And, with the Government set to prescribe free vitamin D to more than 2.5 million vulnerable people this winter, experts agree it’s the one vitamin everyone in the UK should be taking, especially as we approach the shortest day of the year. Vitamin D keeps our immune systems functioning properly. It also enables our bodies to absorb calcium and phosphorous from the food we eat. These minerals are vital for healthy bones, teeth and muscles – all vital for runners (the teeth are for our big smiles of relief when we finish a run!). And, while there is no evidence that taking vitamin D can prevent coronavirus, a new US has found that patients with low vitamin D levels suffered more complications with Covid-19. It’s hard to get enough vitamin D from your diet or from the sun during the winter months so it might well be worth investing in a supplement.

Morning Stretches for Runners: #05 – Overhead Stretch

It’s the penultimate week of our morning stretches for runners. This week we’re adding an overhead stretch to our ‘yin yoga flow’, on top of the neck circles, shoulder shrugs, forward folds, and hip circles. Lots of us probably do the stretch already – maybe while still lying in bed! – but perfecting the form can maximise the benefits. A proper overhead stretch can help eliminate shoulder tension, neck soreness, and stiff arms while running.

How to do it: 

How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms hanging loose at sides. Lift arms overhead, eventually clasping hands, and squeeze glutes while arching back and lifting gaze up and behind you (without scrunching neck). Return to start and repeat a couple of times. 

And finally…

Those run route signs we use at parkrun are very pricey for what they are, and we have to buy them ourselves as they aren’t provided by parkrun HQ. If anyone could jump in the lake in Barking Park and fish this one out for me, it would be much appreciated. It’s at the smelly end…

Chin up!


BRR Chair


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