Coal Drop It Like It's Hot
8 GoodGymers made their way 7.8km on a training session in Islington.
- Wednesday, 27th of July 2022
- Led by Simon Fitzmaurice
Goodgym Islington Area Activator Simon caught up with a smashing crew of London School of Economics students for another summer group run across London. We had 8 runners tonight (including Ishan, who signed up 7 minutes before and arrived in blue jeans- good effort mate!) and plenty of first time participants (welcome!).
We began our session in Lincoln's Inn Fields, with a dynamic warm up to get the blood pumping and to raise the heart rate. For a pre-run workout, Simon introduced a fun interval session called "Clover Loops"- a fartlek (speed play) session. Lincoln's Inn Fields is separated as a quadrant- with a bandstand in the middle. Each of our runners would run across the park (through the bandstand) at a hard (tempo/threshold) effort, and then jog around the perimeter of the park to the left as a recovery.
The objective was to continue this process for 4 minutes total- and every 4th sprint and jog will produce a "clover" shape if this workout was recorded on Strava!
Our runners did a smashing job with the interval session, and were keen to start on our sightseeing trip around North London. The first stop on our run was Coram's Fields- the former site for the Foundling Hospital in 1739, which has now become 7 acres of protected play area for inner city children, parents and guardians. The original purpose for the centre was for: "The education and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children", but the Coram Foundation still continues to support young people and families throughout London to this day.
From here, we continued down Judd Street, past the remarkable St Pancras Renaissance Hotel (used as a filming location for tonnes of BBC productions- from Agatha Christie serials to Downton Abbey), and over to Coal Drop's Yard and Granary Square. In the Victorian era, this area was primarily used as a storage depot for all of the coal in South England, which would be carried by horse drawn canal barges down Regent's Canal (part of the Grand Union Canal, which stretches over 137 miles across the UK!). At the moment, the area is a prime cultural hub for the arts, galleries and designer shopping labels, and a spot for outdoor cinema screenings hosted by The Everyman Cinema group.
We ran above the canal side, and towards St Pancras lock. On the opposite side of the walkway, we spotted the Camley Street Nature Park (set up by London Wildlife Trust), a beautiful wildlife trail sat next to one of the busiest train stations in the UK. Across the bridge and over York Road, we entered the lovely green St Pancras Churchyard, passing The Hardy Tree, named after Thomas Hardy, the Victorian novelist and poet who briefly worked in this graveyard.
We connected onto Ossulton Street, a quiet parallel path skipping a busy main road near Somerstown, and stopped at The Story Garden next to The Francis Crick Institute- an incredible residential garden project, and a wonderful spot to visit on a sunny lunch break. Our return trip to Holborn passed The British Library, Brunswick Square and Russell Square on route, before returning to Portugal Street and back to LSE for high fives and smiles.
Fantastic running everyone. I hope you had a great time!
Check out our route here for future adventures:
Report written by Simon Fitzmaurice
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