28th December 2013 (updated January 2015)
I really enjoy going along to British Military Fitness Running Club on Wednesday evenings on Blackheath. I find that running with a group pushes you to run much harder than you would ever try when running alone. Every week is different but they often include some timed circuits. I keep forgetting my times but have now decided to jot them down here for reference.
If anyone is thinking of trying these routes, to set your own target, my fastest flattish half marathon time is 1 hour 46 minutes and I am noticeably slow on short sprints. Every time we do a new circuit I’ll try to add them and maybe add little maps if I can. I’ll also add details of any long runs in the Rotherhithe – Greenwich areas.
Greenwich Park Outer Circuit.
This is when the park is closed and you need to run the roads by the shortest possible way. Maze Hill is a long and gentle hill and Crooms Hill is short and steep. You can go either way.
My fastest time 18 minutes 20 seconds (some BMF runners can do this in about 14 minutes!) 131200
Greenwich Park Inner Circuit
Apparently this is 2.2 miles. When I lived next to the park it always seemed to take 16 minutes but hopefully it would be a bit faster now?
Maze Hill – Westcombe Park Road – Vanbrugh Fields – Highmore Road
A little all road circuit for sprinting
3 minutes 131200
Good for pairing up, one person runs while the other waits.
50 seconds per lap is about my fastest but 1 minute per lap over four alternate laps is just achievable 131200
Thames Circuit through Greenwich Foot Tunnel and over Tower Bridge about 11 miles
This is my normal long slow run. I start at South Dock but it makes no difference. The run can be increased by adding bridges with London Bridge being a half marathon. A word of warning – although it is lovely running at high water there can be bridge lifts to mess up your timing. Deptford Creek, Limehouse Basin and Tower Bridge can all open up but are less likely at low water. The locks at South Dock and St Katherines don’t normally hold things up as you can run over the closed lock gate (on the assumption they can never open them both!). Other things to mess up your run are unthinking property owners who leave rights of way locked with padlocks and Tower Hamlet Council who for some reason insist on locking a Memorial Park (even on Christmas Day!) forcing you up onto a horrible main road. Also beware on Tower Bridge as the tourists often step backwards to get a scene in their camera causing a major trip hazard.
This is a great circuit to do with less able runners as a river bus connects everywhere so people can decide to go half way if they like.
This is generally treated as a long slow run. Nowadays, in my case, a long very slow run.
1 hour 50 minutes 131200
1 hour 53 minutes 131225
About 2 hours 140201 – This time we ran clockwise and it provides much better views with a great vista of Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf when heading east. Sadly we ran in the evening and the path is virtually closed off by all the flat owners on the north bank who put up gates all over the place. Such a shame that the Thames Path hasn’t right of way.
1 hour 37 minutes 6.9 mph 11.17 M (that’s a record for me) 140625
2 hours 8 minutes 140810 (wow that was slow) 5.3 mph 11.25 M
1 hour 41 minutes 42 seconds (that’s better) 6.6 mph 11.15 M 140825
1 hour 54 minutes 04 seconds 6.1 mph 11.64 M 150101
2 hour 03 minutes 6 seconds 6.3 mph 12.90 M 150110 (over London Bridge)
Six years later!
2 hours 07 minutes exactly. 5.1 mph 10.88 M 210926
1 hour 59 minutes 28 seconds 5.3 mph 10.62 M 211019
Our neighbour has done the Tower Bridge/Foot Tunnel route in 1 hour 18 minutes but he is entering the Mount Blanc Marathon.
Has anyone done the loop faster?
Putney Bridge to South Dock
This is a 12.42 mile run along the river, except by Battersea Power Station where you are diverted inland. Clearly marked but it get crowded along the stretch from Westminster Bridge to Butler Wharf and you need to run quite slowly to avoid the tourists. We did it as a long slow run. Sadly there are no hills!
2 hours 1 minute. Average speed 6.2 mph. 140119
Greenwich Park 10K – including triple climbs up One Tree Hill
This was a wicked route devised by BMF as a Sunday morning race. The route was complex, I got slightly lost right at the end, but it was a good and hilly run so it was excellent training with maybe 150 -200 m of ascent. The fastest in was 40 minutes and 9 seconds. My time was 49 minutes and 8 seconds.
South Dock to Greenwich Park with one full lap
I hour 10 minutes 18 seconds 6.3 mph 7.44 M 15011