Beginner Home

Welcome to the Beginner Group!

The beginner group is for women who have never run before. If you can run even a mile or two, you likely belong in the regular running group that meets Mon/Wed/Fri.  Go to How It Works to find out more about that group.   To join the group, or to ask where you might belong, email us at  The group starts in early September and it is recommended you start as close to the beginning as possible.

The program is gentle, but it’s still difficult. For the first few weeks, we will be out there less than 45 minutes. We will do a 5-10 minute walk to warm up, then we will jog very, very slowly for 60 seconds, then walk for 2 minutes. We will repeat the 1 min jog, 2 min walk pattern 10 times, then finish with a 5-10 minute cool-down walk back to Starbucks. So when we have finished our session we will have jogged for a total of 10 minutes. Over the weeks, the jogging intervals increase gradually but we continue to go at an extremely slow pace.

Our training schedule will prepare us for a spring half-marathon, but please know that you do not have to go on the trip or have any intention of running those distances. You do not have to commit to anything! That is the beauty of this group…. you don’t pay to be part of the group and you don’t have to commit to a long-term program. If you try it for a few weeks and don’t like it, you stop. No hard feelings – at least you will have tried. All of that being said, the women who end up most successful with the program are those who make a mental commitment to being there week after week.

A few guidelines for the group:

  • Come dressed however you choose. There is no need to buy a lot of running clothes at this point and definitely do NOT buy a new pair of running shoes yet. We can tell you where to go in London once you’ve settled into the program. One year a beginner ran in jeans for the first 3 months as she was convinced she wouldn’t become a runner and didn’t need to invest in running clothes. So no worries about how you look, just show up.
  • Be on time. We do not operate on an RSVP system so whoever is there at 8:15 runs. If you’re late, you will be left behind. For any of you dropping off young children or have other complications, just let me know. We’ll try to figure something out.
  • No dogs or strollers allowed (sorry!).
  • Always carry with you a bit of money and an Oyster card (and possibly a Starbucks card). For awhile we won’t be getting very far from SJW, but it’s nice to know you always have the option mid-run to grab a cab/tube/bus if you have a problem. Also most of the women stay for a coffee after the run. This is a great time to ask questions or discuss concerns as sometimes we don’t all get a chance to talk to each other during the run.

The program works – we promise. Countless women have come through it successfully. It’s hard, but it’s good fun and the sense of accomplishment you will feel is simply more than we can put down in words.  You can do this – we promise. We’ll hold your hand or pick you up and carry you if need be – just show up. That’s all you have to do is show up – we’ll guide you through each step along the way.