15 Beginner Note 15 December 2013


Dear Runners,


I’m not sure how long we can keep calling you beginners for – this week we are scheduled to run 60 minutes straight!  Once again you all did really well, and coped beautifully even when we had to abort our original plan due to the canal closure.  Kavita and Colleen managed to negotiate their way around the diversion and got to Runner’s Need, only to find out we weren’t there – maybe I should take a lesson from them!  Now that I know how they did it, we could try again in January – I know some of you were interested in buying water packs, winter wear etc, though those of you heading back to the US could possibly do that there.


 I was thrilled to find out that those of you who didn’t make it out on Thursday at 8:15, met up later and did the two 30 minute segments – honestly, you are all making our job so much easier!  Well done!  


This Thursday, we are running to Westfield mall.  I had initially thought of doing a round trip back to St John’s Wood, but one of last year’s runners told me the Westfield mall run was very memorable for her, so I decided to stick with it and take you all there.  You will be absolutely fine, we will mix it up with a little park running and a lot of street running, which means stops for traffic lights etc.  You ran two 30 minute segments easily last week, so the 60 minutes will not be much different, believe me.  Bring your Oyster cards, and some money – we will find a Starbucks in the mall and have coffee, and then those of you who have some last minute shopping can do so, as by 10 all the shops will be open. 


On a different note, a lot of the runners end the run at the SJW Starbucks and traditionally every year, we collect money for the staff there, and give it to them with a basket of baked goodies.  Bonnie, Betsy and I have been collecting money from the other groups, so if any of you are interested, please let us know, although there is no pressure whatsoever – it is purely voluntary.


For those of you around during the holidays, I will be here, and am happy to run on Thursdays if you wish to, just let me know.  For the next few weeks, the Thursday run should be a 60 minute one, while Tuesday should be 45, and the weekend run, 30 minutes.  Please try to get out to run when you can – it will make it easier for you to continue when we get back.


Finally, have a wonderful holiday, and see you all in the New Year.



Heading to Westfield mall this week!

Beginner Note 15 December 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013


8 Beginner Note 8 December 2013


Dear Beginner Runners,


Well done for a great run last week!  You ran steadily, at a comfortable pace and seemed to find the run relatively easy, even though it was a big jump from running 15 minute intervals to 25 minute intervals. 


As I discussed with some of you, this week we will be running to Runner’s Need in Holborn.  This is a great place to buy whatever you need for running, be it new shoes, warmer/waterproof jackets, or hydration systems.  Now is the time to consider what sort of hydration system you will want – as our training runs get longer, you need to carry water or some sort of drink with you.  This is also a good time to pick a few gels to taste – soon we will need to take gels during our runs, and there are all sorts of flavours/textures etc, so I suggest you pick a few out and try them.  Please remember to bring your Oyster cards, as we will be jumping onto the tube at Holborn station to head back to SJW.


We will be running two 30 minute intervals separated by a 5 minute walk (yes, I know, last week should have been a 5 minute break and I only gave you 3 – sorry, that was unintentional, and I honestly thought it was supposed to be 3 minutes!)   The route will take us along the canal, so we will have uninterrupted running for 30 minutes.  Those of you who run at a faster pace should migrate to the front of the group (but still keeping behind me) before we get to the canal – once we are on the canal, it will be harder to overtake.  We will exit the canal at the edge of Islington, at the place commonly known as ‘the Wall’ among our WRW group.  At the exit we will turn right on Muriel/Rodney St, and cross Pentonville Rd to Pentonville Rise and onto Kings Cross Road which becomes Farringdon Road.  A word of caution, there will be a section of  the side walk on Farringdon Road that will be very busy with pedestrian commuters, so please bear that in mind, and be considerate and run single file – we are a large group and we want to avoid bumping into people.  At Clerkenwell Rd, we will turn right, and follow the road where it will turn into Theobold’s Rd.  Turn left onto Grays Inn Rd, and then right onto Holborn where we will run and turn right on Proctor.  Runners Need is above Evan’s Cycle Store on Proctor Rd.  Finally, please remember to stretch, stretch, stretch after these runs – you will start to feel it and may get hurt if you don’t!


Second and Third Weekly Runs

A few of you asked me last week about your extra runs on Tuesday and at the weekend.  Beginning the week of December 16th, your second (Tuesday) run should only be a 45 minute run – there is no need to copy the run we do on Thursdays as this will start to get longer and longer.  The third run of the week, at the weekend, should be a 35 minutes of non stop running – no more walking intervals after Thursday!


That’s it for now, I look forward to seeing you next week!



This week’s destination – Runners Need in Holdborn.

Beginner Note 8 December 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013


3 Beginner Note 3 December 2013


Dear Beginners,


For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a good holiday!  I am back now, and really looking forward to running with you on Thursday.  Betsy and Bonnie will not be with us, but Jane Novak and one other ‘guest coach’ will be there to help.  I’m excited to show you all off and show them how far you have come along!  This week we will be running two 25 minute intervals with a short walking break in between.  I had initially planned a destination run, but I think I will leave that for next week, and we will run a loop back to SJW, so that you can pick up your t-shirts and pay the money that is due for race registration (for those who are planning to go to Germany for the half).

Our first 25 minutes will mainly be along the canal, where as you know, there will be no street crossings.  Feel free to slow down your pace should you feel tired.  Remember, these long runs should be at a comfortable pace.  Please don’t be tempted to walk until we reach our walking break – if you feel tired, just slow down.


See you Thursday,


x Syma 

Beginner Note 3 December 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013