28 Beginner Note 28 Sept 2014


Dear beginners,

Great job last week!  Each of you did really well.  Please keep up the good work, and don’t worry where you are in the group.  Everybody has a different natural running pace and it doesn’t matter whether you are at the front of the pack or in the back, as long as you keep running when you are supposed to. 

We are looking for two volunteers this Tuesday (9/30) to lead the group on the run.  Danielle and Ria have helped out the last few weeks and will both be out on Tuesday.  The run will be the same as the one we did last Thursday.  All the routes are in the spreadsheet Vicky emailed to the group last week.  Please let me know if you are interested in organizing the group on Tuesday.   

See you all on Thursday!


Meg and Vicky


Beginner Note 28 Sept 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014


19 Beginner Note 19 Sept 2014


Hello Everyone,

We are sorry to have missed you last week but heard from Jane and Bonnie that you did a great job.  We are looking forward to running with you this coming Thursday, September 25!   

For the benefit of those who did not run with the group last week and for the new additions to our group, we will recap a bit.  We will be following a walk/jog schedule that will keep building up over the next few weeks, following a program that is designed to have us ready for the half marathon in the spring.  You are all welcome in the group, regardless of whether you plan to run the half marathon or not.  Some of you may not even want to run long distances but simply want to learn how to run, and that is fine too.  It may seem far-fetched to you at this point that you could possibly run a half marathon in April, but believe us, if you stick to the program, and continue to run on Tuesdays and Thursdays (and eventually add a third run) you will be able to do it.  

Now that we are running slightly longer intervals, you might be interested in buying running shoes.  At Runners Need (which has several locations around London), they will watch you run on a treadmill and assess your running style and recommend shoes based on that.  A pair of running shoes will last you roughly 400 miles so it would be a good idea to write the date of purchase down (maybe on the inside of the shoe).  In general it is recommended that you go up one half to one size in running shoes, as feet tend to swell when running.  Also, we will be running rain or shine so you will need a good rain jacket.

For the first few weeks, we will be staying local and running a loop back to St John’s Wood.  Starting sometime in mid October, we will start to mix it up, running some loops and some destination runs.  For these runs you will need to carry an Oyster card.  We will let you know when we will be doing that.

That is all for now.  We will see you all on Thursday!  Please let us know if you have any questions.


 Meg and Vicky

Beginner Note 19 Sept 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014


12 Sept 2014


Hi Everyone!

It was so nice to meet you yesterday.  We are really looking forward to working with this wonderful group of women. 

We have just sent to each of you an email announcing the date and location of the half marathon.  It will be held on 19 April in Padua, Italy.  We know these are early days yet, but the ultimate goal is to get each of you ready to run a half marathon.  Some of you are working towards that goal. Others just want to run and don’t want to do long distances.  That is also fine! There is no obligation to run the half marathon. 

As a reminder… the group meets without the coaches on Tuesday mornings to repeat the run we did together the previous Thursday.   For this upcoming Tuesday, 16 September, Danielle Linkas and Ria Sta Maria have volunteered to organize the group and keep you all on the plan.  It is important that you get that second run in each week.  If you are not able to meet the group, please email everyone and see if you can find someone to run with you at a different time.  On Tuesdays (or whenever you do your second weekly run), it’s critical to keep the pace slow.

Vicky and I will be out of town for the run next Thursday, 18 September, but Jane Novak and Bonnie Bandeen will both be there to lead you on the run.  Jane oversees the broader Women Running the World group and Bonnie coached the beginners last year.  We look forward to running with you the following Thursday!


Keep up the good work,


Meg and Vicky

Beginner Note 12 Sept 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014


5 Beginner Note 5 Sept 2014


Hello Everyone,

The beginner running group will start on Thursday, 11 September, at 8:15am at Barclays in St. John’s Wood.  Meg Stone and Vicky Timbers will be coaching you each week.  We are looking forward to meeting you and getting started.  Please let us know if you have changed your mind or if your situation has changed and you are no longer interested in joining this group.  Otherwise, you can expect to receive an email from us each weekend explaining what we will be doing the following week.  Some information on the program/schedule follows:


•       The program is gentle, but it’s still difficult.  For the first few weeks, we will be working out for 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 we will walk for 2 minutes.  We will repeat the one minute jog, two minute walk pattern ten times.  We will then finish with a 5-10 minute cool-down walk back to Starbucks.  When we have finished our session we will have jogged for a total of ten minutes.  Over the weeks, the jogging intervals increase gradually but we continue to go at a very slow pace.  

•      We understand it’s difficult to believe, but by mid-December you will be running a steady 60 minutes without any walking breaks.  By late March/early April, you will be fully prepared for a half-marathon (13.1 miles).  We are finalizing the details for this year’s half marathon trip.  

•       Our training schedule will prepare us for the 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.  If you try it for a few weeks and don’t like it, you stop.  There will be no hard feelings – at least you will have tried.  All of that being said…the women who end up being the most successful with the program are those who make a mental commitment to being there each week.  

•       Each Thursday your coaches will run with the group, set the pace, tell you when to run/walk and set the route.  We will also encourage you to start meeting up one additional day a week either as a group or as several small groups (most of the beginner groups in the past have done this on Tuesday mornings but that’s up to you).  For the first 8-10 weeks, this second run each week will be a repeat of whatever we did with you on Thursday.  That second run each week (without us) will teach you just as much as the Thursday run.    

•       We will address injuries/aches/pains as we go.  On the Women Running the World website there is a list of people (physios, trainers, etc.) that can help if there is a problem.

A few guidelines….


•       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 will be able to recommend a store that can advise you on running shoes. 

  1.       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 who are dropping off young children or have other complications, just let us know.  We’ll figure something out.

•       No dogs allowed (sorry!).

•       Always carry with you a bit of money and an Oyster card (and possibly a Starbucks card).  For a while 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 many 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.  

If you are interested in joining the group, but know you have a conflict(s), just let us know and we will try to work something out.  We work around the ASL schedule so we’ll be taking breaks when ASL is on break.  We know some of you may have children in other schools or no children here, but it just simplifies things to stay on the ASL schedule.  


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.  So give it a try, show up on 11 September and see what happens.  We are doing this to learn how to run – it’s impossible to “slow down the group” or “hold people back”.  You can do this – we promise.  There is a huge support system in place.  


We hope to see you on Thursday, 11 September!

Meg Stone & Vicky Timbers

We will meet in front of the Barclays Bank at the corner of Wellington and Circus Roads in St. John’s Wood

Beginner Note 5 Sept 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014