2017-18 Beginners Week 9

Hi everyone,

Well, last week was tough but you all made it through and truly I am so proud of you!  One of the great things about the group is that it does keep you going even if you really really don’t want to keep going.  And then you do it and you realize that you CAN do it!   We had a big jump up in total running time (36 minutes from 28 minutes) and you all were amazing.
Tomorrow should be easier, but make sure you keep it SLOW!!!
And this week… BIG BEN!  Can you believe you are going to be running to Big Ben??  Don’t be intimidated – it is really not much farther than you have already been running.  In addition, there are a lot of traffic lights along the way that will give us some extra breaks.  We are so excited to do this run with you!
Please remember to bring your Oyster card with you since we will be taking the tube home from Westminster.  We will take a photo in front of Big Ben or perhaps Parliament since Big Ben is totally covered in scaffolding 🙁  and maybe grab a coffee at the Nero across the street.
If you aren’t able to join us on Thursday but want to do the run at a different time and/or if the group would like to repeat it next Tuesday, here is the route:
Start heading west on Circus Road and turn left on Grove End and follow south as it becomes Lisson Grove.  Cross over Marylebone Road and continue on Seymour Place until the end.  Turn right and cross over Edgware Road and then left to enter Hyde Park at the intersection with Stanhope Place.   Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill.  Run past the Victoria Memorial down the mall and enter St. James Park.  Run over the pond and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben.

2017-18 Beginners Week 8

Hi everyone,
I hope you had a nice break if you are part of the ASL community.  I was spoiled by the sunshine in Dubrovnik – it was not so fun to return today to drizzle and 15 degree temps.  But I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in the morning!
Since several you cannot run tomorrow, I am sending our expected route.  I’ve made it simple – basically a loop around the outer circle of Regent’s Park.  This will get us back to Starbucks as quickly as possible in case any of you have kids at home that you need to get back to.
For those of you who will not join us in the morning, you should walk straight down Wellington Road and cross over Prince Albert Rd at St. John’s Wood High St.  Start running when you reach the sidewalk on the other side.  You can modify the extra bit in Regent’s Park based on your pace.  Ideally, you will have a few minutes of walking at the end – maybe when you cross back over Prince Albert Road at the end.
See you tomorrow,
Your coaches

2017-18 Beginners Week 7

Hi everyone,
Dani and I had great fun in Russia but we missed you all.  It sounds like you all braved the short but intense rain storm for Thursday’s run – bravo!  I have a friend who lives on St. John’s Wood Terrace and she said she was impressed at the number of you out running given how hard it had been raining just before 8:15.
This Week
As you know, this week we are going to Megan’s house after the run to have some social time over coffee and pastries, hear a bit more about the race and hear from former beginners who have gone through the program.  I know some of you may not be able to stay and that’s fine – just let us know if you have any questions.  Megan’s address is 22 St. John’s Wood Terrace – just down the street from Starbucks.  We should be getting there by 9:30.
For the run this week, we are starting to increase our running increments, doing 4 and 5 minute segments.
Also, we may have two new runners joining us this week – Kerry and Mary.  Please welcome them if you see them on Tuesday.
Running Next Week
Next week is ASL’s October break and many of the group may not be around for the Tuesday run.  But not all of you are ASL and not all may be going away, so please reach out to each other to see who is available to run and when.  If you are away, try to get one run in between this Thursday and next Thursday, even if it’s just a few 4 or 5 minute intervals.  Don’t worry about keeping track of how many intervals – just get out there and run/walk for about 35-40 minutes if you can.  We want your legs to get used to running on a regular basis.
For next Thursday (ASL parent teacher conferences), I only heard that a couple of you cannot do Thursday morning and we actually may have a bit of a coach availability issue as well so I think that we will run the session as usual on Thursday and those of you that cannot do it should get together on What’sApp and make a date.  I will send you the route that we will do in next week’s email so you can follow it.
Running Kit
I know there have been questions about recommended gear for running and where to buy it.  First, know that you don’t need to run out to buy things unless you want to (always good to have a shopping excuse!).  My beginner year I bought super cheap stretchy cotton yoga pants at Sports Direct (for literally less than £10 each) and a super cheap running belt (that I still use) and then bought things like shoes and running tights when I went back to the states at Christmas.  I was also not convinced I would last at this running thing beyond Christmas so was reluctant to buy running tights that I would never use again.
The coaches recommend you consider the following gear to get you through the training season:
Rain jacket – as you saw on Thursday, it does rain here and it’s not going to stop us.  You want one that is breathable if possible (although again, I got by for almost 3 years with a super cheap not-breathable lightweight waterproof shell).  They can be very expensive but I got one like this a few years ago and I like it:
The colour on that one won’t be for everyone (mine was black).  As a jacket, the main drawback is the only pocket is at the chest.
There is also this one that seems to be similar – maybe slightly lighter (it says it’s 2.5 layer versus 3 layer, whatever that means)
Baseball cap – good for keeping light drizzle off your face, helping with sun, taming your hair; does not need to be an official running cap – just something you are comfortable in
Thermal layer/light fleece – I have two weights of fleece.  As we get into colder months, the heavier fleece is all I’ve ever needed for a warm layer for running.
Running gloves – again, I have two weights of gloves for various temps.  You just want something form fitting that won’t soak up sweat
Ear warmer band and/or warm hat – I have both of these because if it’s really cold, I want a full hat but sometimes I just want ear protection.  Any wool or fleece hat that isn’t floppy is fine.
Running belt – this is a totally personal purchase – as I said above I am still using the cheap one I bought as a beginner even though I have bought at least 4 others to try.  Ask others what they have and why they like it (or don’t).  This is the current version of what I have:
I like it because it has two pockets so I can keep my keys separate from my phone/Oyster.  But some people won’t like that the belt part is not stretchy.
Places to buy:
Runners Need (both in store and online) for clothes, gear and shoes (they do gait analysis)
Wiggle (online only) for gear
Asics store on Oxford St for shoes (they do gait analysis)
London Designer Outlets by Wembley (Asics, Nike, New Balance Adidas are all there) for better prices
Sports Direct/Lillywhites (not a great experience but can get cheap stuff there)

2017-18 Beginners Week 6

Hi Everyone,
I hope you have had a great weekend!  We are covering a lot in this week’s email so try to bear with me.
Race – Utrecht!  18 March 2018
First, the race!  As we mentioned on Thursday, we will have a little gathering after the run on Thursday, 12 October.  It will be a chance to hear from some former beginners about their experience, ask any questions and just be social.  If you are ready to commit now, go for it!  It can be a great motivator to buy those airplane tickets.  Please let me know if you did not receive the race email from Jane last week.
With the race date now determined, here is a revised training schedule.
The run on Thursday 19 October
Thursday 19 October is the first day of parent teacher conferences at ASL.  If you have a child at ASL, you should have received your conference time by now.  We may be able to do a second beginner session either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning depending on coach availability.  Otherwise, if you need to miss the Thursday morning run, you can use your What’sApp group to find others to run with.  Please let me know if you  CANNOT run at the regular time on that Thursday.
Physio and other experts
A few of you asked about aches and pains.  If you are feeling like something is hurting, please go see a professional.  We have several people listed on our website:  http://womenrunningtheworld.com/training/expert-help/
Victor St. Ange is the physio that many people in the running group use.  He is terrific and he can do an overall analysis of how well your muscles are engaging as they are needed.  The con is that he is very popular and it can take a few weeks to get an appointment.
Many runners also swear by Christian Antonee and I believe he is easier to book on short notice.
Stretching and Warm Up
On a similar note, here are some thoughts on warming up and stretching/cool down.  The walking we do at the beginning of our runs in intended to warm up our muscles.  For the level of running we are doing, this should be sufficient to avoid injury due to starting out “cold.”  It is important to walk briskly, however, as that will get those muscles warmed up better, especially as the weather turns cooler.  If you are experiencing any soreness or aches, we can talk to you about getting a foam roller to use prior to the run that can help stretch out ligaments safely.
For post-run, again the walking is intended to act as a cool-down.  As we have said, it is very important to stretch after the run which is why we build in that time before heading in to Starbucks/Pret.  This link provides some good stretches:  http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/how-to-stretch-after-a-run.aspx
Tuesday Runs
We heard from several of you that last Tuesday’s run was too fast.  This is very common with the beginner group.  It is hard to keep a slow pace, but it’s important to try to do it.  You will all feel better for it.  If you are in the front, don’t feel the people behind you are pushing you to go faster – they aren’t!
You should be running around a 13 ½ minute mile on Tuesdays, maybe even slower.  This translates to a little faster than an 8 ½ minute kilometer.  You can use apps on your phone to show your pace.  Apps I’ve used in the past are MapMyRun, Runkeeper and Strava.  You do not need a running watch!  As a beginner, it’s nice to be able to focus on building your stamina and creating a bond with your group, not worrying or thinking about your pace and distance.  Use the apps to guide your pace, as a quick check in.  Also, make sure you set it to auto pause so it doesn’t calculate you standing still as part of your pace – otherwise it will show your pace as artificially slow.
If you are feeling like you don’t want to talk during the run, SLOW DOWN!  Sometimes it helps to designate a person to keep the pace and you can switch off each week.  Let us know how it goes!
Here is the route we did on Thursday in case you want to repeat it:
This week
Both Dani and I will be away this week on the SJWWC trip to Russia.  Jane will run with you again as an extra coach.  For the run, we will be running a total of 22 minutes, slipping in a few 4 minute blocks.  Going forward, the amount of time spent running starts to increase more quickly since you have built the base you need to start to run longer.  It is really important to get that second run in each week so you keep that base up and build from there.  Anyone on this list who hasn’t been out running with us – now is the time to jump in before we are too far along in the program.
Have a great week!