My goodness….. congratulations! You are all amazing! I cannot possibly put into words how fabulously you are doing. This is hands-down the strongest beginner group I’ve ever seen. We are settling into a great routine with our run together on Thursdays and most of you getting out on Tuesdays for a second weekly run. We want to solidify that schedule over the next few weeks so our legs get used to running on a regular basis. It has been my experience that most people will have some aches and pains during the first 2-3 months of this program. For the most part, it’s just our body’s way of telling us “Thank you very much, but I would prefer hanging out at Starbucks and skipping the running part”. Many of you are extremely fit through other types of sports/hiking/tennis/etc, but we use different muscles in running and those muscles/joints will speak up. As a very general guideline, most experts suggest ignoring the first 10-15 minutes of an exercise session then after that monitoring whether the pain/discomfort is stabilising or increasing. If the pain increases while you are running, then you should stop – if the pain is consistent or lessens during exercise then usually you’re fine to continue.
All of us will benefit from lots of stretching and some squats or lungs whenever you have a bit of time. You don’t have to go to a gym to do squats/lunges – you can do them anywhere. Those exercises build muscle in your legs particularly around your knees. The stronger those muscles become the more they can help to stabilise your knee joint which is extremely helpful in running. Don’t let these suggestions overwhelm you! None of it is required, it’s just the more you do, the easier the running will be. Lastly on this topic, we are still only running twice a week. This is SO important. Feel free to do as much walking as you want, and tennis, or swimming, yoga, pilates or whatever….. but not running. Twice a week is the perfect amount right now. In November we will come to a point where I’ll tell you it’s OK to start doing a 3rd run each week if you want.
I will be out of town for the next two Thursdays but the schedule will remain the same. Syma Qattan and Bonnie Bandeen will be leading you on your Thursday run. I’m available via email during that time so feel free to send any questions/concerns to me. Syma and Bonnie are also more than happy to answer your questions. They are both very strong runners with a lot of experience and have helped train previous beginner groups. They are both much nicer than I am, but I’ve given them strict orders to continue cracking the whip! They will continue to join us on our weekly run throughout the program whenever they are in town and available. For the half-marathon, we have always divided the beginner group into smaller “packs” assigned to run with either Bonnie, Syma or myself. That way everyone gets the support they need. This year, as we have such a large group, I’ve asked Syma and Bonnie to start helping out earlier in the process. Usually after 8-10 weeks of running, we start to see different pace groups develop within the bigger group. So, with Bonnie and Syma joining us now, we’ll be able to spread out during a run and everyone will have a trainer with them and will feel comfortable with the pace of their smaller pack.
One last thought to leave you with….. when I just turned on my computer to write this email, the following quote popped up on my Google page:
If we did all the things we were capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. (Thomas Edison)
I love that! That’s just what we’re doing…. astounding ourselves. Be proud you ran 19 minutes this past Thursday – that’s huge! I know it’s not easy, but hang in there. Keep showing up – keep doing it. You CAN do this. I believe in you. Ask around and you’ll be assured, if I didn’t think you could do this, I would have already pulled you aside and told you I didn’t think it was a good idea for you to run. You CAN run – you already are running. 19 minutes is incredible. Well done!
I’ll see you in a couple of weeks. I promise you’re in good hands with Syma and Bonnie.
PS – Would you mind checking the distribution again to make sure I’m not missing anyone? Thanks a million!