Beginner Note 16 November 2012

Hello Beginner Runners,

Congratulations on your fabulous run this week! That was supposed to be hard – how dare you prove me wrong by skipping, singing and smiling all the way around that 4.5 mile loop! Actually I love it. You are all amazing. It was soooooo much fun seeing you run so well and finishing our run at Bonnie’s house was perfect. It was nice to have a chance to get to know each other a bit better. Thank you Bonnie for opening your house to us (sweaty running clothes and all). For those of you who weren’t able to join us, this is a link to the information that was handed out. In the nutrition information, I mention an article about Disordered Eating (click here for the link). This is so illegal (for me to “distribute” the article without permission from Runners World magazine), but hopefully we won’t get in trouble. Not that it makes it any better, but I feel that whoever wrote it would want any/every runner to read it whether they paid for the magazine or not.
As we discussed on Thursday, it is time to add a 3rd weekly run if you haven’t already done it. That run should be about 30 minutes of running time broken into whatever intervals you want. The pace can be quicker than our Thursday run pace (if you want but doesn’t have to be). Beginning Tuesday, 11 December, your weekly schedule changes a bit. The Thursday run stays as it is, your Tuesday run becomes a 45 minute session (non-stop running – no walking breaks) and the weekend run should be 35 minutes (non-stop running – no walking breaks). For Tuesdays, I would recommend starting out together but then stringing out into different pace groups. The majority of our group is happy running a similar pace on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the majority of our group should be running a similar pace on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Most of us are taxing our bodies enough by running at any pace. There is no need to push any harder – you are doing a brilliant job. You are exactly where you should be – your progression is right on track. However, there are some runners in our group who want to go a bit faster (which is fine). Let them go – don’t be tempted to fall into their wake and get swept into a quicker pace than you want to run. It is not necessary to run any faster than what we do together. You will be ready for the race following the program as it is.
AnatomyITBSyndromeSeveral of you are complaining of tightness on the outside of your upper leg combined with achiness in the knee. This condition is what most people call “Runners Knee”. There is a membrane-type tissue that runs from your hip to your knee called the ITB (Iliotibial band).  You can think of this membrane as Scotch-tape that runs along the outside of your upper leg. When we stress the leg muscles, this band can tighten or get crimps in it. It works a bit like Scotch tape when it folds back on itself (it’s near impossible to “un-stick”). Once the ITB is shortened/tightened/crimped, it pulls up on the knee (usually the outside, upper corner of the kneecap but it can also cause pain at other insertion points). To lengthen the ITB, we can “roll it out” on a syrofoam roller. To see how this is done, have a look at this video. You can buy one of those foam rollers at gyms/physios or online at   You can also have a sports masseuse “strip” the ITB. Believe me, it’s nothing like a spa massage but it works like a dream. Tracey Tofts at APPI is a fabulous sports massage therapist (APPI on Kilburn High Rd. – 0207 624 5314). APPI also has physio-therapists on staff who can diagnosis/treat any injuries/aches/pains you are experiencing. APPI is currently offering our runners 15% off all treatments. There are many good physios/sports-massage-therapists in and around London. Please don’t feel compelled to use APPI – but do see someone if you are having problems. Minor aches/pains can become full-blown injuries if they are not addressed early on.
Our half-marathon trip is coming together nicely. Quite a few of our beginner runners have committed to the race, bought airline tickets and are registered for the race. Could you do me a favour regarding the Bratislava trip?  Check this spreadsheet (click here for the link) before this Sunday at midnight. Please make sure your flight and hotel information is correct. If you have not emailed me your travel information, your line will be blank. Please make any corrections and/or additions. Also, please input the following:

  • Have you registered for the race? yes or no in Column D
  • Do you want to ride the coach from the Vienna airport to the hotel? If so, the 2:30pm or the 6:15pm? (just put an x in the correct column K or L, or leave it blank if you are finding/arranging your own transport). We need these numbers so we know whether to order a large or medium coach.
  • Input Sat and Sun dinner information. For now, we just need estimated headcounts for restaurant bookings. When it gets closer, we’ll deal with specifics. I’ll let you know when we need final decisions about dinners.
  • Please add any comments that need to be noted in Column AN.

The spreadsheet is available to edit until this Sunday at midnight. After that time, any changes will need to be emailed to me. Next week I will be communicating our room counts to the hotel. You are free to make changes after Sunday, but they need to go through me (so I can call the hotel and say “now we are x # of doubles/singles/etc” instead of me needing to constantly check the spreadsheet and try to figure out what has been changed). Throughout the next four months, we’ll open the spreadsheet so everyone can make final decisions on meals, tours, etc then close it again so headcounts can be passed on to restaurants and tour guides. Again, you have plenty of time to decide about the trip. The timing of Sunday’s deadline is only so we can give the hotel/bus co/tour guides an estimate of our numbers.
That’s it for this week. Congratulations again on your fabulous run Thursday! Just as a reminder, Syma will be leading a group on Thursday (American Thanksgiving Day) at the regular time and regular place. Join in if you’re in town! If you are traveling, don’t fret about your running. We’ll get back to the routine following the holiday.
Happy Running,