Beginner Note 15 December 2012

Hello Beginner Runners,

Thanks again for the incredible painting and the afternoon tea. You are spoiling me! I took of a picture of the painting and posted it on the website for any of you who didn’t get to see it. It’s gorgeous! Also, I’m so sorry that not all of you received your running group shirt before the holidays. I have them in the boot of my car and will finish distributing them when I’m back in January. So sorry!!!

You may have noticed on our training schedule that we’re repeating a 60 minute run over and over again for 5 straight weeks. There is a method to that madness! We are trying to become very comfortable with an hour long run. Hopefully over the next 5 weeks, an hour long run will not be particularly overwhelming or worrisome. This is a fabulous place to be – being able to go out and run for an hour is empowering…. you’ll feel like Superwoman! The same can be said for the Tuesday run. The schedule has you running 45 minutes every Tuesday until late in January. Believe it or not, that 45 minute run will start to feel like a short jaunt. I’m serious!!!

Let’s chat about how to train over the holidays….. For those of you in town and able to join the group run, carry on with the 60 minute Thursday run, a 45 minute Tuesday run, and a 35 minute weekend run. If you are traveling or are not able to follow the normal schedule, try to run 2-3 times a week for 30-35 minutes. As long as nothing is hurting, the pace could be quicker than we normally do but doesn’t have to be. There is nothing wrong with holding a gentle pace and running only 30-35 minutes. If you are not able to run at all, let me know. Depending on your circumstances, we may slightly adjust the first 1-2 runs in January for you.

BegHydePark5miLoopSyma will lead the run this Thursday, 20 December. It will be a loop that takes the group back to Starbucks in SJW (see map). You will be running down to Hyde Park via Lisson Grove/Seymour entering the park near Speaker’s Corner. The group will exit Hyde Park at Brook St. and run across to Regent St. The route turns north to run up to Regents Park then back to Starbucks.

BegKilburnLoopOn Thursday, 27 December, none of the coaches will be in town so the group will need to lead itself. You could either repeat the route from 20 December or try a loop over towards Kilburn (see map below). The route would go down Hall Rd (which then changes names to Sutherland). When Sutherland dead-ends into Harrow Rd, turn left. Cross over the canal, drop down to the canal path and head east. When you reach the bridge near the floating cafe where the canal opens up into a small lake, cross over the canal. Continue running alongside the water until you reach Maida Vale Rd. Cross over that intersection and head towards Starbucks via St. John’s Wood Rd then Grove End Rd.

BegCamdenRegentsLoopOn Thursday, 3 January, Syma will lead the run. It will be another loop back to Starbucks in SJW (see map). This route takes Elsworthy Rd over towards Camden then Chalk Farm Rd. to Euston Rd. The group will turn right, run a couple of minutes, then turn right towards Regents Park. Staying on the pavement/sidewalk on the outside of the hedges, follow the outer loop back to the Charlbourg exit of the park then finish at Starbucks.

Please email me if you have any questions/concerns about your running. I’ll be checking my emails regularly while I’m in the US. I look forward to seeing you in the new year!
Happy Running,

Beginner Note 9 December 2012

Hello Beginner Runners,

We’ve made it! We are RUNNERS!!! This week we’ll have our first non-stop hour long run. It’s incredible. We’ve come so far in 16 weeks. It seems like yesterday that we were jogging one minute and walking two minutes (and that was hard!!!). Now look at us go….. we are big-time runners!

Before we move on to training specifics, we have a few “housekeeping” items to discuss:
Thank you Nicky for volunteering to help with transport in Bratislava. We all appreciate it!
We are still collecting for the Starbucks holiday tip fund. The money will be given to the staff this Friday so if you want to donate, please do so this week (to Betsy, Syma or Bonnie). Most ladies are giving £5, some more, some less, some not at all. We are also baking cookies/candy/treats for them. A lot of the staff are not from the UK and will not be going home for the holidays. We thought home-baked treats might be a nice idea. Again, feel no pressure to do this, but if you are willing, let me know.
Also, I have the running group t-shirts in the boot of my car. You could find me around Starbucks this week at the following times:
Monday 10:00 – 11:00+ (after the MWF run)
Tuesday – not at all – I’m out of London for the day
Wednesday 10:00 – 11:00+ (after the MWF run)
Thursday before our run (I’m usually there by 8:00am) and after our run (I’ll probably be back from our finish point by 10:45 or 11:00 depending on how long we sit at Westfield)
Friday 9:45 – 11:00 (after the MWF run)
Yes, you are correct – I spend far too much time at Starbucks!!! Feel free to pick up shirts for friends if they are not able to pick them up. I have a spreadsheet printed out – you just sign by the shirts you’ve taken. Let me know if we need to organise a different time for your shirt delivery.

Starting this Tuesday, 11 December, the run should be 45 minutes (not a repeat of what we did last Thursday). For this week, you can split that up into two intervals or try to just do the 45 minutes non-stop. Beginning next week, Tuesday, 18 December, the run should be 45 minutes non-stop. There are some suggested routes in last week’s email. Some of you have asked about extending the weekend run. This is not a good idea. It’s better to keep that run to 35 minutes. If you want to push yourself, try to run it a bit faster but don’t make it a longer session.

shapeimage_2This week our route will take us to Westfield Mall at White City. How cool is that? It seems so far away but actually we’ll have to do a little spin through Hyde Park and Kensington to give us 60 minutes of running time. At the mall, there is a huge Starbucks (upstairs near Next). If you have time, stay for a coffee and/or a little shopping.

Lastly, during the holidays we have two Thursday runs – the 20th and the 27th. I’ll send more info about specific training over the holidays next week including route options for those of you in town. Syma will be leading a run for you on the 20th. She’s out of town on the 27th so it will be a self-led run that day.

Call or email if you need anything. I’ll be in the US from 16 Dec until 13 Jan but will be checking my emails regularly. See you Thursday!
Happy Running,

Beginner Note 3 December 2012

Hello Beginner Runners,

I know these notes must be getting boring. Every week, it’s blah, blah, blah…. “you’re wonderful, you’re amazing, you’re doing so well”. Truthfully, I don’t know what else to say. We had another fabulous run this week; some of you even ended up adding a bit of extra mileage on your adventure run! It was fun!!! Last Thursday, I had asked you to run at a comfortable pace, to run in single file when bikes were passing, to get to the front of the pack if you’re faster and to start thinking about your pace pack. Again, you’re perfect! You are all doing a great job of finding your pace. It’s fabulous to see. As for avoiding bikes on the canal, this group could give our Mon/Wed/Fri runners a lesson or two. Thank you so much for being so alert.

BegBigBen5miThis week our route will be somewhat familiar to you. We’ll run to the canal in Little Venice making a quick exit to head down to Hyde Park via Sussex Gardens. In Hyde Park, we’ll run along the Serpentine heading towards the SE corner of the park. From there, we’ll run to Big Ben following the same route as we did weeks ago. When we finish our run, we’ll stretch then head to the Methodist Church (the cafe Susan found for us) for coffee/pastries. The run will be two 30 minute running intervals separated by a short walking break. Everyone should really, really, really enjoy that walking break – it’s the last one we’ll have.

This note may arrive too late to catch you before your run tomorrow morning, but if you read it, here’s the deal…. tomorrow is the last Tuesday that you repeat the intervals that we did the prior Thursday. For tomorrow, it’s not necessary to run to Runners Need again. You could do the two 25 minute intervals in Regents Park or Hyde Park. You could run along the canal or do a shopping run down Regents Street/Oxford St/Marylebone Rd. If you decide to run the canal, make sure your pace is very comfortable. It’s hard to run straight without street crossings. Slow your pace to make up for the lack of little mini-breaks at street crossings. As for pace in general on Tuesdays, please break into two or three groups for the run. Everyone could do the same route but let the faster girls go at their pace and the middle and back of the pack runners go at their pace. Beginning next week (Tuesday, 11 December), the Tuesday run should be only 45 minutes. Some route ideas follow. I’ll send more options in the next few weeks (so you don’t get bored with these three routes!!!).
Beg45minOption1This is a nice loop which cuts through Regents Park then drops down to Portland Place, heads west Seymour, then north along Lisson Grove. Take St. John’s Wood Rd up to Wellington then head to Starbucks (or the park to stretch).

Beg45minOption2This is a similar route to the one above but drops a bit further south (to New Cavendish St), heads west, then turns back north on Marylebone High St, crosses over Marylebone Rd, enters the park then finishes at Starbucks in SJW.


Beg45minOption3To the left is one more option for a Tuesday mid-distance run. Head down to Hyde Park via Lisson Grove/Seymour Place, enter the park and run south then east (see map) exiting the Park at Brook St. Run home by the US Embassy, Baker St. and Park Rd.

The canal in either direction is always a good option for a mid-distance run as is Regents Park. Another idea is to just head south towards Oxford St. Run in Mayfair or Soho (where there are numerous tube stations) until you reach the 45 minute mark then take a tube home.

If you are doing a weekend run, it should be approximately 35 minutes. Feel free to break it up into intervals or just go for it and see if you can do 35 minutes without stopping! Beginning the weekend of 15/16 December, the weekend run should be 35 minutes of non-stop running (no walking breaks).

  • Lastly, I have two requests.
    We are looking for a volunteer or two to help Donna Vos organize bus/coach transport in Bratislava (for Friday airport to hotel and Monday hotel to airport). Donna has begun the process of finding viable transport companies but will need help managing the details of who’s on which bus, headcounts, etc. It’s not a hard job nor is it too time-consuming, but whoever takes it on needs to be good with details and spreadsheets. Is anyone willing to help?
  • Our Mon/Wed/Fri runners collect money each year to give holiday “tips” to the Starbucks staff. Most of the women give £5, some more, some less, some nothing. Please feel no pressure to do this but if you want to join in give your donation to Bonnie, Betsy or Syma. They will pool the money and present it to the Starbucks staff.

I look forward to seeing you this week! Please feel free to call or email with any questions/concerns you have. I’m serious about that. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you and/or let me know about your triumphs/successes. I love to hear when you have a particularly good run.
Happy Running,