25 Beginner Note 25 November 2013


Dear runners,


I hope you all had a good run last week – I missed running with you!  Unfortunately, I will not be there this week, as I am out of town for Thanksgiving, but Bonnie will be in front of Barclays Bank this Thursday to run with whoever is here.  It will be a repeat of last week’s run timewise – 3, 15 minute runs. 

I will be here next Thursday, when we will be running 2 25 minute intervals – how exciting is that!  Don’t worry, as we increase the time, I will make sure the pace is slow enough for you to be able to run for that amount of time comfortably.  There will be plenty of time to increase the pace in due course, I just want you to get adjusted to running non stop.  Hard to believe, but you will be doing that very very soon!


I do hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving and look forward to seeing you very soon.


x Syma

Beginner Note 25 November 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013


17 Entry 1


Dear Runners,


What a great run to Whole Foods last week, and in glorious weather!  Lets hope we get more days like that, although I am so impressed to see that you all manage to show up, regardless of cold/rain – it is so lovely to see the commitment!  I have seen several of you during the week and the weekend meeting up to go on your other runs – well done! 


This week we will be running a loop back to SJW.  We will run three 15 minute intervals separated by 3 minutes of walking.  We are going to keep the pace pretty slow in preparation for the much longer running intervals coming up really soon.  For those of you who have a faster pace, please stay behind the lead coach until you are told by her that it is OK to go ahead.  We want you all to be able to transition easily to running without walking intervals, which is what we will be doing in a few weeks time!  At the moment I have a conflict this coming Thursday, and am trying to find someone who can run with you (Bonnie is going to be away, and we need more than one coach in the group), but will show up if I can’t find a replacement.     


I was asked about the distance of the second run (most of you do it on Tuesdays) – up until now, you have basically been required to repeat the run we did the previous Thursday keeping the pace really slow.  I hear from a lot of you that the pace on Tuesdays is usually faster – that always happens because it is just harder to self regulate, but if you find it too fast, slow your pace down, regardless of how fast the others in the group are going.  I ran at the back of the group last Thursday, and those runners talked comfortably all the way through, and finished without being out of breath.  I hope that is how you are all feeling during and at the end of the run – we are training ourselves for endurance right now – speed is not an issue just yet.  Naturally, you may be feeling tired, but you should not be out of breath at any point. 


Adding a 3rd weekly run

For those of you who haven’t already started doing this, consider adding a short run at the weekend.  There is no need for it to be longer than 30 minutes of run time –  either 4 7 1/2 minute runs separated by 2 minute walking breaks, or 3 10 minute runs, again separated by 2 minute walking breaks.  The pace should still be slow, but can be a little faster than that of the Tuesday and Thursday runs.  If you don’t like going faster then don’t – you will still reap the benefits of a 3rd weekly run.  If you are too tired or achy from the running, then consider a brisk power walk.



For those of you in London over the holidays, Bonnie will be more than happy to meet you on the Thursday morning at 8:15 and run with you, however few of you want to or can make it.  Just let me or Bonnie know.  I will be away for Thanksgiving but will be back before the following Thursday. 


Finally, we will start meeting in front of the Barclays Bank on the corner of Circus Road and Wellington Road, instead of Starbucks.  There is more space for us there, and we won’t be in the way of the pedestrians or people trying to get in and out of Starbucks.  Do keep an eye out for each other – old habits die hard, and some of you may forget that we have changed the starting point! 


Happy running!


Note new meeting place – Barclays Bank on the corner of Circus and Wellington Roads.

Beginner Note 17 November 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013


10 November 2013


Dear Runners,


Another great run this past week, and this was a hard one, so well done!  You all managed the canal beautifully, and ran the inclines without complaining!  They may seem small, but as you have discovered, running them is tough!  The good news is that when you run flat having run a little incline, it feels so much easier!


Next Thursday, we have another destination run, so be sure to bring cash and an Oyster card with you.  We will run down to Hyde Park, zig zag through it and head towards Whole Foods in High Street Kensington.  We can go upstairs and have coffee there, while those of you who want to shop can do so!  We will be doing one 11 and three 12 minute intervals, for a total running time of 47 minutes!  I know a few of you feel as though we are going at a slow pace, but it is essential that we keep it this way, so as to prevent injury, as running time and mileage increases.  There will be plenty of time later on to increase the speed – let’s just get used to running almost continuously, I am so excited about all your enthusiasm and would just hate to see one of you injured!  On that note, please, please take the time to stretch after your runs!  Consider buying a foam roller to use to roll the sides of your thighs so as to avoid an IT band injury.  I know a couple have complained of pain on the outside of your knees – that is most likely due to a tight IT band, and rolling constantly will loosen it up.  Believe me, I have had various minor injuries, and most of them arise from not stretching enough – don’t do what I do and wait till you are injured before you start to stretch!  Also, don’t ignore any nagging pain hoping it will go away (another Syma special).  Invariably it will get worse, and may cause other problems.  We have physios and osteopaths we can recommend to you.


Ok, enough nagging, see you all on Thursday!



Get ready for Whole Foods in Kensington this week!

Beginner Note 10 November 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013


3 Beginner Note 3 November 2013


Hi Runners,


What a great group we have!  You are all doing really well, and we are right on track with our program.  It is very exciting for us ‘coaches’ to watch your progress.  Only a few weeks ago, you were running 1 minute intervals and walking more than you were running!  On Thursday, we will run one 8 and three 10 minute intervals, most likely on the canal past Camden.  This may sound like a big jump from the 7s we did last week, but in actual fact, we will be running fewer total minutes, so keep that in mind.  You will be totally fine.


Over the next few weeks, you will begin to notice a pace differential within the group.  This is totally normal, and to be expected.  Every single one of us has an individual gait/running style, and natural pace.  Those with a longer stride or faster cadence should start to migrate to the front of the pack, but please please be sure to run your natural pace.  If you are naturally a faster runner, and try to slow down too much, you could end up with knee or hip pain from trying to put on the brakes.  I know some of you want to keep running with your friends, but try to resist the temptation if your paces are different.  Do remember however that this is not a contest, so don’t worry about where you fall in the group.  Just find your own individual pace and stick with it.  Bear in mind that because we are looking for endurance, it may still be a slower pace than you feel comfortable with for a short distance.  I know that some of you feel that the pace is too fast while others feel it is too slow and want to go faster!  It is our job as coaches to keep the running at a pace that will ultimately see you through this program.  Also, please remember to take the time to stretch after the run – it is very important.


Germany – Most of you have responded to Betsy’s email regarding race registration.  If you have not, please let Betsy know what you are thinking – it isn’t a commitment, but we just need an idea.


Finally, I just want to mention that at this point, those of you that haven’t already done so, should start to incorporate a 3rd run.  Ideally, you should repeat the long run we do on Thursdays before the following Thursday.  If you are doing a weekend run, it should be shorter than the run we do on Thursdays – ultimately it should be about 30 minutes of jogging time out of 40 or 45 minutes of total time (so at this point you could jog 7.5 minutes, walk 2, and repeat that 4 times, or jog 10 walk 2 and repeat that 3 times). 


Thank you all so much for joining this group – I speak for Betsy and Bonnie as well as myself when I say that we have really enjoyed getting to know you and are so proud of you all – we constantly get asked how our ‘beginner ladies’ are doing and enjoy impressing everyone as to how well you have progressed!



Beginner Note 3 November 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013