The beginner running group will start on Thursday, 11 September, at 8:15am at Barclays in St. John’s Wood. Meg Stone and Vicky Timbers will be coaching you each week. We are looking forward to meeting you and getting started. Please let us know if you have changed your mind or if your situation has changed and you are no longer interested in joining this group. Otherwise, you can expect to receive an email from us each weekend explaining what we will be doing the following week. Some information on the program/schedule follows:
• The program is gentle, but it’s still difficult. For the first few weeks, we will be working out for less than 45 minutes. We will do a 5-10 minute walk to warm up, then we will jog very, very slowly for 60 seconds, then we will walk for 2 minutes. We will repeat the one minute jog, two minute walk pattern ten times. We will then finish with a 5-10 minute cool-down walk back to Starbucks. When we have finished our session we will have jogged for a total of ten minutes. Over the weeks, the jogging intervals increase gradually but we continue to go at a very slow pace.
• We understand it’s difficult to believe, but by mid-December you will be running a steady 60 minutes without any walking breaks. By late March/early April, you will be fully prepared for a half-marathon (13.1 miles). We are finalizing the details for this year’s half marathon trip.
• Our training schedule will prepare us for the half-marathon, but please know that you do not have to go on the trip or have any intention of running those distances. You do not have to commit to anything. If you try it for a few weeks and don’t like it, you stop. There will be no hard feelings – at least you will have tried. All of that being said…the women who end up being the most successful with the program are those who make a mental commitment to being there each week.
• Each Thursday your coaches will run with the group, set the pace, tell you when to run/walk and set the route. We will also encourage you to start meeting up one additional day a week either as a group or as several small groups (most of the beginner groups in the past have done this on Tuesday mornings but that’s up to you). For the first 8-10 weeks, this second run each week will be a repeat of whatever we did with you on Thursday. That second run each week (without us) will teach you just as much as the Thursday run.
• We will address injuries/aches/pains as we go. On the Women Running the World website there is a list of people (physios, trainers, etc.) that can help if there is a problem.
A few guidelines….
• Come dressed however you choose. There is no need to buy a lot of running clothes at this point and definitely do NOT buy a new pair of running shoes yet – we will be able to recommend a store that can advise you on running shoes.
• Be on time. We do not operate on an RSVP system so whoever is there at 8:15 runs. If you’re late, you will be left behind. For any of you who are dropping off young children or have other complications, just let us know. We’ll figure something out.
• No dogs allowed (sorry!).
• Always carry with you a bit of money and an Oyster card (and possibly a Starbucks card). For a while we won’t be getting very far from SJW, but it’s nice to know you always have the option mid-run to grab a cab/tube/bus if you have a problem. Also many of the women stay for a coffee after the run. This is a great time to ask questions or discuss concerns as sometimes we don’t all get a chance to talk to each other during the run.
If you are interested in joining the group, but know you have a conflict(s), just let us know and we will try to work something out. We work around the ASL schedule so we’ll be taking breaks when ASL is on break. We know some of you may have children in other schools or no children here, but it just simplifies things to stay on the ASL schedule.
The program works – we promise. Countless women have come through it successfully. It’s hard, but it’s good fun and the sense of accomplishment you will feel is simply more than we can put down in words. So give it a try, show up on 11 September and see what happens. We are doing this to learn how to run – it’s impossible to “slow down the group” or “hold people back”. You can do this – we promise. There is a huge support system in place.
We hope to see you on Thursday, 11 September!
Meg Stone & Vicky Timbers