Beginners Week 8: 25 Oct 2015

This is the week we’ve all been waiting for!  Believe it or not, you are all ready to run to Big Ben, our first destination run.  Don’t be intimidated – it is really not much farther than you have already been running.  In addition, there are a lot of traffic lights along the way that will give us some extra breaks.  We are so excited to do this run with you!

Please remember to bring your Oyster card with you since we will be taking the tube home from Westminster.  We will take a photo in front of Big Ben and maybe grab a coffee at the Nero across the street.

If you aren’t able to join us on Thursday but want to do the run at a different time and/or next Tuesday, here is the route:

Start heading west on Circus Road and turn left on Grove End and follow south as it becomes Lisson Grove.  Cross over Marylebone Road and continue on Seymour Place until the end.  Turn right and cross over Edgware Road and then left to enter Hyde Park at the intersection with Stanhope Place.   Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill.  Run past the Victoria Memorial down the mall and enter St. James Park.  Run over the pond and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben.


Beginners Week 7: 19 Oct 2015

Hi everyone,
It was so nice to see everyone at Meg’s on Thursday (and for us to finally meet you, Tiffany!).  We hope you were inspired by our ex-beginners and their promises that you can do this!  Please let us know if you have any questions about the trip or if you have any trouble registering at the hotel.

We have a new runner joining us this week and she plans to run with you all tomorrow at 8:15 at Barclays.  Her name is Swati Sen so please look for her and welcome her to the group.

Putting on my SJWWC hat, don’t forget there is a meeting/speaker tomorrow at Richoux at 9:30 – right after your run!  Running attire is totally acceptable 🙂

This week is parent-teachers conferences at ASL and some of you may have your conferences on Thursday morning like Vicky and Meg do.  If so, just get that group email going and figure out who can meet when.  Lesley, Jane and Amy will be there at the regular time on Thursday.

Since you may need to run at a different time, we are including our proposed route here if you’re interested.  A comparable, easier route is to just run the Outer Loop of Regent’s Park – it’s about the same distance if you run all the way on the outside.

See you Thursday!

Go down St John’s Wood Terrace past Starbucks.  Take a right on Charlbert then a left on Allitsen, then go all the way into Primrose (it becomes St Edmund’s Terrace).  Run across Primrose and down Regent’s Park Road.  Go over the bridge and take the first right down the hill to Chalk Farm Rd.  Go right on Chalk Farm, which becomes Camden High Street, and take a right on Parkway, just after the Camden tube station.  Take Parkway across Prince Albert to the Outer Circle (Parkway becomes Gloucester Gate).  Follow the Outer Circle to the right and exit at Charlbert.  Head left on Prince Albert to St John’s Wood High Street and end at the Churchyard for stretching.

Beginners Week 6: 11 Oct 2015

Hi all,

I hope you all have been able to enjoy this lovely fall weather this weekend!  Several of us went down to cheer on Jane and other WRW runners (including 2 of last year’s beginners!) at the Royal Parks Half Marathon this morning and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer day.

Speaking of half marathons… we know it’s hard to fathom even running as far as Big Ben, but as you know the spring half marathon trip has been announced and the hotel and flight details will be coming out this week.  There is no rush to book – the race itself hasn’t even opened up for registrations – but we want to give you all the chance to ask questions now in case you want to book your flights.  Once the WRW gang starts booking flights, the cost will start to go up and we don’t want you to miss out on cheaper flights if you’re ready to book.

With that in mind, Meg has graciously offered to host a post-run coffee at her house this coming Thursday.  We will plan for our regular run route to end at her house on Hamilton Gardens (close to the Abbey Road crossing).  We will talk about the race and have some ex-beginners come to share their experiences from past years.  It’s good to hear from them about how YOU CAN DO THIS!

If you can’t make the run this week but can make the coffee, please come.  We will probably get to Meg’s house around 9:30 am.  Meg’s address is 20 Hamilton Gardens, NW8 9PU.  If you can’t make breakfast, please reach out to one of us if you have any questions.  The trip email will likely be sent out on Wednesday.

For our run on Thursday, we will be running a total of 22 minutes, slipping in a few 4 minute blocks.  Going forward, the amount of time spent running starts to increase more quickly since you have built the base you need to start to run longer.  It is really important to get that second run in each week so you keep that base up and build from there.  Anyone on this list who hasn’t been out running with us – now is the time to jump in before we are too far along in the program.

See you all on Thursday!

Amy, Meg & Vicky

Route for this week:

Cross Wellington and run down Circus/Hall Road to Hamilton Terrace.  Go right on Hamilton Terrace until Abercorn Place where you take a left.  It becomes Elgin, which we stay on until Chippenham Road (about 3/4 mile).  Take a right on Chippenham to Shirland, a right on Shirland briefly, then a left on Kilburn Park Road.  Run up Kilburn Park Road to Carlton Vale, go right on Carlton Vale until Abbey Road, and go right on Abbey until Garden Road, which leads to Hamilton Gardens – and Meg’s house!

Beginners Week 5: 2 Oct 2015

Hi everyone,

You are all doing so well!  I was about to say it seemed to be a walk in the park for you, except for once we weren’t in the park…  🙂

So first, importantly – next week is ASL’s October break and many of the group may not be around for the Tuesday run.  But not all of you are ASL and not all may be going away, so please reach out to each other to see who is available to run and when.  If you are away, try to get one run in between now and next Thursday, even if it’s just a few 2 or 3 minute intervals.  Don’t worry about keeping track of how many intervals – just get out there and run/walk for about 35-40 minutes if you can.  We want our legs to get used to running on a regular basis.

There were a few questions today about footwear and nutrition and comments about aches and pains so here are a few thoughts on that so everyone can have the same information.

Shoes – if you are feeling like you want/need a new pair of shoes, you can go out at any time now and buy some.  Runners Need and the Asics store on Oxford St both do gait analysis and will help you find the proper shoe.  However, you do not need to go out and buy a new pair of shoes if you are feeling like yours are fine.  There may be a point when we will advise you to get a new pair of shoes because if yours are getting old, they won’t have the support you will need as we start to increase our run times.  But for now, as long as you’re comfortable, you’re fine.

Nutrition – it’s good to eat a little something before you come out to run, but you don’t want to eat a lot.  Everyone is different in what works for them so try different things each week and see what works for you.  Things to try – a banana, yogurt, toast with peanut butter, a granola bar.  It’s fine to have coffee before the run.  When we are running longer distances, we will give you more information about nutrition for before, during and after the run, but we aren’t to a point yet where we need to be thinking about it.  More things to look forward to!

Aches – some of you may be experiencing some aches and pains. It is common to 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 already 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 stabilizing 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 stabilize 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 a month or so we will come to a point where we’ll tell you it will be good to add a third run, but not yet.

If you are away for the break, we hope you have a wonderful time!

See you Thursday,

Amy, Meg and Vicky

Here is our group from yesterday – sorry for the small photo – technical difficulties!