2018-19 Beginners Week 10

Hi all,
I want to talk a little about start times and the Tuesday runs.  We encourage you all to run together on Tuesday because it’s good from a timing perspective (a day of rest between runs) and it’s easier to commit to being there when you have a regular schedule.  But it is up to the group to organise it.  I would recommend, given the number of you, that you set some expectations and start times so that everyone is aware, but you should stick to them so no one is surprised.  As it gets colder (and boy it was cold this morning!!), you should not be waiting around much after your warm up because your muscles will start to stiffen.  However, you should be doing the full 5 – 6 minutes of warm up because that is what will prevent injuries.  With the cold weather starting, that warm up will be even more important.  I know it is tempting to rush through it, but please please trust me when I say it is worth those 5 minutes!
Also, please please do not answer any texts or What’sApp messages while you are running!!  That is just asking for an injury as you trip over something on the sidewalk!
On Thursdays, the expectation is that we gather at 8:15 to be ready to begin the warmup at 8:20.  The warm up takes 5 – 6 minutes so we expect we will leave no earlier than 8:25.  If you are running a minute or two late, please text me (07780 588 447) and we should be able to have a coach wait for you.
If anyone has any questions or concerns about this, please let me know.
This Week and Future Runs
We have a jump up in time intervals this week but don’t be nervous – you can do it!  You are all doing so well.  If you are worried about the time, or feel tired during the run, just slow down.  We’re not in a hurry!
Question for you all – how do you feel about destination runs versus loops back to SJW?  A friend has been doing some new destination runs that are just about the right length for us.  I’d love to try them out, but I want to be sensitive to your time since it will take longer to get back home.  So can you let me know what you think?
We will do our annual Holiday Lights run on Thursday 6 December.  This is a very special run – we will leave at 6 am and run down to Oxford and Regent Streets and see the London holiday lights in all their glory.  You can make it back home by 7:15 if you have a shorter run (last year, the group split and those who wanted the full run for the week went a little longer).  I want to give you enough time to make arrangements with your family if you have younger kids.  This is a run that is not to be missed!
Adding A Run on the Weekend
I know some of you have started adding in an extra run on the weekend.  This is the time for all of you to start doing that if you haven’t already.  This will really help you continue to build your stamina and will make the runs during the week easier.  In general, you don’t want to run a longer segment on the weekend than we are doing during the week – so if you ran next weekend, it shouldn’t have segments longer than 10 minutes.  The run should be no more than 30-35 total minutes including walk time.  Pay attention to your pace, too, so you don’t go too fast.  Your muscles have been building so you can add that third run, but we don’t want you to push too much and get injured.  As we run longer segments, it will become more important to have that extra run on the weekend so the longer runs during the week aren’t so tiring.
Eating Before the Run
Some of you have asked about eating before the run.  In general, it is good to have something in your stomach before you run, but not too much.  The key for all of you is to experiment.  A little later, as we are running for longer, I will send a long, information-packed email put together by WRW’s founder, Paula, on the science and theory behind what to eat before and after a run.  But I don’t think we need that level of detail yet.  For now, you should be trying different things to see what works for you because everyone is different.  Personally, I usually have a yogurt or a banana along with coffee and whole milk.  It’s enough to keep my stomach from grumbling and will give me a little energy, but won’t sit like a lump.  I know other runners like oatmeal or a smoothie or maybe half a bagel with cream cheese.  The important thing is to have something.  As we start to run longer, you will need a little more energy and it’s good to start trying things now.
Also, most of you will experience an increased appetite as a result of this training.  That is normal.  Many runners will say they didn’t lose a pound when they started running.  Usually it’s because you’re hungrier with increased activity levels, so you eat more.  Generally, women don’t lose or gain weight in training, but they have more energy, they can eat more and often digestive issues disappear.  
Let us know if you have any questions about any of this!
See you all on Thursday,

2018-19 Beginners Week 9

Well – that was fun!  Big Ben (or I guess we should call it the scaffolding tower that was Big Ben) is done and dusted.  That run was a huge milestone and you all did it with smiles on your faces.  Remember when you said you couldn’t imagine running all the way there?  On top of that, we had a pretty big jump up in running time – we went from 28 to 36 total minutes and from 5 to 7 minute segments.  Great job!  Hopefully you can repeat the run on Tuesday for those of you who missed it on Thursday.  If you do, take a photo and send it!

I think my favorite comment I heard after the run was, “Where are we going next??”  Don’t worry – we have lots of fun destinations planned in the coming months 🙂

This week is parent/teacher conferences at ASL.  Most of the coaches can run at the regular time so I’m hoping many of you will be able to join us.  If not, see who else is around either in the afternoon or on Friday morning to get together.
This week, the running segments are not too different from last week – just a few more 7 minute ones.  We will loop back to Barclays to get you back home to kids quickly if you need to.  I believe it’s Iro’s last week before she starts work so hopefully some can stay for coffee after to wish her well.
Some of you have asked about running a bit on the weekends.  It would be good to start that in a week or so.  In general, you don’t want to run a longer segment on the weekend than we are doing during the week – so if you ran next weekend, it shouldn’t have segments longer than 7 minutes.  The run should be no more than 30-35 total minutes including walk time.  Pay attention to your pace, too, so you don’t go too fast.  Your muscles have been building so you can add that third run, but we don’t want you to push too much and get injured.  As we run longer segments, it will become more important to have that extra run on the weekend so the longer runs during the week aren’t so tiring.
Here is the route for the week:
Cross Wellington and head down Circus Road.  Go left on Grove End to St. John’s Wood Road. Take a right on Grove End then a left on Cunningham Place.  Go right on Aberdeen Place and follow the road to the canal entrance on Blomfield.  Go west on the canal and exit at Harrow Rd.  Cross the canal on Harrow then go right on Sutherland to Castellain.  Take a left and run to Paddington Rec, entering at the Moorhead Road Gate.  Run through Paddington exiting at Carlton Vale.  Go right on Carlton Vale, right on Hamilton Terrace, and left on Hall back to Barclays.

Week 9 beginner

2018-19 Beginners Week 8

Hi everyone,
For those of you with kids at ASL, I hope you had a nice break!   I look forward to hearing about it on Thursday’s run.
Now that the race has been announced, I have revised the training schedule to reflect the actual race date.  It is attached.  Please let me know if you have any questions about it.

So – 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 (well, what you can see of it given the scaffolding…)  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 repeat it 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.

2018-19 Beginners Week 7

Hi everyone,
It sounds like you had a great run on Thursday.  It seems the exercises were a little tricky for our big group to do but I am hoping we can keep trying for a couple of weeks to see if we can make it a little more smooth.  I am including the list with a graphic on this email so you can try them on Tuesday as well.  Maybe it will be easier once we know them more?  Let’s give it a try.
This Week
As you know, this week we are going to Megan’s house after the run to have some social time over coffee and pastries, hear a bit more about the race and hear from former beginners who have gone through the program.  I know some of you may not be able to stay and that’s fine – just let us know if you have any questions.  Megan’s address is XXXX.  We will end the run on the high street so we can get coffee and head over to her house.  We should be getting there around 9:30.
For the run this week, we are starting to increase our running increments, doing 4 and 5 minute segments.
Running Next Week
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 this Thursday and next Thursday, even if it’s just a few 4 or 5 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 your legs to get used to running on a regular basis.  And if you’re traveling, use it to explore where you are!
For next Thursday, we have our run to Big Ben so clear your calendars for this beginner group milestone!
Running Kit
I know there have been questions about recommended gear for running and where to buy it.  First, know that you don’t need to run out to buy things unless you want to (always good to have a shopping excuse!).  My beginner year I bought super cheap stretchy cotton yoga pants at Sports Direct (for literally less than £10 each) and a super cheap running belt (that I still use) and then bought things like shoes and running tights when I went back to the states at Christmas.  I was also not convinced I would last at this running thing beyond Christmas so was reluctant to buy running tights that I would never use again.
The coaches recommend you consider the following gear to get you through the training season:
Rain jacket – it does rain here and it’s not going to stop us.  You want one that is breathable if possible (although again, I got by for almost 3 years with a super cheap not-breathable lightweight waterproof shell).  They can be very expensive but this one isn’t and is similar to one I got a few years ago:
Baseball cap – good for keeping light drizzle off your face, helping with sun, taming your hair; does not need to be an official running cap – just something you are comfortable in
Thermal layer/light fleece – I have two weights of fleece.  As we get into colder months, the heavier fleece is all I’ve ever needed for a warm layer for running.
Running gloves – again, I have two weights of gloves for various temps.  You just want something form fitting that won’t soak up sweat
Ear warmer band and/or warm hat – I have both of these because if it’s really cold, I want a full hat but sometimes I just want ear protection.  Any wool or fleece hat that isn’t floppy is fine.
Running belt – I discussed this in an earlier email but will copy what I said then here in case you missed it:
First, a running belt choice is really individual.  I have purchased at least 5 over the years and I keep coming back to the cheap one I bought when I was a beginner.  This is the current version of what I have (and what Linda just bought at Sports Direct, so you can see it in person on her!)  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karrimor-Unisex-Audio-Belt-Black/dp/B00SJ14CYM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1536333617&sr=8-4&keywords=karrimor+running+belt
The reasons I like it:
  • it has 2 pockets so if you pull your phone out of the bigger one, you don’t have to worry about your keys or money or whatever being pulled out at the same time because those can go in the smaller one
  • the belt is not stretchy (some people really love the stretchy belt (Spibelt is the popular brand) but I don’t, maybe because I got used to the non-stretchy one)
  • it doesn’t soak up sweat like the kind that some runners like – the FlipBelt
  • it’s cheap so if you don’t like it, you don’t feel like you’ve wasted too much money
I can tell you, though, that every runner will have her favorite belt for various reasons so it often comes down to trying one and if it doesn’t work, trying another.
Places to buy:
Runners Need (both in store and online) for clothes, gear and shoes (they do gait analysis)
Wiggle (online only) for gear
Asics store on Oxford St for shoes (they do gait analysis)
London Designer Outlets by Wembley (Asics, Nike, New Balance Adidas are all there) for better prices
Sports Direct/Lillywhites (not a great experience but can get cheap stuff there)