2019-20 Beginners Week 10

Hi all,
As usual, GREAT JOB with the run on Thursday.  I know as we get to the last segment or so it starts to feel hard, but you all are pushing through and making it happen and we are so proud of you!  I have a bunch of little things to discuss this week so read on…

By now, you should all have had the email with the hotel and race registration information as well as the email for us at WRW to help with our planning to see who is planning to come.  We only have a certain number of hotel rooms, and we are going to cap our total WRW attendance at 120 due to restaurant capacity, so even if you’re not fully sure about the race, I would recommend reserving a hotel room.  You have until 15 January to cancel it with no obligation.  I just wouldn’t want you to realize in 3 weeks that you actually CAN do this (which I KNOW you can, but I get that it can take some time to convince yourself) and then have to go on our waitlist if it fills up.  Please talk to any of the coaches if you’re feeling unsure.

Here is the link again – please fill it out ASAP if you haven’t yet –

London Winter 10K
I heard from a couple of you that you’ve been hearing about the London Winter 10K.  In the past few years, many beginners have done this race.  This year it is on Sunday 9 February 2020. This is NOT mandatory.  However, it can be a good intermediate goal and is also a good way to experience what race day feels like.  By race day, you will have run 10K on our Thursday runs so it will not be a stretch for you in terms of distance.  However, it’s important to treat it like a training run and not like a race.  We will talk more about it as the day approaches if some of you decide to run it.  It is a fun race!  I’ve heard that it might sell out so if you all can get motivated, you should go for it and sign up!  https://www.londonwinterrun.co.uk

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?  We have some destination runs that are just about the right length for us.  I’d love to use them, 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 5 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!
Also, it sounds like Pia may be making a plan for the following week – 12 December – for a holiday celebration.  It’s not final, but wanted to put it out there so your calendars don’t fill up.

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, many 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.  Plus, your body composition will change as you build your muscle.Let us know if you have any questions about any of this!

This Week – Halloween
As it happens, our run falls on Halloween this year.  If you’re up for it, let’s have some fun and wear some fancy dress (as they say here).  I may try to plan a route to see some Halloween decorations in the neighborhood – I’ll see what I can come up with.

See you all on Thursday,

2019-20 Beginners Week 9

What a great run!  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!  

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, use the What’sApp group to 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.  

Stretching/Rolling Equipment
I promised to send out links to some of the stretching/rolling paraphernalia we talked about at the beginner coffee.

Foam Roller – Something basic, like this:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maximo-Fitness-Superior-Instructions-Included/dp/B06Y97NVKZ/ref=cts_sp_1_vtp  (mine is 45 cm,  not 90 but I’m sure either is fine).  Use it on your IT band.  Search YouTube for videos on how to roll.  Melissa has a thicker one (that she showed you) that is better for lower back.

This is the slant board that Dinae talked about.  She has it in her bathroom and stands on it whenever she is at the sink to help stretch your calves.https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HVJRSQM/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_c_api_i_tijODbNX5EZBR

Trigger point balls – either spiky or not:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fitness-Mad-Trigger-Massage-Multicolour/dp/B00BJJZN94/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1DIQCCDJ4DIHA&dchild=1&keywords=pressure+point+balls&psc=1&qid=1571602752&s=sports&sprefix=pressure+point+%2Csports%2C128&sr=1-3https://www.amazon.co.uk/ResultSport®-Pack-Reflexology-Myofasical-Environmental/dp/B00CCPNDWI/ref=sr_1_7?crid=1DIQCCDJ4DIHA&dchild=1&keywords=pressure+point+balls&psc=1&qid=1571602752&s=sports&sprefix=pressure+point+%2Csports%2C128&sr=1-7

Weekend Running
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

2019-20 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.

It was so great to get together last week. I hope you enjoyed hearing from some of last year’s beginners about their experience. Thank you to Melissa for hosting!  I will send out links next week to some of the equipment we mentioned during the coffee to help stave off injuries and aches. 

We have a few new runners who may be joining us this week. If there is a group running on Tuesday, can you reply all to this email so they know there will be a group going since they are not on the WhatsApp yet?  I know you will all look out for them!  This should be the last week we add anyone new – our run times are increasing and it will be difficult for a new runner to catch up.   Sunita, Dawn and Natasha – here is the link to the group WhatsApp – 

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.   Turn left to 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.

And here is the route we ran this past week, in case you’d like to run it again. 
Walk down Circus, begin running either at Grove End or maybe just after Cavendish? Run straight down Hall Rd which becomes Sutherland Ave.  Right on Shirland Rd. Cross Elgin Ave and take the next right onto Essendine Rd.  At the end, head into Paddington Rec and run through it, exiting basically straight across so you end up on Randolph Ave.  Turn right on Randolph and then left on Abercorn.  Cross Maida Vale and turn right onto Hamilton Terrace. Check the time – if it’s almost done, turn left onto Hall Road.  Otherwise, continue down Hamilton Terrace to the end and turn left and then turn left onto Grove End and back to Hall/Circus Road. 

2019-20 Beginners Week 7

Hi everyone,
We are so impressed with you all!  You guys made those longer segments seem easy.  It was fun to see the Frieze sculptures along the way.  And we are so happy that several of you have taken the plunge and bought your tickets for Prague!  Wahoo!

I am attaching the warm-up exercises we did on Thursday so you can start to incorporate them into your Tuesday run as well.  It is good to get your muscles activated and warm before we start out now that we are starting to increase the minutes we are running.

We have a couple of new runners joining us this week, hopefully on Tuesday.  So please be on the lookout for them at Barclays!
Yvonne and Tulsi – the group has a What’sApp group to keep in touch –  here is the link to join:  

This Week
This week we are going to Melissa’s flat after Thursday’s 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.  Melissa’s address is 50 South Lodge, Circus Road.  We should be getting there between 9:15 and 9:30 if you can’t make the run but can make the coffee.

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 (17 October), we have our run to Big Ben so clear your calendars for this beginner group milestone!

Running Kit
First, I want to make sure you all received the email about WRW running kit.   There is absolutely no obligation to buy, but the orders are due by Wednesday so I wanted to make sure you don’t miss it if you want a WRW shirt.  From a sizing perspective, most years I have gotten a small but for some reason, last year’s shirt ran a little small and I moved into a medium.  It will depend on how you like your shirt to fit.  I believe Marissa, our kit master, also has some extra WRW black hats if anyone is interested in one of those.

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 that I already owned).  They can be very expensive but this one isn’t and is similar to one I got a few years ago:https://www.sportsshoes.com/product/ron2737/ronhill-infinity-nightfall-women%27s-jacket/

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 although you’ll have to get it from a third party seller on Amazon.  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karrimor-Unisex-Audio-Belt-Black/dp/B00SJ14CYM/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3FAC1AWMVK7GZ&keywords=karrimor+audio+belt&qid=1567680746&s=gateway&sprefix=karrimor+audio%2Caps%2C128&sr=8-2
This other one is fairly close to it  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Befekt-Gears-Waterproof-Sweat-proof-Adjustable/dp/B07Q9PZ3TN/ref=sxbs_sxwds-stvp?keywords=karrimor+running+belt&pd_rd_i=B07Q9PZ3TN&pd_rd_r=1292ac68-678a-4ef8-b296-e6d3eff20b7f&pd_rd_w=oznXy&pd_rd_wg=buQsq&pf_rd_p=7dc56c0d-8a5f-4d97-9143-7233b106859a&pf_rd_r=H3VB8XV6VER7G83PRTCZ&qid=1567680547&s=gatewayhttps://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

For a belt that holds water bottles, this is the sort of thing I have https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karrimor-Unisex-Bottle-Belt-Black/dp/B00SJ12WNU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536334083&sr=8-1&keywords=karrimor+bottle+belt
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)