2020-21 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…

Hampton Court Half
Just another little push for those of you who have not signed up.  I just don’t want it to sell out and have you be disappointed. So put it on your to-do list for the weekend.  And if you’re feeling unconvinced that you can do it, talk to one of the coaches or to Shannon (who is our big cheerleader for people, like her, who were completely unconvinced of her ability to run).  

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!  
Here are the general routes/destinations for our runs until the winter break.  Note that some of them are destinations so you will want to note that so you have the time to do them.

5 Nov – Camden/Mornington Crescent (loop back to SJW)
12 Nov – destination – Covent Garden
19 Nov – Notting Hill loop back to SJW
26 Nov – ASL Thanksgiving – local loop
3 Dec – Holiday Lights run (6 am) – destination
10 Dec – Green Park via Hyde (destination to Green Park)
17 Dec – loop back to SJW

And if you want to re-run the route we did yesterday, here is the RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/kP0YdMVA5V

We will do our annual Holiday Lights run on Thursday 3 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
It is time now to add a third run on the weekend.  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 run this weekend, it shouldn’t have segments longer than 7 minutes and for 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!

See you all on Thursday,

2020-21 Beginners Week 9

Hello all!
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 any of you who missed it can run it again on Tuesday with Jess.

This week, the running segments are not too different from last week – just a few more 7 minute ones.  

We have some new runners joining us on Tuesday – please keep an eye out for Maynie, Sal and Lilly and welcome them!  After this, enrollment for the beginner group will be closed.

Running in the Time of Covid
A couple of you have mentioned that you’ve sometimes gotten some looks when running on Tuesdays since you’re in a group.  I know when I saw you last Tuesday you were all doing a great job being in smaller “packs.”  I know it can be hard to stay separate so just do the best you can.  And if anyone says anything, please just ignore them and keep on running/walking.  We want to make sure we are respectful of the people in the community and we want to keep a positive perception of WRW.  

Half Marathon
I’m hoping that many of you have now signed up for the half marathon at Hampton Court.  The race date is a week earlier than on our original training plan so I have revised the schedule and am attaching it here.  If you haven’t signed up, what are you waiting for??  🙂  We now have the race information up on our website, in case you need it.  Make sure to put Women Running the World as your club and 2:30-2:40 as your expected time.  https://womenrunningtheworld.com/spring-half-marathon-4/

Jess’ Running Thoughts of the Week
I missed Jess’ Running Thought of the Week for last week so I’m including both weeks here.

Last week:
End the run as a better version of yourself. There are a lot of ways in you can end this run as a better version of yourself. So how are you ending as a better version? Are you less stressed? More confident? Happier? Do you feel stronger? Are you thinking more clearly? Did you learn something about your running or yourself or someone you ran with on this run? Ask yourself after the run how you have ended as a better version of yourself.

This week: 
Finishing a run is a great excuse to start a celebration. I just want you to have the excuse to celebrate this run, this sport, this runner you are becoming. You right now. I know we all need a little push some days. Consider yourself pushed so let’s go run and celebrate.

Stretching/Rolling Equipment
I know sometimes we all get some super fun aches and pains after running.  Some stretching/rolling equipment can be useful to help work things out.  These are some suggestions – take them or not.
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 is better for lower back.
Slant Board – helps to stretch your calves.  Some runners leave it in their bathroom to use when they stand at the sink.  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.

This Thursday’s Route
Here is the route for the week – https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/kP0YdMVA5V
Cross Wellington and turn left, then right on St. John’s Wood Road. Cross Grove End and take a left on Cunningham Place.  Go right on Aberdeen Place and cross Maida Vale to keep running on Blomfield (stay on the right side of the street for better space).  After crossing Warwick Ave, take the next left to cross the canal and then an immediate right on the sidewalk path.  Stay on that path as it slopes down and then veers right through a small green space and then up the hill and straight to exit onto Harrow Rd.  Turn right to 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.

2020-21 Beginners Week 8

Hi everyone,
It sounds like you all had a great run on Thursday!  I was sorry to miss it but I had nice time away in Dorset doing some country walks with a few friends, getting home just in time for the latest restrictions…

Speaking of restrictions, it is our plan to still do the Big Ben run this week.  It will mean a decision on your part about how you feel the most comfortable getting home.  You can take the tube from Westminster (and since it will be after rush hour it shouldn’t be too crowded), rent a Santander cycle, take a taxi or Uber, or just have a nice stroll back home.  So just keep your options in mind so you have a plan for yourself.  If you are not feeling comfortable about doing a destination run, we completely understand and hope that you can do the intervals on your own or with any others who feel similarly.

And 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!We will take a photo in front of Big Ben (well, what you can see of it given the scaffolding…) and probably the river and maybe grab a coffee at the Nero across the street.

Sue Wheeler will be joining us again as a guest coach for Renata.  Thank you, Sue!

We at WRW have started using an app called RunGo for some of our routes.  The great thing with this app is that it will give you turn-by-turn directions verbally so you don’t have to stop and check the map if you’re not sure of the route.  I have created a WRW London Beginners group that will have our routes in it starting with Week 5 (before that we were just running around Regent’s with no particular route).  There is also a regular WRW London group as well as a Hustlers group (for the ramp up group that is kind of between regular and beginners) that you are welcome to follow if you’re looking for route ideas, especially starting late November when the Tuesday run changes.  The link to the beginner group is here:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/group/wrw-london-beginners
I have put last week’s route, if you’re interested, in RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/dLa3pk6HBB

Finally, here’s a fun pic of you all from last week.
Can’t wait to see you all on Thursday!

2020-21 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 – I’m so glad they still put them up even if the Frieze itself has gone virtual this year.  If you want to know more about the sculptures, click here:  https://www.frieze.com/sculpturelondon  There is also an audioguide to the sculptures:  https://www.frieze.com/article/your-guide-frieze-sculpture-2020-regents-park.  The sculptures will be up until 18 October.

Thank you to Sue and Micki for guest coaching this past week.  Renata will be away for much of October as she needs to be in New York for an appointment.  It’s crazy how one appointment can take you out of commission for so long on either side these days!  I am going to be away this week as well so we will have 2 new guest coaches to cover for me and Renata – Magali and Shannon.  Magali and Shannon were both beginners and are also great people (as all beginners are!) so I know you’ll enjoy running with them this week.

Jess’ Running Thoughts of the Week
Jess is sharing a new running phrase/idea to keep in mind as we run each week.  I meant to include the first one in last week’s email but forgot so I am including both last week’s and this week’s here.

Last week:
Who are you right now? Take it slow. First impressions matter. Before the run: How are you feeling? Think about this during the run and after see if you are exactly the same. Let’s go!

This week – 
Never start a run to lose something. Always end the run having gained something. So let’s try to end the run positive by starting the run positive. Are you trying to lose weight? Can you change that to getting fit and healthy? Are you trying to lose stress? Why not gain peace? Think about gaining not losing.

Covid Note
One of our runners has tested positive for Covid.  She last ran with the group on 1 October and did not exhibit symptoms until 3 days later so she was not contagious based on current guidance during our run.  Even so, she has already notified anyone she was close to for longer than 15 minutes that day.  We are looking forward to having her back with us when she is recovered!

Running This Coming Week
This week is ASL’s October break and some in 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 Thursday, even if it’s just a few 3 or 4 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 the Thursday run this week, we are starting to increase our running increments, doing 4 and 5 minute segments.

Running the Week After (week of 19 Oct)
For Thursday 22 October, we have our run to Big Ben so clear your calendars for this beginner group milestone!  PLEASE NOTE – this is during one of the parent-teacher conference days at ASL.  You will be able to select your conference time starting this Wednesday so please try to work around this run if you can.

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 (of course, this was before everyone walked around in running tights as normal wear – my daughter told me she was embarrassed to walk to school with me when I was wearing them because “Who DOES that, Mom??”…)

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 you don’t have to get an expensive one by any means – just do some web searching.

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.  Some runners swear by the inexpensive Uniqlo lightweight down jackets as an extra layer.

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+beltThe 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
And Jess has just discovered a new option at NinePine that she loves:  https://www.nine-pine.com/collections/accessories/products/running-utility-waistband?variant=32254434082897  and you can use her discount code for 15% off: womenrunningtheworld.15
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)

Have a great week!
Your coaches

2020-21 Beginners Week 6

Hi Everyone,I hope you are staying warm and dry this rainy weekend!  Just a reminder that we run rain or shine 🙂
We are covering a lot in this week’s email so try to bear with me.

This week
For the run, 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.

Big Ben
Sorry for any confusion about the date for Big Ben.  I guess I wasn’t clear enough.  We will be running to Big Ben in a few weeks, on 22 October, and I wanted you to mark your calendars because it will be a longer total time we are out (since we need to travel back) and it’s a big milestone for the beginner program so I don’t want any of you to miss it!

Stretching and Warm Up
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.  I skipped the last one, the hop, because we’ve had people in the past say it hurts their knees.  But it does get your glutes going for sure.

I sent this last week but I’ll send it again – for post-run, walking at the end is intended to act as a cool-down.  As we have said, it is very important to stretch after the run which is why we build in that time before heading in to Starbucks/Pret.  This link provides some good stretches:  http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/how-to-stretch-after-a-run.aspx

Renata sent me this video to share with you – it’s in Portuguese but you don’t need to know Portuguese to understand the stretches:https://womenrunningtheworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/WhatsApp-Video-2020-09-20-at-1.35.47-PM.mp4

And Micki, the head of WRW, often does this 15 minute yoga video after she gets home from a run: Yoga For Flexibility | 16 Minute Practice | Yoga With Adriene 16 Minute Yoga For Flexibility! Make space and cultivate flexibility so that you can be available and open for life’s tasks and opportunities with more ease … youtube.com

Physio and other experts
A few of you asked about aches and pains.  If you are feeling like something is hurting, please go see a professional.  We have several people listed on our website:  https://womenrunningtheworld.com/training/expert-help/

Victor St. Ange is the physio that many people in the running group use.  He is terrific and he can do an overall analysis of how well your muscles are engaging as they are needed.  The con is that he is very popular and it can take a few weeks to get an appointment.  But ask to be put on the waitlist and you’ll often get a call.  http://www.physionorthwest.comMany runners also swear by Christian Antonee and I believe he is easier to book on short notice.  I also have personally used Soliman Laurence who is more of a massage therapist.

Tuesday Runs
We heard from several of you that the Tuesday runs have been a bit fast.  This is very common with the beginner group.  It is hard to keep a slow pace, but it’s important to try to do it.  You will all feel better for it.  If you are in the front, don’t feel the people behind you are pushing you to go faster – they aren’t!  And if you’re in the back, you don’t need to try to keep up with those in the front.  Run the pace that is right for you.

You should be running around a 13 – 13 ½ minute mile on Tuesdays, maybe even slower.  This translates to a little faster than an 8 ½ minute kilometer.  You can use apps on your phone to show your pace.  Apps I’ve used in the past are MapMyRun, Runkeeper and Strava.  You do not need a running watch!  As a beginner, it’s nice to be able to focus on building your stamina and creating a bond with your group, not worrying or thinking about your pace and distance.  Use the apps to guide your pace, as a quick check in.  Also, make sure you set it to auto pause so it doesn’t calculate you standing still as part of your pace – otherwise it will show your pace as artificially slow.

If you are feeling like you don’t want to talk during the run, SLOW DOWN!  Sometimes it helps to designate a person to keep the pace and you can switch off each week.  Let us know how it goes!

Here is the route we did last Thursday in case you want to repeat it.  Note that the starting point on the map is Barclays (our former starting point) so just adjust accordingly.  Directions:  Make your way to Allitsen Rd and run straight until you get to Primrose Hill.  Run diagonally to the left across the park, exit, and run down the high street.  Cross the bridge over the tracks and make your first left onto Adelaide.  Run all the way to Swiss Cottage, cross Avenue Rd, and turn left on St. John’s Wood Park Rd.  Run until you reach St. John’s Wood Terrace and turn right to get back to Starbucks.