2020-21 Beginners Week 14

Hello everyone!

I hope those of you that celebrate Thanksgiving had a nice one with your families, even if it was perhaps quieter than usual.  My daughter and I spent most of the day cooking and we Zoomed with our parents and my older daughter during the meal – so nice!  I am thankful for the opportunity to coach and get to know all of you!  
For this Tuesday, just keep in your pairs if you can.  If you need a buddy, please let me know and we will find one for you.

Holiday Lights at 6 am
I am so happy that on Wednesday we will be DONE with lockdown!  This means we are back to our packs of 6 or fewer on Thursday, just in time for the lights run.  It’s been wonderful to see the photos of you all out with your individual coaches, but I am so glad we will be back TOGETHER!  Remember, we will be meeting on Thursday at 6 am SHARP.  If you will NOT be joining us, please let me know so we are not waiting for you.

This week we will be running two 25 minute segments but there will be many extra stops as we take in the holiday decorations.  It will be important not to start out too fast as the first half of the run will have few stops.

Since we are meeting so early this week, the Church Gardens will not yet be open.  Therefore, we are going to meet at the Barclays and the plaza opposite Barclays this week.  To keep our numbers under control, we will split up between the 2 sides of the street so when you arrive, please go to the side with fewer people if possible. We will meet at 6 am and plan to start out ASAP so please be on time.  In order to make sure we are back to get the kids off to school, we will do a quick warm up, walk one block down Wellington Road and then we will start running. When we’re waiting at Barclays and when we walk or run by the houses in town, be VERY QUIET. No talking or only whispers. Our group is very loud and we don’t want to wake up the entire neighbourhood at that early hour! Since it will be so dark, please wear bright or reflective clothing and maybe even carry a bike light or head lamp if you have one. And be extra careful of the cars!

Hampton Court Half and Running the Race
So far, 9 of you have filled out the response form for the race.  PLEASE fill it out this week, even if you are not sure if you are planning to run.  Please fill out this form!

I realized that since we did not have our traditional beginner breakfast meeting in October to talk about the race, many of you may not realize how it all works.  The coaches will run with you all during the race.  We will put you into small groups based on your pace and each coach will take a few of you.  Your coach will set the pace, making sure you don’t start out too fast.  She will guide you through water intake and energy intake and be there for anyone who is struggling.  We will talk a lot more about this as we get closer, but I wanted you all to know that we won’t just train you and leave you – we will be there for you the entire time.  I hope this eases some of your minds.  Please ask if you have any questions about it.

Last Call for blue WRW Hat from last yearI have 2 of you who are interested in a WRW hat – Jennifer and Tessa.  Please let me know this weekend if anyone else is interested – otherwise I will release them to others who have enquired.

Lululemon Event
Marissa O’Malia has arranged with Lululemon to have a private shopping event for WRW.  The details are in the graphic below if you are interested!

The Route for This Week
The map below is the one used by the MWF group and it has us going to Baker Street.  To get home by 7:15, you may need to stop at Bond Street and that is fine.  However, we have found the last couple of years that to finish the full 25 minute segments, we need to run to Baker Street.  So those of you that can do that, that will be our destination if Bond Street doesn’t do it for us.  Please remember your Oyster/contactless card! 

See you all bright and early on Thursday! 


2020-21 Beginners – Beginner/Coach Pairings – Week 13

Hello everyone!

Well, it looks like this will be the last week of one-on-one coaching (for now anyway – don’t want to jinx it!) given the announcements yesterday about post-lockdown gatherings.  I want to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all of our guest coaches.  We truly could not have done it without you.  I am so glad you’ve gotten to know some of our fantastic beginners, and they you.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, we needed to have a couple of you run on Friday.  Based on the poll you did (which I know was almost a month ago now), the list below is how it’s ended up.  If any of you have conflicts, please let me know ASAP so we can figure something else out.

Beginners – don’t forget to fill out the Google form about your intentions for running the Hampton Court Half.  Please fill out this form even if you do not intend to run.  Thank you!

The coach/runner email list is at the bottom.  Here are this week’s pairs.  I hope everyone who celebrates has a Happy Thanksgiving!

8-8:30 am Thursday 26 November
Stephanie – Joanna
Melissa – Mariyam
Amy – Corisha
Sue W – Ritu (15 min segments)
Heather – Tessa 
Kate – Wunmi
Paola – Farhana
Shannon – Trenita
Micki – Tammy
Erin – Devyani

10 am Thursday
Miki – Heloisa
Paola – Ana

8-8:30 am Friday 27 November
Micki – Darlene
Sue W – Natasha (15 min segments)

The Intervals
The intervals for Thursday (note – these are different from the original schedule sent out):

  • Warm up
  • 17 min run/3 min walk
  • 20 min run/3 min walk
  • 17 min run/3 min walk
  • 5 min cool down walk

Proposed Route
note – the map below shows the run going in the reverse.  Since many of us ran basically the second half of this last week, I’m doing it in reverse this week to make it a little different.  The RunGo is the reverse.  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/tpnHwdGuHu

Head down Circus and turn left onto Grove End.  Cross diagonally onto St. John’s Wood Road and turn left onto Cunningham.  Turn right onto Aberdeen Place and cross over Maida Vale, getting on the sidewalk on the right side of Blomfield Rd.  Run a few blocks and turn left on Westbourne Terrace Road Bridge.  At the end of the bridge, turn left to get onto the canal.  Run straight and just after you pass under the highway, bear right into Sheldon Square and run around it, curving up the hill heading towards Paddington Station.  At the top, turn right onto Bishop’s Bridge and run for almost a mile to Ledbury Road.  Turn right onto Ledbury and then right onto Westbourne Park Rd.  Turn left onto Great Western Road and cross over the canal.  Turn right onto Elgin Avenue and keep going, crossing Maida Vale and turning right onto Hamilton Terrace.  Turn left onto Hall Road and run back to Barclays/Starbucks.

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2020-21 Beginners – Week 13

Hi everyone,

Thursday was HUGE!  3 15-minute segments – that is fantastic.  We are SO proud of all of you. 

Remember, beginning this week, the Tuesday run is now a total of 45 minutes exercise time and your weekend run should be 30-35 minutes total.  Break it up with walk/runs however feels most comfortable to you.  If you don’t have someone to run with on Tuesday and would like someone, please reach out and we may be able to pair you up with a coach.

This is another lengthy email, so please bear with me.

This week’s segments
The schedule for this week has us repeating last week’s 15 min segments.  In a normal year, for Thanksgiving week, we repeat the prior week’s segments because usually many of you are traveling and would have to do the run on your own.  Some years, like last year, we had already gotten to the 25 min segment so that is what was repeated.  Since few of you are traveling this year, we are going to slightly increase this week’s segments so that next week’s 25 min segments don’t feel quite so big.  So for this week, we are going to run 17/20/17 with a 3 minute walk in between.  So for the handful of you who are away, please run those segments.  For the rest of you, we will let your coach know the segments so you don’t have to think about it.  I will send out the pairings in a day or so, once I get them finalised.

Since we have been running in one-on-one pairings, you may not have realized that 2 of our coaches are away but I wanted to let you know.  Renata traveled to NY in order to become a US citizen (congratulations, Renata!) and is now back in London and quarantining.  She hopes to be back running with us for the Lights Run (see below).  Jess traveled to Argentina this week since they have finally opened their borders and will return to London in early December.  Her quarantine time will depend on whether the UK government updates its quarantine policies – so hopefully for our sake they will!  In the meantime, Sue Wheeler and Shannon Ashton are our official coach subs – thank you Sue and Shannon!

Lights Run – Thursday 3 December – 6 am
Just a reminder that to celebrate our release from lockdown, we will be doing our annual favorite – the Lights Run.  I will send more detail in the next email but we will be meeting at 6 am SHARP for this run.  The church gardens will not be open at that hour so stay tuned for the meeting spot (it will be close to the gardens).  Of course, this assumes lockdown is actually over, but we are going to assume now that it will be.  If you have any questions in the meantime, just let me know.

Hampton Court Half signup
I believe many of you have signed up for the Hampton Court half.  Yay!  We are asking everyone in WRW to let us know their intentions for the race, even if you are not planning to run it, so we can start some organising.  Please fill out this form to let us know if you’re planning to run the half, if you’ve registered, and whether you would like to reserve a race hat.  If you wear a hat running, I highly recommend getting the race hat.  In a normal year, the race hat would be an automatic thing – part of going on the trip.  It is always a light or bright colour that coordinates with the annual shirt (if you ordered one…) and it allows us to quickly identify another WRW runner during the race.  In a race with thousands of runners, it is thrilling to spot fellow WRWers and cheer them on.  And they will cheer for you!  And if you haven’t yet registered but you intend to participate, please sign up now
WRW Hats
Speaking of hats, a tradition at WRW has been to give the beginners the prior year’s race hat because we always have leftovers.  Recently, we’ve given them out just before the Winter 10K – another beginner tradition that has gone by the wayside this year 🙁  Here is a photo of this past year’s hat.  If you are interested, please let me know in the next week.  If you don’t normally wear a hat, or aren’t interested, that is totally fine as we have several other non-beginners who are interested in them and we don’t have enough extras to give them out – you guys get first dibs!


And now for the lengthy part of the email.  Feel free to skim or skip it – I know it is quite verbose!

With Thanksgiving coming soon and many of us having food on our minds, I thought it would be a good time to talk about nutrition for runners.  The information here is taken directly from Paula, the founder of our group (she is the “I” in the text).  She has years of experience as well as trainer certification.  That said, everyone is different and you need to figure out what will work best for you.

Let’s start with protein because that is probably the most critical component as you increase exercise intensity or duration.  When you run, you create tiny tears in your muscle fibers and protein is required to repair that damage.  For female long-distance runners, experts suggest taking in about 90g a day (or 1.6-1.8g/kg of body weight).  That’s a lot of protein – it takes a concerted effort to get there and at our level, we don’t need that much.  Make it “clean” protein when possible – lean meats, fish, nuts, yogurt, lentils/pulses and low-fat milk (this is the one low-fat product that most nutritionists agree is fine).  Most professional runners eat salmon like crazy – I’ve never heard a nutritionist say that salmon is THAT much better than other fish, but a lot of very experienced runners sing its praises.

A lot of trainers will encourage you to increase your carb intake, but I don’t fully agree (particularly for our type of running).  It may be necessary for athletes training at extemely high intensity zones, but that’s not what we’re doing.  Bottomline….  we are trying to teach our bodies to use fat as fuel.  Fat is easier to access as an energy source and requires less fine-tuning in terms of timing carb intake during exercise.  Our bodies have about 1000-1200 “easy access” calories available which will get most ladies about 10-11 miles (depending on their weight and fitness level).  After that we will use gels (carbs) to fuel that last 2-3 miles of a half-marathon.  If you increase your carb intake on a daily basis, then your body starts expecting a constant feed of carb fuel and may begin to resist going to fat as a fuel source.  Your body needs carbs so don’t completely cut them out – just choose clean carbs, complex when possible, ie. grains, wholewheat products, basmati rice (the longer the grain the better – long grain basmati is better for you than even brown rice).  Bread is not evil, just don’t rely on it as your major carb source.  Sourdough bread is better for you (usually made with naturally occuring yeast) than traditional loaves.

Fat is necessary in our diets.  I would make a nutritionist cringe by explaining it so simply, but basically fat creates a slower release of energy/fuel.  It’s as though you’ve taken a time release medication rather than a typical dose when you combine a bit of fat with your other nutrition sources.  Fat from avocados, olive oil, nuts, etc is obviously better for you than fat in brownies, cookies, etc (sorry about that!!!).  Some current research is suggesting it is actually it’s the sugar in those products rather than the saturated fat that is causing a big problem with obesity, diabetes and heart disease.  We can let the scientists battle that out – for us, just try to get your fat from more natural foods.

With all nutrition, the closer you can get to whole food, the better (i.e., apples are better than applesauce, whole vegetables are better than pre-packaged ones).  Basically, the closer your food looks to how you would find it “in-situ”, the better.  That concept is one thing on which all nutritionists/dietitians seem to agree.
Before you run, I would suggest the following:
• 50g carbohydrates
• 5g protein
• 2-3g fat

That could be a half bagel with cream cheese, yogurt with nuts (if the nuts don’t upset your stomach), a smoothie, or try oatmeal/porridge – it wins the prize for a near-perfect carb/protein/fat mix for pre-run.  Most people find simpler carbs work better before a run than complex carbs as they are more easily digested (so a plain bagel instead of a wholegrain/seeded bagel).  Ideally, eat the pre-run meal 90 minutes before running.  Sometimes that is just not possible, so the closer to the run that you eat, the more you should consider simplier carbs for easier digestion.   The latest research on coffee/caffeine pre-exercise, suggest there is no impact on performance, but a huge impact on perceived exertion.  This is interesting to me – basically these new studies conclude that given two athletes who have eaten the exact same thing, and are asked to perform at the exact same level, and who have the exact same result feel differently about how hard the session was.  The one who has caffeine in their system will feel it was easier – their “perception of exertion” is lower.

Within 30 minutes after you run, I would suggest the following:
• 50g carbohydrates
• 10g protein
• 2g fat

The protein piece is critical as is the timing of this food.  Again, a nutritionist/scientist would cringe at how I try to explain this, but here we go… when you exercise your muscles are agitated/traumatized.  The cell membranes temporarily become more porous (instead of a wall, it’s more like a mesh allowing the flow of nutrients easy passage).  Some post-run ideas would be a latte and yogurt, a latte and a piece of fruit or a latte and half a skinny muffin.  I’ve attached the Starbucks nutritional info to make this easier for you.  Basically a tall, skinny latte has 14g of carbs, 10g of protein and 0g fat – so you’re looking for another 35g of carbs in addition to the latte.  All of this pre/post run info would apply to longer runs and what qualifies as a long run is different from runner to runner.  You are probably just fine eating whatever you normally consume until about mid-end January when our runs lengthen.

Click here for Starbucks beverage nutrition info
Click here for Starbucks food nutrition info

2020-21 Beginners – Beginner/Coach Pairings – Week 12

Hi,Here are the beginner/coach pairings for this week.  For many of you, the pairings are the same as they have been.  Next week, I am planning to mix it all up for our (hopefully) last week of lockdown.  As usual, the list of coach/beginner emails is at the bottom.
This week is a big week – we are moving to just 3 segments of 15 minutes each with a 3 minute walk (versus 2 min) in between.  We will do these intervals for 2 weeks before making another big leap.  You guys can DO this!!  It’s actually 2 minutes less running time than last week…  🙂
For the route – in years past, the route has gone down to Hyde Park and ended at Green Park.  This has been a celebratory run for the 15 minute segments and has also served as an introduction for getting to Hyde Park.  However, I know not everyone is comfortable getting on the tube, or perhaps walking home from there.  So I am putting it in as option and you can discuss with each other if you are up for it or if you want to do a SJW loop (proposed new route also attached).[and I just have to note that looking at the Green Park route map – it shows Winter Wonderland… normally it would be something to be checking out on the run but not this year 🙁  ]

8-8:30 am Thursday 19 November
Amy G – Mariyam 
Melissa K  – Ritu
Paola D – Tammy
Sue W – Farhanna
Shannon A  – Ash
Micki H – Joanna
Veena G – Tessa
Kate B – Wunmi
Magali K –   Corisha
Heather D – Jennifer 
Maya B – Darlene 
Marissa O – Devyani 

Thurs 10 am
Kelly W – Ana (Hyde Park area)
Miki N – Heloisa (Hyde Park area)
Zeina G – Sue K

Friday ~8 am
Sue W – Trenita

The Intervals
he intervals for Thursday:

  • Warm up
  • 15 min run/3 min walk
  • 15 min run/3 min walk
  • 15 min run/3 min walk
  • 5 min cool down walk

Suggested Route 1 – Hyde Park to Green Park
From Barclays, head down Circus Rd and turn left on Lisson Grove.  Run to Marylebone Road and cross over to Seymour Place.  At the end, turn right, cross over Edgware Road (be careful at this light) and run straight for one block on Seymour Road.  Turn left on Stanhope Place and then cross Hyde Park Pl to get into Hyde Park.  When you see the silver globe, after crossing North Carriage Dr, turn right.  Follow that path to the road (N Carriage Drive) and cross the road (be careful!).  Run down the hill to the Italian Gardens and turn left to run along the gardens (the gardens will be on your left).  Keep to the path closest to the water and run through the tunnel under the road and past the Diana Memorial Fountain and the cafe.  Keep along the water and at the end, bear right to run down onto the path (keep out of the bike path on the right).  At the end of the path, go right to make your way out of the gates to Hyde Park Corner and cross over Knightsbridge to run through the Wellington Arch and into Green Park.  Run straight and then turn left to go towards the Green Park tube station at the far end.


Suggested Route 2 – Canal West Loop
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/sSZ0SazoQg
Head toward the western canal by running down St. John’s Wood Rd (if leaving from the church gardens) or Circus to Grove End (if leaving from Barclays).  From St. John’s Wood Rd, turn left on Cunningham Pl and then right on Aberdeen.  Continue straight onto Blomfield Rd and keep running until you get to Westbourne Terrace.  Turn left to cross the canal and then right to get on the sidewalk (not the canal path) parallel to the canal.  Continue straight, running through a small park at the edge of the canal and then head slightly left to come up at Harrow Road.  Turn left and then make your first right onto Alfred Rd.  Shortly you will see a path on your left – take than to cross over the train tracks on a bridge.  Head straight on Westbourne Park Passage until it ends and turn left onto Westbourne Park Rd.  At the end, turn right onto Porchester Rd then left onto Bishop’s Bridge Rd.  Take this to Paddington, taking a left just after you cross the tracks to head back down to the canal area.   Continue this direction along the canal, taking the footbridge to loop you around the basin at Westbourne Terrace.  Take the small path up off the canal onto Blomfield and continue running the same direction, retracing your original steps to head back to SJW.

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2020-21 Beginners – Week 12

Hi Everyone,

We’re really moving along now in our training and you guys are all doing AMAZING! Last week was another jump and from what I hear you all took it in stride (hah!). We will be going up a bit more this week but we know you’ve ALL got this.I will send out this week’s coach pairings hopefully by Tuesday.  We are halfway through lockdown and you guys are all doing great.

This is a very long email, sorry.  But it has important information so please do your best to read it.
We have some significant increases in our training coming up, but you all are ready – really! But there are some important things we need to discuss, so bear with me because this email is a bit long.

We have reached a turning point in our training with this coming week’s run. We will be running 3 15-minute segments with 3 minutes of walking in between. Think about that – remember running 60 seconds those first weeks and we all thought we were going to die. Then two minutes…. well, it might as well have been a lifetime. We know it’s not easy – learning to run is challenging, but think of where you’ve come from. We’re putting in an hour of total time now – it’s amazing what you’re doing. We are at a critical point in our training where the routine begins to change… so I’ll just jump right in and start explaining.

  • 3 runs a week? If you are aiming to do the half-marathon in the spring, you should be adding a third run each week if you haven’t already. It will make the race a lot easier if you can get in a third run as much as you can. Let’s be clear – it’s never easy running 13.1 miles, but the more miles you’ve put in, the more comfortable your body will be running that distance.
  • Varying each run – This is the good news….. We have progressed to the point where our runs/routes will begin to vary. Next Tuesday 24 November (or whichever day you are doing your second run) you will no longer simply repeat the route we did together the previous Thursday. After this week, you will be doing one long run with your coaches on Thursdays, one medium run and for the third weekly run, you will do a short run. The medium run (beginning Tuesday 24 Nov) will be 45 minutes total exercise time. Feel free to break that up into whatever intervals you are comfortable with. If you’re not sure where to start, you could try doing a 2 minute warm-up walk (after your warm up exercises) followed by three 13 minute jogging intervals separated by 2 minute walking breaks and 2+ minute walk at the end. The third run should be 30-35 minutes total exercise time. This also can be broken down into whatever length intervals make you happy. A place to start may be…. 2 minute warm-up walk followed by three 8-9 minute intervals separated by 2 minute walks. Particularly for this 30-35 minute session, some of you may be interested in doing a walking warm-up then just jogging slowly until you feel you need a break. Then walk for a couple of minutes and jog some more until you reach the 30-35 minute total time. If you want to try that, here are a few tips. First of all, run SLOW, like what we do on Thursdays. Second, don’t look at your watch. Do your warm-up then start jogging. Look around, watch the people on the streets or in the park, think about anything but running, notice the yellow/gold/red leaves, make a grocery list in your mind, think about what book you want to read next or where you want to go on holiday (eventually)…. anything but running. When you’ve had enough, then check your watch to see how much time you did, take a walking break and carry on. You may just amaze yourself. On these additional runs, go wherever you want. You know how to get to Hyde Park, Regent’s Park is right there, and access to the canal is super easy. We’ll help you come up with some other ideas if those routes get boring.
  • Consistent Training – For just a minute here we’re going to be a little bit more tough than usual. These Thursday long runs are getting more and more important. If there is any way you can get there, please join us. We know some of you have things you have committed to ages ago and we get it. Until now it has not been a problem because we are simply repeating the Thursday run on the following Tuesday. We are all busy and there are always weeks here and there when we can’t run. Not a problem! The bottom line is this… if you cannot make the majority of the Thursday runs, particularly in the new year, but truly even throughout December, it will be very difficult for you to contemplate doing a half-marathon. We’re not trying to be mean or demanding or threatening, just realistic. As our Thursday long run lengthens, you will want and need help, advice, pacing and someone to complain to. We will be discussing fueling/hydration and trying out different options in that regard. Those are things we need to learn/practice together – it’s not the same as reading it in an email. The other one or two runs each week are much, much less important. That’s the end of that speech….. next topic!
  • What’s your pace? We are beginning to settle into pace groups. This is natural and is not a reflection of your fitness level. We need to each find the pace that feels comfortable. Some of you have longer strides, some take smaller steps, some of you have long legs, some of you are tiny and have to take two steps to every one stride of a taller runner. It’s not only down to height – some tall people have a natural up and down movement with less forward propulsion. Most runners say that if they are asked to adjust their natural pace, things start hurting so it is important to find your natural speed. We need to start thinking about where in the group you are pace-wise. For the race, we will divide ourselves up based on these training paces so everyone will have a group and a trainer to run with.  You probably have noticed that we don’t talk about pace in terms of numbers or precise times in this group. It’s not important to have a specific number – it is important to know what feels comfortable to you…. not too fast, not too slow, but just right!
  • Hydration – As our runs get longer, we need to start taking in fluids while we’re running. Hydration requirements vary vastly from runner to runner, but experts suggest targeting about 500ml of fluid for each hour of exercise. Our needs are probably less than that as we are operating at a lower intensity level doing long distance training. You may consider buying a belt that holds little bottles, a tiny camelback (one that sits very high up on your back), or one of those bottles that slips over your hand. I wouldn’t recommend a large backpack – it changes your gait. This need to carry water applies only to your weekly long run. You are fine running 30-45 minutes if you drink before and after your session.

I understand that you have no point of reference, so you have no idea how well you are doing. We’re running about 4 miles now, over and over again. I know it’s not easy, but you are doing it. You have the worst of it behind you. It’s A LOT harder going from 0 running minutes to 1 running minute, or from 1 to 2 minutes – those are difficult beyond belief. In the next few weeks, we are transitioning into straight running, no designated walking breaks. That may sound scary, but think about where we run. Even though I say we are running 50 or 60 minutes non-stop, there will be street crossings. You will learn to pray for the little “red-man light”. My message is that you can do this. You have each other to lean on and all of your coaches to help out however we can.Hope to see many of you on Thursday,

2020-21 Beginners – Beginner/Coach Pairings for Week 11

Hi everyone,

Here are the pairings for this week.  There have been a few switch ups based on availability and also to give some other people the chance to coach.  I will continue to revise as we go along.  Thank you to the guest coaches!  You are making a HUGE difference.

As before, I have attached the intervals, suggested route and the list of emails for everyone below.  Please reach out to contact each other to arrange a time and meeting place for the run.  If you have any questions or changes, please let me know!  Otherwise, have a great run!


8-8:30 am Wednesday 11 November
Amy – Sony

8-8:30 am Thursday 12 November
Amy G – Mariyam
Melissa K – Corisha
Paola D – RituSue W – Ash
Shannon A – Farhanna
Micki H – Joanna
Veena G – Tessa
Kate B – Wunmi
Magali K – Kathryn
Heather D – Jennifer
Jen E – Tammy
Maya B – Darlene
Marissa O – Devyani

Thurs 10 am
Kelly W – Ana (Hyde Park area)
Miki N – Heloisa (Hyde Park area)
Zeina G – Sue K 

8-8:30 am Friday 13 November
Jess B – Trenita

The Intervals
The intervals for Thursday:

  • Warm up
  • 11 min run/2 min walk
  • 12 min run/2 min walk
  • 12 min run/2 min walk
  • 12 min run/2 min walk
  • 5 min cool down walk

The suggested route: Modified Camden/Mornington Crescent
RunGo: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/50BFao5nRg

Head towards the Charlbert entrance of Regent’s Park and get onto the canal towards Camden Lock where we cross the small, cobblestone bridge, exit the canal and turn right onto Camden High Street. Take the first right turn onto Jamestown Road and then the first left onto Arlington Road. Run straight down Arlington Road, make a slight right onto Mornington Crescent, follow it around and turn right onto Hampstead Road.  Run down to Robert Street.  Turn right on Robert for a few blocks and then a left on Albany Street and then the first right onto Chester Gate.  Based on where you are in your timing, you can cut into and across the park or run on the Outer Circle of Regents Park until you get to the exit for Charlbert Street.  Take Charlbert back up to St John’s Wood Terrace and then to Starbucks.

2020-21 Beginners Week 11

Well, nothing like breaking new ground for the beginner program!  Well done to all of you for getting out there, many of you with coaches you had never met before.  From what I’ve heard, you all had a great run.  And that was a big jump up in time – going from 7 minute to 10 minute segments.  That’s HUGE!  I know it was hard, but you did it!  SO great to see several of you outside Starbucks after the run.  We will get through this!

Shout out to Ritu who is back with us and looking strong!  And I have to also give major kudos to Tanya who is keeping up with our runs on her own in India – SO impressive!

It sounds like most of you had a great run yesterday. If you would like to mix it up and run with a variety of different volunteer coaches this month, just let me know BY THE END OF TODAY, FRIDAY.  Else I will aim to pair you with only 1 coach the whole month (maybe 2, to make schedules work). Some of you may feel more comfortable running with the same person. Others may enjoy getting to know more than one of our friendly and supportive volunteer coaches. Either is completely fine.

As usual, repeat yesterday’s run on Tuesday, and try to get in a 30-35 min total time run this weekend.  Pair up with someone if you can – it makes the time go so much faster.  And encourage each other on your What’sApp group.  No runner left behind!  If you are having trouble finding someone to pair with, please let me know – I know some coaches, and guest coaches, would be happy to run with you on other days to keep you motivated and on schedule. 
Don’t forget to keep it SLOW on Tuesdays.  You can get an app for your phone – I recommend MapMyRun, Strava or RunKeeper – that will track how fast you are running.  You should be running between a 12:00 and 13:30 minute mile at the most (and it is completely fine and normal to be slower).  For your weekend run, it’s OK to go a bit faster because it’s for a shorter time and distance.  But don’t kill yourselves!

This week we will increase our intervals up to 12 minutes.  If you hadn’t noticed, we are increasing our time faster now so it is so important to make sure you are getting at least the Tues/Thurs (or substitute days) in and it will be much easier on you if you are doing that third run on the weekend.  It will be easy to suddenly feel like you’re falling behind and we don’t want that to happen!

I will send out an email early next week with the runner/coach pairings like I did this week along with a proposed route.  You don’t have to follow the route – it’s just a suggestion.  You can work with your coach about where you want to go.  And take a selfie!  I loved seeing the photos from this week…

2020-21 Beginners- Beginner/Coach Groupings – Week 10

Hello everyone and welcome to running in the time of lockdown!

Frankly, I’m just grateful that we are allowed to run with one other person versus in the spring when we couldn’t.
Thank you to all of the volunteer coaches we have!  Not everyone is assigned a beginner runner for this week but I am hopeful you will have at least a run or two with them during this lockdown month.

If you have any questions about any of this, please let Jess or me know.  Jess will remain on the Beginner What’sApp group for a couple of days to make sure everything is working OK so you can chat to her there.  Or contact me via What’sApp –

Have fun ladies!!  I will miss seeing all of you but look forward to seeing those I DO see and hearing about how it’s going.

The Pairings
Here are the pairings for this week.  At the bottom of the email is the full email listing of all coaches and beginners.  Please contact each other today to arrange a meeting time and place for your run.

8-8:30 am Thursday 5 November
Amy G – Ritu S
Jess B – Trenita H (8 am)
Melissa K – Ash S
Paola D – Corisha R
Sue W – Joanna B
Shannon A – Natasha T
Veena G – Tessa E
Kate B – Wunmi O
Magali K – Kathryn S
Heather D – Jennifer P
Roni F – Tammy G
Erin R – Farhanna H
Maya B – Darlene B
Marissa O – Devyani C

Thurs 10 am
Paola D – Ana M (meet closer to South Ken)
Miki N – Heloisa M
Zeina M – Sue K

The Intervals
The intervals for tomorrow:

  • Warm up
  • 8 min run/2 min walk
  • 10 min run/2 min walk
  • 10 min run/2 min walk
  • 10 min run/2 min walk
  • 5 min cool down walk

The route: I’ve changed the proposed route for this week – my original route will be better for next week’s time intervals.
RunGo for this week:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/jwB5Ig9XKDI

f you are starting at the Church Gardens, head down Barrow Hill Rd and then left on Bridgeman to get to Allitsen.  Run down Allitsen and turn left at The New Inn onto Townshend Rd.  Turn right on Acacia and cross over Avenue Rd, turning left.  Make your first right onto Elsworthy Rd and following it to Elsworthy Terrace where you turn right to enter Primrose Hill.  Take an immediate left to stay on the flat path along the north edge of the park and exit out the other side.  Cross the street and do a quick right and then left onto Oppidans Rd.  At the end, turn left onto Ainger Rd and at the end turn right onto King Henry’s Rd.  Turn left to cross over the bridge and take the first right onto Regent’s Park Rd.  Turn right onto Haverstock Hill/Chalk Farm Rd and follow this to the canal.  Cross the bridge over the canal and turn right to get onto the canal (going over the diagonal bridge) coming back to SJW.  Exit the canal where we usually do for Charlbert but turn left to head into the park.  Turn right to run on Outer Circle and exit at the mosque (Hanover Gate).  Turn right to head back to SJW High Street.OR – run it in reverse to get a chance to wave to other pairs as they run it!

Beginner Running during Lockdown

Hi Ladies,
Well – the fun times continue here in 2020!  But never fear, your coaches have been working hard to come up with a way for you all to keep training with coaches on Thursdays.

We have reached out to members of the broader WRW community to ask for guest coaches.  The plan is to have a stable of coaches who we will match with you all each week so you will have a one-on-one coached session on Thursday, or maybe Friday.  

Since we may not be able to come up with almost 20 coaches for our normal meeting time on Thursdays, we are proposing that there are 3 times that people could meet to run.  
Thursday – start time between 8-8:30
Thursday – start time between 10-10:30
Friday – start time between 8-8:30

We have created a Doodle poll to see what sessions will work for you.  If you are able to meet on any of the sessions each week, please check off all sessions.  If there is one that you might be able to do, you can select “if need be” by clicking the check box twice.  Please be as flexible as you can, within reason of course, so we can make sure we can match  all of you up with someone.  Several of your coaches will be available to run more than one session – we don’t want to miss out seeing you guys!

Here is the link to the poll.  Please fill it out, at least for this week, by tomorrow, Monday, at 5 pm.  If you’re not sure about subsequent weeks, I’ll just send the link around again for you to fill out.

Once we have everyone’s availability, we will match you up with your coach so you both can agree on the exact time and meeting place (we don’t have to meet at the Church Gardens).

I know a few of you often have work commitments.  If running earlier would be better for you, please let me know – I’m sure we can make that happen for you.  We are trying to keep the “long” run to Thursday or Friday so it doesn’t interfere with your Tuesday and weekend running.

Please please fill out the poll so we don’t have to come hunt you down.  We want 100% participation here, ladies!
As for your weekend run and Tuesdays, please try to pair up with another beginner so you can encourage each other through this.  And use the What’sApp group to keep each other motivated.  We WILL get through this and will be running stronger for it.  And if the lockdown ends when it’s supposed to, we will have the amazing Lights Run to welcome us all back to being together on 3 December.

Feel free to message me about any concerns or questions you might have about this.  We welcome any feedback as this is all new to us as well and we want to make sure this program is working for YOU.
Amy, Jess, Melissa, Paola and Renata