You are all doing so well! I was about to say it seemed to be a walk in the park for you, except for once we weren’t in the park… As we noted on the run on Thursday, the canal is a great place to run out for a distance and turn around at the halfway point. It allows for non-stop running and it’s easy to get to. But please always be careful of the bikes!
If you haven’t yet joined the group, there is still time to join us and not be far behind, but please join us this week! Or let me know if you’d like to punt out a year and I’ll keep your info for next year if you’d like.
A couple of dates to put in your calendar:
Thursday 21 October – Big Ben! We will be running to Big Ben on 21 October, believe it or not! So clear your calendars so you can join us for this major beginner group milestone! Don’t worry – there will be many traffic lights and stops along the way, and you’ll be ready for it, we promise. NOTE – this is the first day of parent-teacher conferences at ASL, so PLEASE try to schedule your conferences so you can be there for this milestone run. For those of you who work, we should be finished with the run by 9:30 and you’ll need to tube home from Westminster.
Thursday 28 October – we will be having a little gathering after the run (location TBD) to talk about the race (which should be announced in the next few weeks). It will be a chance to hear from some former beginners about their experience, ask any questions and just be social.
Keeping it Slow on Tuesday
I’m hearing that it is a little tricky to keep it slow on Tuesdays. This is normal – we hear this every year. At this point, you should be keeping together, for the most part, as a pack. So one way to help this is to have the slower people up front to set the pace. Just make sure you don’t crowd them!
Stretching and Warm Up
We are going to try something new this week at the start. Rather than walk for 5+ minutes to warm up, we are going to do a series of exercises designed to get your muscles warm and limber. Hopefully we can build this into our routine and it would be great for you to try it on your Tuesday run as well. I don’t have a proper link for the exercises as they were prescribed to a runner friend from a physio to help her avoid injury. The coaches this week will lead you in the exercises and I will send you what I have in next week’s email so you can try it on the following Tuesday.
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 off for coffee. This link provides some good stretches: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/how-to-stretch-after-a-run.aspx
Now that we are a few weeks in to the program, we wanted to give a bit more information on shoes, nutrition and aches/pains.
Shoes – if you are feeling like you want/need a new pair of shoes, you can go out at any time now and buy some. Runners Need and the Asics store on Oxford St both do gait analysis and will help you find the proper shoe. However, you do not need to go out and buy a new pair of shoes if you are feeling like yours are fine. There may be a point when we will advise you to get a new pair of shoes because if yours are getting old, they won’t have the support you will need as we start to increase our run times. But for now, as long as you’re comfortable, you’re fine.
Nutrition – it’s good to eat a little something before you come out to run, but you don’t want to eat a lot. Everyone is different in what works for them so try different things each week and see what works for you. Things to try – a banana, yogurt, toast with peanut butter, a granola bar. It’s fine to have coffee before the run. When we are running longer distances, we will give you more information about nutrition for before, during and after the run, but we aren’t to a point yet where we need to be thinking about it. More things to look forward to!
Aches – some of you may be experiencing some aches and pains. It is common to have some aches and pains during the first 2-3 months of this program. For the most part, it’s just our body’s way of telling us “Thank you very much, but I would prefer hanging out at Starbucks and skipping the running part.” Many of you are already fit through other types of sports/hiking/tennis/etc, but we use different muscles in running and those muscles/joints will speak up. As a very general guideline, most experts suggest ignoring any pains during the first 10-15 minutes of an exercise session then after that monitoring whether the pain/discomfort is stabilizing or increasing. If the pain increases while you are running, then you should stop – if the pain is consistent or lessens during exercise then usually you’re fine to continue. There are experts such as physios listed on the womenrunningtheworld.com website if you are interested.
All of us will benefit from lots of stretching and some squats or lunges whenever you have a bit of time. You don’t have to go to a gym to do squats/lunges – you can do them anywhere. Those exercises build muscle in your legs particularly around your knees. The stronger those muscles become the more they can help to stabilize your knee joint which is extremely helpful in running. Don’t let these suggestions overwhelm you! None of it is required, it’s just the more you do, the easier the running will be. Lastly on this topic, we are still only running twice a week. This is SO important. Feel free to do as much walking as you want, and tennis, or swimming, yoga, pilates or whatever….. but not running. Twice a week is the perfect amount right now. In a month or so we will come to a point where we’ll tell you it will be good to add a third run, but not yet.
See you Thursday,