Welcome back! A special welcome to the new folks joining the group. I hope you had a fantastic summer. I’m excited for the new year at WRW and I can’t wait to see you at our first run of the season on Wednesday 31 August. We meet at 8:15 in front of Barclays Bank at the corner of Wellington and Circus Roads in St. John’s Wood. For the first day, I’ll wear my blue and orange hat so you can find me, please come say HI if you are new.
As we approach the start of a new running season, here are two important things to keep in mind.
1. Take care of yourself: This one is easy! Read the emails and learn the routes. Eat, drink (and be merry!). Don’t go too fast, or too far, too early. Stretch, stretch and stretch some more. Make sure you sleep. Have the right gear (for those of you who like to shop, this is fun). If you have an injury, see a specialist for help. If you have a question, just ask. We have lots of general knowledge in the group and we can steer you in the right direction.
2. Take care of each other: This one is fun! Welcome the new runners and the ex-beginners. (Remember how nice it was when someone welcomed you!) Say Hi! Encourage the new runners to persevere, and congratulate all on success, big and small. Notice if someone is suffering and offer to help. Sometimes an encouraging word or a distracting conversation can work wonders! Be aware of the runners in your group and stop at traffic lights so no one is left behind.
Easing back to running
If you haven’t run in awhile, no worries! I’ve already heard from a bunch of the group who plan to start out with slower/shorter runs. At the start of the year, we’ve designed the routes to have plenty of options for distance. Most likely there will be someone running at your pace and your distance. We do have a group of women who are planning to run a half marathon this fall. Don’t be tempted to join them on a long run or be discouraged that you can’t keep up. Remember, they have been seriously training all summer to get ready for a fall race.
Here’s my bit of start-of-the-year arm twisting – Now is the time to start back with the group. I know the beginning of the school year can be very busy but the longer you wait to get started, the more difficult it is. Come out and run and I promise you’ll be glad you did!
A group of friends
A small reminder to everyone that WRW is really just a group of friends who like to run together. We have a lot of knowledge in the group from the experience of running, but none of us (especially me!) are professional experts. We tend to offer general wisdom about training such as it’s important to gradually add mileage and it’s important to properly stretch. It’s crucial that if something is bothering you, little or big, that you seek out professional advice from an expert. Or if you are new to running or new to running longer distances, you may want to see an expert to make sure that you are healthy and OK to tackle this challenge. We have the names of some experts listed on our website.
We tend to be flexible about the pace groups at the start of the year, but I imagine that we’ll naturally fall into our groups pretty quickly. Please remember to look out for new runners who may need some help finding the right group. We’ll share more details about the pace groups in the coming weeks.
Tuesday – Thursday Beginner Group
The first day for the beginner group will be this Thursday 1st September. Our beginner group is for real beginners, women who have never run before. We start our training with running for a minute and walking for two minutes. Please help us spread the word about our beginner group. If you know anyone who is interested in the beginner group, have them email us at [email protected].
Fall half marathon
Please let me know if you are planning to do a half marathon this autumn so I can connect you with the other women who are currently training for a long race. There is a group planning to do a long run on Bank Holiday Monday 29 August. Please send an email to [email protected] if you want to join them.
Construction on the Hill
Each Friday we tend to run up Fitzjohn’s Avenue to Hampstead Heath. At the moment, the road is under major construction and most of the sidewalk is blocked. We talked to the friendly construction worker last Friday and he said the work is supposed to be finished by Wednesday. If not, we’ll probably need to adjust our Friday route this week.
Thanks for your patience with this long email. That’s all for now – see you at Barclays at 8:15!
ROUTES THIS WEEK
Wednesday 31 August – Regents Park loop (4 miles)
We’re starting with a familiar, local loop. Head down Grove End Road as though going to Hyde Park BUT at Marylebone Road, turn left and follow Marylebone Road, past Madame Tussauds, then turn left at York Bridge/York Gate and right at the Outer Circle. Follow the Outer Circle counter clockwise, all the way to the crosswalk by the US Ambassador’s House. Cross out of the Park and head to Starbucks.
If you are training for a fall race and want a longer run, you can add some mileage in the park. If you add another loop on the outer circle the total will be 6.8 miles.
If you are not up for 4 miles, that is fine. Come with the group for awhile and you can always turn around and head back at any point. We’ll meet you at Starbucks when we’re finished!
Friday 2 September – The Hill
It’s Friday, so everyone up the Fitzjohn’s Hill. You can pick your distance and whatever you choose, there will certainly be someone else interested in running that distance. All of these routes are on the website. (As I mentioned above, we may need to adjust the Friday route if the construction on Fitzjohn’s Avenue is still impacting the sidewalk.)
4 miles: A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back.
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6-7 miles: The partial Heath route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles: The full Heath route
Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes