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 30 August. We meet (rain or shine) 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 pink hat so you can find me, please come say hello 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.
On Wednesday we’re keeping it very simple and doing the route in Regents Park. We don’t have to worry too much about wrong turns or traffic lights! The outside loop is about 4 miles and if you want to add some mileage you can add the inner loop to make it about 5 miles. We’ll be very close to home so if you need to cut it shorter or walk a bit that is totally fine. We’ll meet you back at Starbucks for a coffee! On Friday, like usual, we’re heading up the hill, but if you’re not quite up for a hill run there are usually some runners who will pick a flat route. Another option is to run to the top of the hill and then turn around and run back down. There are many options for Friday hills! All the hill routes are listed on our website with the link below. The best thing is to come on Friday and ask around and we can help connect you to a group that is doing a route that works for you. The maps and the route directions are at the end of the email.
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 31 August. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Thanks for your patience with this long email. That’s all for now – see you at Barclays at 8:15 on Wednesday!
Wednesday 30 August – Regents Park (inner and outer loops) (5 miles)
From Barclay’s head down Wellington Road to the traffic circle at Lord’s Cricket Ground and bear left onto Prince Albert Road. Run to the pedestrian crossing where we will cross and head to the Outer Circle. Turn right and run on the inside of the circle past Winfield House which will be on your left. Continue around the Outer Circle until you reach the traffic light at intersection with York Bridge. Turn left and proceed to the Inner Circle. Run one complete loop of the Inner Circle and back out across York Bridge where we will take a left and continue on Ulster Terrace which is part of the Outer Circle. At the next large intersection take a left and continue on the Outer Circle, heading north back towards the Zoo and Camden. Pass the entrance to the Zoo on your left and continue to the bridge at North Gate which we will cross to reach Charlbert Street. Run up Charlbert Street until St John’s Terrace where we turn left and run back to Barclay’s for a stretch before heading to Starbucks.
Friday 1 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.
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