It’s been a little while since I updated you on my progress with the Beginners Group at The Running Works. As always there have been ups and downs, but we’ve just completed the course  and I’m really seeing progress and looking forward to what is to come.


Week 2

This seems like a long time ago now – well, 5 weeks ago actually.

I do remember everyone leaving me behind on this one though, I’d done a long run the day before – 10miles in fact from Wimbledon to Vauxhall. I was feeling pretty tired but classing this as a shake down run – I should be able to keep it up doing relatively short intervals.

Didn’t start off well as I’d forgotten my Garmin (insert crying emoji here) but fortunately had my Apple Watch 2, so all was not lost “if it’s not on Strava and all that”.


We did 120sec run/90sec walk (roughly) and I always seemed to be left behind on the run stage but caught up on the walk. Fortunately I had David with me to keep me company and keep me moving.
Week 3

Week 3 I missed this session. Due to doing the Brighton Half the day before my legs didn’t feel up to it and I had a day off from work to recover and struggled to get out of bed.

We did have homework to do however – 5min Warm Up  (this is W/U means for anyone who follows me on Strava), run 90sec, walk 90, run 180sec, walk 180sec, repeat until 25mins then 5min cool down.


I did this on a run commute and stretched it out a bit more than 25mins. Overall it was a good run, I think this was the one where a women grabbed my arm and said “Keep Going” and there was a huge rat outside a Park along the Thames – interesting evening!

 

Week 4 & 5

I skipped these weeks unfortunately, post Victoria Park 10k my Hamstring was in tatters – I could barely walk normally nevermind run. I did pop in the shop at lunch, bought some KTape as I had run out and had a chat to Nikki about injuries and how it is best to rest instead of trying to push on and making things worse.


I didn’t get any homework this week as the guys didn’t want to encourage me to get out and run whilst carrying an injury.

Week 5 was just after Silverstone Half (so read Week 3 again).

Week 6

With missing a couple of weeks, I expected to struggle seeing as the run intervals will have been ramped up and the walk breaks shortened even more – I saw a FB post on the group from Helen saying she had just done her homework – 20mins constant running without walk breaks!

Gulp!, I genuinely didn’t think I could do that, The furthest I’ve tried to run in one go was about 13mins from my house to the station – about 0.75mile – 20mins at my pace would put me almost a mile and a half!

This week though wasn’t anywhere near as scary, Warm up, 8min run, 3min walk, 8min run).

I stuck to the back with David (other David this time) and we did a really nice route heading out of St.Katherines Dock along the canal to Shadwell Basin. It was great to run gentle and steady enough to chat with Helen and David on the way around and before I knew it, time was up and we we’re doing our 5min cool down back to the shop.


Homework for this week was to do two runs, first run 2x10min run with 3min walk in between and one 20min run with 5mins warm up and cool down either side.

I decided to do a run commute on the Wednesday morning and had a steady run/walk from London Bridge to St.Katherines Dock then I was going to do the two 10min run (with 3min walk) along the canal to Shadwell Basin then carry on to work in Canary Wharf. I got to the end of the first 10mins and felt so good I decided not to stop for the 3min walk break and carried on and did 20mins non stop run – my longest ever! Runners High anyone? πŸ™‚

I think that was the one run where things started to click, I’d just had this thought in my head that I couldn’t run x miles, so I never tried.

I ran back to London Bridge that evening too (it was only 4miles either way) and did my 5min W/U, 10min run, 3min rest, 10min run and then lesser intervals (dodging tourists over Tower Bridge) until I made it back to London Bridge to get the tube.

It was also my first double-run day, and it worked really well, 8 miles in the bag and it didn’t feel like it at all.

Week 7

I popped down to the store  on my way from a weekend at home with the parents. I got changed in their changing room and stored my bags in the lockers.

We were a little short on numbers this week so Martin went off with a couple and I stuck with David for 26min constant running.


Usually we do 5min quick walk to warm up and then start our run, but seeing at we hit the crossings at Tower Hill we (well David) decided that we should add an extra couple of minutes to the run interval.

We pretty much chatted the whole way again taking the route to St. Katherines Dock then onto the canal and towards Shadwell. We turned back before Shadwell and before I knew it 26mins were done. I was particularly pleased as this also included a big push towards the end up the hill by the side of Tower Hill.

I was planning on either heading back out for another 30mins run or running back to Waterloo seeing as it was a gorgeous day, but I felt like i’d really been worked hard, and my HR data shows that I was too.

 

During the week I did a run commute and on the way in did a warm up from London Bridge to Tower Bridge then did 28min running non-stop. I’ll be honest – it was seriously tough and once i got to Shadwell I really wanted to stop running – I should say that this was fasted as i do most of my morning runs.

From Shadwell I ran 3min/2min all the way into the office and was happy to have a cool shower, sit down and a big gulp of water.

 

Week 8

I’ve just got in from this weeks run – I really need to get out and run today after a shocker at Wimbledon Half yesterday (blog on that coming later).

I arrived at the shop to be told that Nikki (@secret_marathon) had provided cake for once we finished – well there’s my motivation then.


Last week was ok, we/I managed a good 26mins plus more due to stopping at traffic lights and dodging tourists, but this week was 30mins non stop running – again would be another PB!

We walked down towards Tower Bridge then started running from there down the side of the bridge, around St Katherines Dock and then onto the canal out towards Shadwell Basin. Martin & Co left myself and David behind and I concentrated on going steady enough to keep going.

I wasn’t sure how it would go, I did do 7mile yesterday (at HM pace however) but I didnt know how much that would take out of my legs. Add to that one of the warmest days of the year, but that for me is no problem, I’d much rather get out in the sun and warmth rather than the cold and dark.

David constantly said to me to keep it easy and make sure you do the distance, you have it in your legs. I was quite happy for the first 10mins and before i knew it, 15mins were up – half way! I can barely remember the route past the dock to Shadwell and agreed we’d go clockwise to avoid the small path and cobbles and mostly so we could keep running. We got to the far end of the basin and did a 180 and retraced our steps. I knew i could run for 8minutes but I was pretty tired and hot.

As we got back on the canal near the turn David asked me how I was feeling “yeah I’m ok”, “good, you’ve only got 20seconds left”.


And it was done – 30mins of running and two miles all in one go.

It was then for the long walk back to the shop. David commented on how quickly my breathing had recovered in a matter of a minute – good potential for longer run walk intervals.

So where do I go from here?

Well i am certainly going to miss my Monday lunch runs with the group. In terms of my running, i am going to carry on and try adding on 3mins each week (approx 10%) then I should be up to running 5k non stop within a month.

I will also be going back to The Running Works for their other group runs – speed sessions at Mile End track or their Thursday Group runs. You can check out their groups and sessions here http://therunningworks.net/community I cannot recommend enough. They’re great for keeping you motivated and giving you tips on injuries and kit.

I do want to say a huge thank you for the store for having us and for all the coaches that came out with us and kept us running when we wanted to stop & for the injury advice too! 

Looking forward to joining one of their other runs!