Social run challenges 2020!

As there are few races before Christmas, you may be interested in getting involved in one of our monthly social run challenges for all. If you can’t make the actual day of the challenge you can always do it another day but please let me know and a photo would be great!

Friday 18 Sept @9-9.30am: your challenge is to run 3, 5 or 7 miles on Wimbledon Common
Wednesday 14 Oct @9-9.30am: your challenge is to run 3, 5 or 7 miles in Richmond Park
Wednesday 11 Nov @9-9.30am: Thames Towpath challenge (from Putney) – tbc

It would be great to see as many runners as possible taking part in at least one of these runs. Groups will be divided according to mileage and will comply with current restrictions of a maximum of 12 in a group.

New autumn running courses

New running courses: Monday 7 Sept – Thursday 19 Dec


The new term starts on Monday 7 September and finishes on Thursday 19 Dec. It’s a 14 week term excluding half term and costs £182 for day runners and £168 for evening runners as there is no social run on offer.

Here’s a reminder of the classes on offer:
* Monday @9.30am (improvers 2)
* Monday @10.30am (beginners)
* Tuesday @9.30am (improvers 3)
* Tuesday @10.30am (improvers 1)
* Tuesday @7pm (improvers mixed ability)
* Wednesdays @9.30am (mixed ability social run)
* Thursday @10.30am (improvers 1)

If you would like to renew/join, please complete a health form. You can pay by Bacs to the usual account – please reference your name. For more information please email

Great run solo challenge

It is not too late to join the Great Run Solo virtual June challenge and raise funds for the NHS. There are weekly and monthly challenges to choose – to run 50k, 75k, 100k or 280k cumulative distance challenge across 28 days. For more info please click here.

Rainbow running buffs

Our brand new rainbow running buffs are now available to order. You can use them to cover your mouth and nose in busy places as well as a sweatband or a neck warmer. As well as being useful, the rainbow running buffs symbolise hope and support for the NHS.

A rainbow running buff costs £9 – if you would like to buy one please email

5 small running classes

This week I started 5 small running classes on the Common and it was great to be back. It felt that some normality had finally returned – I have missed everyone! The classes went well, we managed to socially distance successfully and fun and laughter was had by all.

We have the following running groups for now with a maximum of 6 runners including me:

  • Monday @8.30am (the old Monday class @9.30am)
  • Tuesday @8.30am (the old Tuesday class @10.30am)
  • Tuesday @7pm  (the old Tuesday class @7pm)
  • Wednesday @9am (the old Tuesday class @9.30am)
  • Friday @8.30am (the old Monday class @10.30am)

At the moment the 5 classes are fairly full but we do have 1 space available in the Friday class. In addition, ad hoc spaces do become available but usually at short notice. Once lockdown lifts further and more people can run together then I will expand the classes accordingly.


May challenges

To keep us motivated in May, below are a number of challenges that you may want to get involved in:


* May 100k challenge – if you need motivation to exercise on your own then why not get involved in this challenge where you can earn a shiny new medal for the memory box and a portion of your entry fee goes to charity? The Virtual Runner UK’s May challenge looks great – you can run, walk, cycle (or mix & match) 100k distance throughout the month. If you are up for the challenge, please post or email a photo, kilometres covered and location on a weekly basis.

* Virtual 5k race – We are going for the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-World virtual 5K series on MONDAY 25 MAY, THE EUROPE 5K. The race is FREE and you get to link in with runners from around the world.

You run your own race, on a route of your own choosing adhering to social distancing and safety, measure your 5K run and submit your time on Eventrac between 5pm and midnight on Monday 25 May. You must pre-register for the race before 5pm on race day. Please let me know if you are joining this race.

 Enjoy and good luck!

Tips for beginner runners

If you have just started running whilst in lockdown you may want to consider the following tips to make your journey enjoyable –

* Start off slowly with your pace and distance, even if you think that you can do more. Make sure that you are comfortable walking briskly for at least 20 minutes before attempting to run. Then start running for 1 minute at a chatty pace, walking for 1 minute briskly over 20 minutes.

* Buy running shoes that support your feet to keep injuries at bay. Cross-trainers or tennis shoes do not have enough cushioning to handle the impact of running. Old running shoes will need replacing. It’s worth contacting a specialist running shop such as Sporting Feet as they will advise you. See their website for contact hours.

*Set a realistic goal to motivate you. At the moment, just getting out of the house for some fresh air may be enough motivation. But to continue running when lockdown has eased, a target might be to run for 30 minutes continuously, join your family at the local Park Run or your ‘runner’ friends for a social run.

* Make sure that you do some core exercises to support your running as a strong core will help you to run better and avoid injury. Bounce Gym – Wimbledon are running some great virtual classes for glutes & core.

* Try and wear a top and shorts/running tights in Dryfit or Coolmax fabric (no cotton) to keep you cool. It is worth investing in running socks to prevent blisters and a sports bra to avoid chaffing. Both items should fit snugly, be seamless and wick away sweat.

* Adhere to the government guidelines on exercise and social distancing.

And most importantly, enjoy your run! For running advice, challenges to take part in and bespoke virtual classes, please email Caroline at

Virtual S&C classes


Our VIRTUAL S&C CLASSES, delivered by Bounce Gym, are exclusively for Common Runners. The classes take place on Thursdays, 8.30-9.15am and include a virtual chat and coffee after each class. If you are missing any of your Common Runners friends, this might be the perfect opportunity to catch up.

About the classes
Sarah from Bounce Gym has been delivering our S&C classes for over a year and they are excellent. Although we’re not in the Bounce Gym using their equipment, she continues to put us through our paces using our own body weight and household items. The classes focus on upper and lower body exercises and Sarah explains each exercise and offers feedback on technique through the video facility on Zoom. We can all see each other and offer encouragement and motivation! This classes are suitable for all levels.

The cost

A block of 4 classes which are exclusive to Common Runners costs £40 and includes the social after each class plus access to the whole of Bounce Gym’s online timetable for the duration of the classes. As mentioned previously, Bounce Gym are offering 6-7 on-line classes a day including HIIT, circuits, yoga, pilates, boxing, athletic development and glutes & core. For a full timetable please click here.

Booking a block of 4 classes

If you would like to book a block of 4 classes please let me know. Once payment is made you will receive a member ID number plus a Zoom password which can be used to access the 4 classes. To access Bounce Gym’s online timetable you will be given a separate member ID number and password.

Accessing the classes

All you have to do is:
* Download the Zoom app onto your phone, computer or tablet
* Sign up to your free account
* 5 minutes before the Friday class, log into your account with your member ID number plus Zoom password and you will be linked up to Sarah and others and ready to go!

If you have any questions about the classes please let me know.

Keeping fit and healthy during lockdown


Keeping fit and healthy during this crisis is important but it’s often difficult knowing how best to achieve this. Every day we are bombarded with ideas and suggestions. It’s best to try a few different types of exercise and at different times of the day to see what works for you.

Since Common Runners stopped running in March, I’ve been trying a few different ways to keep fit. Below is a round-up of my week that may give you some ideas to keep fit and healthy. Please remember to adapt the sessions to your fitness level and always warm up and stretch after exercise.

MONDAY 30 MARCH: Out early for a one-hour ‘HIIT and run’ workout to improve fitness and speed. I combined a run with short sprints (30sec sprint/30 sec recovery x10) and a mini HIIT circuit (jumping squats, jumping jacks, jumping lunges, high knees for 20 secs/20 sec recovery x2).

TUESDAY 31 MARCH: Out early for a one-hour cycle ride which included some hills (Coombe Lane, Copse Hill, Burghley Road) for a good workout.

WEDNESDAY 1 APRIL: 30 minute run into the Village, around by Wimbledon Tennis, into Southfields before heading home for a 20 minute home work-out from the Running Channel which was excellent and worth subscribing to.

THURSDAY 2 APRIL: Another one-hour cycle ride early in the morning which was refreshing and certainly set me up for the day. This time I headed for Wimbledon Common, through Putney Heath, into Roehampton before heading home.

FRIDAY 3 APRIL: A longer, easy paced 7 mile run this morning where I just thought about nothing in particular but just let my mind wonder. There are definitely some positives to running alone, see Southern Running.

SATURDAY 4 APRIL: Tried Bounce Gym’s virtual HIIT class this morning which was challenging but great. This is the first virtual class that I have tried and I will definitely be coming back for more.

Wishing everyone continued health and happiness over the coming weeks.

Running suspended: virtual services offered

Due to the coronavirus, we have stopped all running classes and social runs for now.

On Sunday (9/5/20), the lockdown is lifting slowing and you can now exercise as much as you want to on a daily basis and with up to ONE PERSON from outside your household so long as you maintain social distancing.

Obviously, our group classes will not be operational yet but there is an opportunity to offer one-to-one outdoor run training now. More information will follow.

In the meantime, Common Runners will continue to offer a number of FREE and PAID FOR virtual services until group classes can be resumed. Here’s a reminder of what’s on offer:

1. VIRTUAL SOCIAL – every Tuesday at 8pm (ID & passwords remain the same)

2. COMMON RUNNERS’ FACEBOOK PAGE – with updates & comments

3. A WEEKLY RUNNING SESSION – that includes fitness challenges/exercises plus a warm up & stretching delivered every Monday AM. This has proved popular with many runners as it gives a focus for the week.

4. A WEEKLY UPDATE – that includes monthly challenges, running news, virtual races etc delivered every Friday AM. Again, this has proved popular as it gives you ideas on what to aim for over the month.

5. ONLINE COACHING –  if you are struggling with motivation during this time, then I can create a bespoke programme for you and keep you on track with weekly and monthly check-ins.

6. S&C VIRTUAL CLASSES – every Thursday at 8.30am. These classes, delivered by Bounce Gym, are for Common Runners only and are excellent.


* The virtual social and Facebook page are FREE to all Common Runners
* For £15 per month you can access a weekly running session and Friday update
* Online coaching costs £40 per month to include an initial 1-2-1 consultation, monthly training plan, weekly check-ins, regular progress checks and motivation and monthly 1-2-1 review
* S&C virtual classes cost £40 for a block of 4 classes PLUS access to Bounce Gym classes (6-7 per day)

Wishing you continued health and happiness.

Caroline x