About Running Sisters
Running has now become one of the most popular sports in the country and every week you'll see runners out and about either on their own or in a group. And these days you may notice that many, if not most of them, are female.
It's an ideal keep-fit activity for women since you can do it where and when you want, it's inexpensive and it's excellent aerobic and bone-loading exercise, great for a healthy heart and lungs and for keeping osteoporosis at bay.
Some people enjoy running on their own but many need the incentive and companionship of others to motivate themselves to get out their trainers. And this is what Running Sisters is all about. Our ethos is to provide a safe, friendly, sociable environment for women to run together to keep fit.
If you can run at an easy pace for at least half an hour or more on the road, or longer on a treadmill, then you are welcome to join any of our women-only groups in Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross, High Wycombe, Maidenhead, Princes Risborough, Slough or Windsor at any time of the year.
And, if you've never run before but want to start, then why not come along one of our annual courses for absolute beginners? They take place once a year in the spring and we promise to get you running three miles within six weeks - and that's starting from absolute zero. Yes, really!
For those who run already…
Q: I can run already so how do I join?
A: If you can run about three miles or your own or, if you are already quite fit because you participate in some other active sport regularly, then you are welcome to join us at any time. Most people find that they can run much further with a group than they can alone. But do contact the appropriate group leader in advance and she will be able to advise you and also give you directions to the venue: Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross, High Wycombe, Maidenhead, Princes Risborough, Slough or Windsor.
Q: How far do you run?
A: Our regular runs will usually be a choice of three, four or five miles or a possibly longer run, but each group is different so check with the group leader as to what the options are. These will take between 45 minutes and an hour and a quarter to complete. So we generally finish by 8.30 p.m. at the latest on the evening runs.
Q: Where do you run?
A: That depends on the season. In the winter, we stick to well-lit roads and footpaths within each area. In the summer, we also venture out onto the footpaths and bridleways.
Q: How fast do you run?
A: Not so fast. More experienced runners usually cover a mile in 10 to 12 minutes which is comfortable for most people. Those who have just completed our beginners course certainly run very slowly to start with
Q: How do I join?
A: Come along and run with us and your group leader will give you a membership form.
Q: How much is it?
A: Annual membership is £20.00 starting on September 1st each year. Cheques should be made payable to 'Running Sisters Chilterns Area.'
Just for beginners…
Q: What if I’ve never run before?
A: Then you may like to join one of our six-week or eight-week absolute Beginners’ Courses, which take place once a year in the spring. If you’re one of the many women who say they can’t run for a bus or even 25 yards to the end of their garden, then any of these courses would be perfect for you. And, better still, you would be in good company with a large number of other women who have also never run before!
Q: When will the next Beginners’ Courses be held?
A: Evening courses take place once a year in the spring (starting in March or April) at Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross, High Wycombe, Maidenhead, Princes Risborough, Slough and Windsor. This is to make the most of the lighter nights at this time of the year. As soon as the dates of the next courses are known, they will be posted on this website so keep a regular check if you want to know the start date for your preferred group. Note that no other beginners courses are held during the year.
Q: What does it cost?
A: The Beginners Course costs just £15.00 including all tuition, a training schedule and a Running Sisters T-shirt. Those joining the courses also receive free Running Sisters membership until August 31st. Annual membership thereafter is also £15.00 a year, starting on September 1st. Note that this is a separate fee from the Beginners’ Course. Cheques should be made payable to 'Running Sisters Chilterns Area'.
Q: How do I join?
A: You can simply turn up on the first night to fill in an application form, register and pay your course fee. But, if you want more information in advance, then contact the appropriate group leader via the Find Your Club links on the right.
Q: Disaster! What if I can’t come on the first course night?
A: We’ll accept beginners to start in the second week but not after that. Sorry. However, if you are too late to start a beginners course at one group, you can always do the course at another venue where there is a later start date. Then, once you are up to three miles, you can run with any of the groups in the Chilterns Area.
Q: I’m a bit shy. Can I come on my own?
A: Of course! Running Sisters is a great group to join since it is so friendly. You will find yourself running alongside a wide variety of women and chatting away as you go. It’s very sociable.
Q: Will I be too old?
A: Absolutely not!!! We accept members from 18 upwards and we have a wide range of ages – perhaps the majority of members are between 30 and 50 but there are many older and younger ones. There are also a few who started running at over 60 and our oldest member is 88!
Q: I’m overweight. Can I still run?
A: Yes. In fact, you’ll probably find that you may lose some weight when you start running, or certainly that you’ll feel and look trimmer. Running combined with dieting is an excellent way to lose weight but, if in doubt, or if you are very overweight, you should check with your doctor first.
Q: I suffer from asthma. Can I still run?
A: We have a number of members who have asthma. They simply carry an inhaler to be on the safe side but it doesn’t stop them running. If in doubt, check with your doctor.
Q: What should I wear?
A: A sweatshirt or T-shirt and leggings, or track-suit bottoms, are fine. You’ll also find that you need a sports bra. In the summer many women wear shorts and a cool running vest but it’s up to you. You’ll want to buy some good running shoes eventually but just wear trainers, or similar suitable shoes, until you have decided whether running is for you or not.
Q: What if I can’t keep up with the others?
A: We build up so gradually that you’ll be fine. On the first night we show you the “Sisters Shuffle” in which you jog so slowly that you could walk faster! Then we build up your speed and your stamina over the six weeks to the promised three miles.
Q: How can I possibly achieve three miles in just six weeks?
A: You will – honestly – providing you follow the course. And because we’ll also ask you to do ‘homework’ twice a week to build up your stamina. This will involve repeating more or less what you have done on the course night training session. Note that the Slough and Windsor courses are eight weeks long and the target is four miles.
Q: What happens at the end of the course?
A: You can enter your group’s Beginners Fun Run. It doesn’t matter where you finish, everyone gets a medal and it’s a very enjoyable event. After that, if you feel you’d like to keep up you new-found fitness and to continue running, you can become a fully-fledged member of the Running Sisters.
General Information and Fees
Q: What does it cost to join?
A: Annual membership is £15.00 starting on September 1st each year. The fee is a separate fee for the six or eight week Beginners Course and this is also £15.00.
Q: Do you still run in the rain?
A: Very definitely yes. The only weather that will stop us is snow or ice.
Q: Is it safe?
A: Would you attack a group of thirty women, or even four women? We think not! But, more to the point, if anyone falls over or twists an ankle, there is always a companion available to call for help. The whole ethos of the Running Sisters is to stick together and look after each other so that no one gets left behind, if they are a little slower than the rest. We operate a ‘peeling back’ system so that, if the head of the crocodile gets too far ahead of the tail, the front runners simply peel off and run to the back, and so on, until we are back in a group again.
Q: Will I be expected to take part in races?
A: No. But many women find that they actually enjoy the occasional 5k (3.1 miles) or 10k (6.2 miles) fun run or race and several of our members have done half-marathons and a few have even the run in the London Marathon.
Q: Can I run with other groups?
A: Members and beginners can run with any of the Running Sisters’ groups in the Chilterns Area – and that’s all included in your annual membership fee. Their club nights, venues and leaders’ names and telephone numbers are listed on the contacts page. You can just turn up on the night or ring in advance to check the details. They also organise annual beginners’ courses.