Trainer at Goodgym Redbridge. Fingers in all sorts of pies, but Founder of AdventRunning, Head of UK as Sport Heroes & ambassador for Strava
On a blustery winter night, seven of Goodgym Redbridge's finest runners cleaned up after storm Dennis and Ciara and ran 6km in the process.
It's fair to say the last few weeks have been pretty tough on runners. The winds have blown. It feels like every run has been in the rain and the short days have made things even tougher. It's also been hard on buildings and woodland, with Wanstead House Community Centre - our weekly meeting point - losing some roof tiles and the surrounding trees shedding more than just leaves.
At the request of Anna, the assistant manager at Wanstead House, the team set about tidying up the storm damage. With Sophie joining the group for the first time this year (welcome back Sophie) and the usual brilliant team ready to go, tools were grabbed and the work began.
Over the past four years, GG Redbridge has worked hard to make the Community Centre a nice play for locals to go. We've painted fences and metal gates, cleaned out gutters, cut back ivy and overgrown bushes and helped the place look better than ever.
45 minutes after the task was started, the place looked immaculate. Leaves and pine needles had been swept, wind blown litter had been collected and branches had been removed from flowerbeds. It didnt take long but it made a huge difference.
With the task done, all that left was a nice 6km run along our favourite winter run route - up the high street and round Eagle Pond. Nice work guys and girls.
On a chilly winter night seven of Goodgym's hardiest runners met to wash windows and did an interval workout aimed at making them better runners!
It's tough at this time of the year and as the temperature drops it gets tough to get out and run. But this didnt stop a group of regular GGers meeting at Wanstead House to do good in the borough. February is also a time for plans and announcements and after discussions around the GG Shindig, GG Games and the Big Six GG Races for 2020 it was definitely time to get out into the night to do good in the neighbourhood.
The night's task was a quick run down to Oxfam to add some shine to the shop front. Keeping the windows sparkling clean is a never ending task for high street charity shops and can become a significant expense during the course of a year. As such, we aim to get out on to our high street every six to eight weeks and do what we do best - get hot and sweaty and do if for them. The shop isnt big which left plenty of time for a warm up run and interval session!
With 3.5km ran around the streets as a warm up, the squad were soon ready for the night's session. Alternating between easy and hard the team were challenged to run for 16 minutes, changing pace between each of the two effort levels every 60 seconds. This is a great way to add some speed to a run and it's amazing how fast time flies when you do a fartlek session like this.
All this left was a nice easy stretch session in the warm of our room at the back of Wanstead House. Great work Team Redbridge, see you next week!
Welcome to GoodGym Redbridge! We're a friendly and social group who combine exercise with helping out in the local community. We meet every week to get active and do a physical task to help the charities and community organisations and projects in our area.
I'm busy confirming what exactly we'll be doing this week, it'll definitely be something amazing in our community. Check back soon for more details.
GoodGym is for everyone. We welcome runners of all abilities and it is often possible to walk to the task if you would prefer. We always have a back-marker so no-one is left behind - we're about achieving something together so you'll always be welcome no matter what your pace is.
On a rather cold and blustery night, five of Goodgym’s most robust runners met to scout out tree pits and ran 5km in the process.
In the aftermath of Storm Ciara, the group met as usual at Wanstead House Community Association for a night of getting fit and doing good deeds in the borough. However, the storm had caused damage to the roofing tiles and in the interests of safety we were moved to a new locale - the bar area of the House itself.
With briefings done and bags (and umbrellas - John) safely stowed, the group were soon off up the road to work on the night’s task. Redbridge Council has a community gardening initiative whereby residents are encouraged to adopt tree pits for planting wild flower seeds around the base of the tree. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring together neighbours and help street blooms.
Goodgym Redbridge is adopting tree pits but before we do, we need to scout out good locations and agree them with the Neighbourhood Engagement and Education Officer. With that in mind the team were soon scouring the streets for sites where we can take over pits and make a significant difference to the community - harder than you think in pretty Wanstead.
With 5km on the clock and a twisty, meandering route covered by the brave crew, one potential location was identified as needing some Goodgym TLC - Studley Drive. Before we commit to this one however we are going to crowd source more potential spots and then prep can begin.
Back at the House there was time for a quick stretch to prevent aches and pains. Great work team.
With the storm wreaking havoc on Wanstead House there should be some good repair jobs next week so make sure to sign up using the link on the top right of this page.
On a damp January evening, TEN of Goodgym's bestest runners met for plog-wars and ran between 3km and 5km in the process. Nice work squad.
It was a night of celebration and commiserations. In the celebration camp, there was a huge cheer for James for smashing parkrun on Saturday and joining the sub-30 crew. It was a massive high-5 for Linda who in less than a year has done 50 tasks and earned the coveted black Goodgym tee and a well done to Dharmesh for enduring 13 laps of the London Velopark to run his first half marathon this year - and he even did it with a niggling injury. Sadly, we also had to say goodbye (for now) to who is traveling around South America for four months - though she promises to take photos in amazing places with her GG tee on. If that wasnt enough we also got to welcome GG champ Latoya who made the journey over from North London to run with us for the first time!
Back to the night in hand, it was battle of the bins. Or maybe battle of the stuff that didn't make the bins to be more precise. Armed with litter pickers and gloves the group split into two teams - a run/walk group and a running group. The mission was to head out into the streets of Wanstead to see who could collect most rubbish - the run/walk group would have more time to look for rubbish but the run group would cover more ground. Who would collect the most rubbish? The challenge was on!
With the 'Queen of GG Redbridge' - aka Linda - leading one group and Run Leader Peter leading the other, the two teams were soon off up the road collecting all the rubbish that misses the bins and ends up in hedgerows, bushes and parks. The challenge was to collect as much litter as possible and return to George Green by 8:15.
Peter's team headed one way and Linda's team another and within an hour an incredible amount of rubbish had been collected. It's amazing what the groups found - too many crisp packets, supermarket receipts and plastic bottles was the general conclusion - and an eye opener as to the general waste that gets discarded on a daily basis.
Back at George Green the two groups compared their windfalls and declared it a draw - the only real winners were the people who live in Wanstead who now have a cleaner, nicer place to live. Great work squad!
In other news, we're just 3 tasks away from matching last year's January Challenge. There's still time left to crush some tasks so make sure you check out the events page and get some runs done before Friday!
On a crisp winter's night, nine of Goodgym's hardiest runners met in Wanstead to clean TWO sets of Charity Shop windows and then did a tough fartlek session for good measure.
As usual, the squad met at Wanstead House Community Centre and it was great to welcome back the 'Barking Brothers' - James and Peter. This dynamic duo will shortly be launching Goodgym Barking and it was great to catch up to hear about how pre-launch plans are going. With the briefing done and people keen to do good in the area, the group was soon off up the high street to the sites for the nights' task.
Keeping the windows sparkling clean is a never ending task for high street charity shops and can become a significant expense during the course of a year. As such, we aim to get out on to our high street every six to eight weeks and do what we do best - get hot and sweaty and do if for them. This week, we took on the challenge of cleaning two sets of windows - Barnados and St Francis Hospice - a first for GG Redbridge.
With the team split in two, windows were washed, squeegied and polished in double quick time, leaving plenty of time for a super fun (if quite tough) fartlek session down at Redbride Roundabout. In this fun but challenging workout, each runner starts at one end of an out and back and runs towards each other. When they meet they high-five each other and alternate pace between easy and hard running. It’s a great session for working on pacing and developing sustainable speed - necessary skills to smash out a new 5k or 10k PB.
With everyone working hard for 20 minutes, there was just enough time to run back and get in some some static stretching to prevent those post workout DOMS. Great work team. You’re all legends!
We’re on a roll at Goodgym Redbridge right now, so why not come down and check out the good vibes and do good in the Borough. You can sign up to next week’s run on the right of the report.
On a stunning Saturday morning, five Goodgymers met to break up wood, carry heavy items and ran 5km as a reward.
Every January, in an effort to do more tasks and run more miles than ever, we organise Saturday Starter sessions to encourage more people to go out and be fit. This year we arranged to meet up with our favourite task owner, Marian, of Wanstead Community Gardeners to help with some heavy lifting over at Christ Church in Wanstead.
With few runners fresh from Wanstead Flats and Valentines park run, little warm up was required and the group were soon briefed and working hard to break down rotting wood to be used for a leaf mulch bed nearby. As in often the case with Wanstead Community Gardeners there are plenty of random jobs to do and while half the group sorted through the wood, others carried stuff to The Corner House - including some very heavy concrete posts - god only knows what plans Marian has for them.
30 minutes after starting the task was done and a few of the squad rewarded themselves with a lovely, if somewhat muddy, run in Wanstead Park. Nice work team.
We're back at it this Monday with more good deeds and fun workouts in the local area. You can sign up to our next run by clicking on the link on the top right of this report!
Ever wanted to do a Goodgym session but couldn't make an evening run? Well here's a chance to join us for a Saturday Starter session where we help out Wanstead Community Gardeners.
The task for this one is to move a giant wood panel and help create a leaf pile. Sounds good right?
On the first Goodgym Redbridge run of a new decade, 10 runners turned up to hunt Christmas trees and ran 5 miles in the process. You gotta love January!
The first run of January is always one of our favourites. Not only do we get to catch up on all the things that have happened over the festive period but we get to do one of our bestest tasks - Christmas tree hunting.
Each January, trees are kicked to the curb, their limbs bare of needles, unloved and unwanted. Unfortunately, they also block pavements and generally make the place a bit untidy. Redbridge Council do, in fact, have a collection service but trees must be left near bins and despite this some still get dumped on roadside.
Armed with gardening gloves, maps of the local area and plenty of Goodgym spirit, pairs and trios headed off into the night to hunt down those pesky Xmas trees and drag them to the recycling centre some 3km away. No one quite knows how many or how big the trees will be but the aim was to transport at least six trees to the centre.
45 minutes later, the team had found seven trees in the local area with Cedric and Kathryn winning the award for two trees and John and Julia collecting a monster of a specimen - it was no mean feat to get that tree all the way there.
All that was left was a run back to base for some easy stretching and some delicious blueberry cake, expertly baked by Sharon! Thank you!
Goodgym is on a drive to do 8,000 tasks and run 100,000km in January. If you fancy helping us crush this goal you can sign up to next week’s run here!
James is extraordinary; they've received 1000 cheers. That's some serious noise and some serious support. James is an apostle.