When did you start running?
2012. People at work signed up for Bristol Half Marathon so I thought I would. Plus I had spent years looking for a hobby to take up and had watched Anna train and enjoy races and the social aspect of it, so rather than been left with the kids all the time, I thought I’d have a stab.
What was your first race and time, and did you train much?
I’d done a couple of 10ks that I hadn’t trained for (and beat Anna who was a bit peed off to say the least!) and then trained for 3 months loosely, following a made up plan and managed 1:32. After that experience I got hooked on running and haven’t stopped since!
Have you had many injuries or have you been fortunate enough to have plain sailing?
It’s taken me about 4 years to get the balance right and not be injured all the time. It’s only really the last 2 years that I’ve been running without injury. I think that is down largely to conditioning – i.e. your body needs to adapt to running; I slowed my training down and concentrated on consistency rather than trying to get a pb at every training session It also helps having a sports massage therapist for a wife, turning vegan and just building up steady miles.
You’ve had a marathon (2:41:29) pb and a half marathon (1:13:42) pb this year already, and it’s only May and qualified for the England Masters what’s your secret?!
Being able to train 6 days a week in terms of work/life balance and not being injured. I’ve always had the motivation, just not been physically able to do it.
What kind of running sessions do you do?
Training varies according to what I’m training for. For marathon training, I try and run 6 days a week, I generally do 2 long runs a week, a tempo run, a speedwork or efforts and the rest are recovery runs, depending on what week I’m on.
Do you do any strength and conditioning, stretching etc?
I do strength and conditioning and core work (at home), following a plan although I”ve started at the gym with a personal trainer to increase muscle power. I don’t do any stretching as I don’t have the time and, for me, it doesn’t make too much difference. I did yoga for a fair while following a long term injury and use it if I feel like I need to stretch out. I’m completely inflexible, but some research I’ve read suggests that it’s not ideal for runners to be too flexible.
Do you think your vegan diet has played a part?
It’s difficult to say categorically really, but I feel that it’s one of the factors as I am recovering quicker and have enough energy to train consistently. Just having a cleaner diet really, no animal fats and you kind of have to eat more healthily and more natural food as there isn’t another option. I’ve been vegan long enough not to miss anything that I ate before, not a sausage ;)…. it’s only tricky when you’re out and about and there isn’t the instant hit of food, but you just learn to prepare more and then you don’t notice.
How does sports massage therapy help?
Running takes it’s toll on my body so sports massage helps repair and prep me for the next lot of training. Primarily it keeps on top of niggles so that they don’t develop into injuries whether that’s being pummelled or being given rehab advice.
What’s next in terms of goals?
Sub 2:40 marathon would be nice and improving my 10k pb which doesn’t reflect my times for other distances. Beating my half marathon pb would be amazing but difficult as I never dreamt of clocking a time like that in the first place.
For more information about how sports massage therapy can help you stay injury free and able to train, please get in touch.