Find out more about September’s member of the month…
Recently I have been doing lots of racing and been getting a few PBs on the back of a chunk of training, focusing on back-to-back Great North Run and the Jarrow 10k races. I’ve run a few GNRs over the years, joining the club after a decent effort in 2021. However, 2022’s effort was a bit of a disaster, so I was determined to put that right this year. I’d like to say I did the Jarrow 10k because the medal has Vikings on it, but in fact, it was because the club put together training groups for it. The dual focus worked out really well – I felt I had to get the mileage for the half marathon training and the tempo runs for the 10k training…on top of a slightly OCD need to attend most club sessions. So I had a really consistent 12-16 week block. Big thanks to everyone involved in the 10k group, and particularly our group leader, Russell Dickinson-Deane.
Things didn’t go quite to plan with the race days…the scorching heat for the 2023 GNR, and over a week out with a cold just before the Jarrow 10k…yet still decent PBs :).
Then there was the Palma trip…
What is your ideal pre-race snack/breakfast?
Still figuring this one out! Brampton to Carlisle involved a Gregg’s stottie and peanut butter. (and another PB and group photo)
What is your ideal post-race snack/meal?
This is a Great North Run specific one, but a cheese and ham toastie, cappuccino, and a chocolate sundae from Minchellas on the Shield’s seafront. For info, that was just enough food, to get me stuck when everything flooded this year. The amusements were fun for the first couple of hours.
Are you a hot or cold weather runner?
I quite enjoy Spring – so after the cold weather runner…
Flat course or hills?
I’ve found while dabbling with cross country that I can really go for it on the downhills these days. So, I tend to move up the field a little when there’s a decent downhill section…which is fun…sadly, I also slow down dramatically on the uphills.
Long or short distance?
Longer distances…but interested in trying to improve my shorter distances. Despite improving over the longer distances, I still feel slow compared to when I used to play 5 aside a lot.
How many times a week do you tend to exercise, are there other things you do that help your running?
I think I train around 6 nights a week at the moment…3-4 running and 2 climbing. A 5/1 split earlier in the year. The climbing doesn’t really feel like exercise and is great for strength and conditioning.
What is your favourite song to listen to while running?
Spotify has ruined my ability to tell anyone what I listen to when I’m running…it’s all over the place. However, I do like to listen to a particular Placebo cover of Kate Bush’s Running up that Hill…when running up the hill to the club sessions…
What is the main piece of kit you couldn’t do without?
I’m quite fond of my Sealskinz waterproof hat. Either when it’s raining, or when I need a haircut…
What has been the most surprising thing you have found since you started running?
That Mo Farah’s training pace is faster than I usually ride my bike!
Who is your biggest running inspiration?
Cheesy, but my fellow TBH’rs. We’ve such a cross-section of people who can do amazing stuff.
What is your proudest running achievement?
Standing on the podium 1896 Olympics.
What is your favourite running event and why?
I have to say the Great North Run…the world’s biggest half marathon and right on our doorstep. It is a little annoying running that extra mile around people, but I think it’s the crazy numbers, random fancy dress, and tons of support that make it such a fun celebration of running. Palma Majorca running festival was a close second this year.
What is your main training goal at the moment?
Keep it together over the over-indulgent festive period…
What are your favourite things about being a member of TBH?
Friendly faces, camaraderie, and race day stories.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting running?