Running experience: County standard athletics in my school days. Running coach at my local running club. Have raced in Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Italy, Lanzarote and Ireland. Paced Sub-60 at Women’s Running 10K in Southampton – most importantly!
Favourite race: Jamaica Half Marathon
Most inspiring race: Triathlon Pink Bath
Running. It’s in my blood; my dad was a nifty marathon runner and he represented the Navy at 5K and 10K and even set an obscure world record in his youth, in a team of Navy runners, for running round Malta. So I grew up with running and it has remained one of the few constants in my life.
Having the opportunity to race all over the world, I’ve reached an age where helping others achieve their running dreams and goals seems more important than running for myself. I love coaching women every Monday morning – from beginners to athletes who are representing Great Britain at the age-group World Triathlon Championships. Each one is striving to set personal goals – regardless of children, work or partners – and helping them along this road is as rewarding as achieving a PB (though those are getting harder as I get older!). So pacing at the Women’s Running 10K in Southampton, and helping other women slip under that elusive hour mark, was great fun.
Not finishing is never an option
My dad used to train the field gun crew at his submarine base, and by the time I was a teenager I would go along and run with them. Not finishing was never an option, and there was a barrage of abuse on those scary but intriguing runs (mostly half-hearted and well meant, just to keep you on your toes). I often slip into this role and get some healthy banter going to keep the competitive spirit alive! We will be the best group of runners and not getting under the 60 minute mark will not be an option!
Top tips for your 10K
I think the most important point to remember is not to blast out in that first mile, getting caught up in other people’s race strategies or allowing adrenalin to lead you astray. This is harder than it sounds, and many a time I’ve gone off too fast, even though I know I shouldn’t. Know your mile splits and have the confidence to stick to them from the gun, however experienced you are.
When it starts to hurt, revert to your mantras, banishing the thoughts that tell you to slow down with ‘running faster, getting stronger’ over and over. Another great method to distract your mind is to count up to 100 paces, then start again, and repeat. Look for the next milestone and guess how many paces it may take. It won’t take away the pain, but it will help each quarter of a mile slip away just a little bit easier.
Whatever your goals, whether it is racing, socialising or fitness, keep your eyes up and enjoy the experience… you are running it, no one else, and this is a great achievement! Good luck!
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