We recently caught up with our amazing Amy, who’s been training hard over the past few weeks in preparation for her London Marathon this October! So far Amy has raised an excellent 31% of her £1000 target!
Here’s what she has to say about her journey so far.
What made you decide to enter the London Marathon?
I have been running for ten years now; starting because I was struggling with my weight and my mental health. I never thought I would be able to run a half marathon, let alone a full one! London Marathon is ultimate marathon for most, it’s known all over the world. To be able to say I am one of the lucky few who has completed London is an absolute dream!
Why did you choose to run for Step One?
I started working for Step One after leaving my teaching career. I have always been aware of my mental health so I made the decision to move on to look after my wellbeing. Step One helps people like me who have struggled with their mental health and every individual who works for Step One genuinely cares about the people they support. I am proud of the work it does and particularly the BeWell@StepOne project which allows us to support even more people in the community and support our wonderful NHS by trying to alleviate the waiting lists for mental health services. It’s amazing to see the community spirit and improvements people make with the support of such wonderful individuals.
Have you always had a passion for running and fitness in general?
In one word, no! As a child I attended Karate classes with my dad and sister, as a way to look after myself… But I was more interested in meeting friends and going out rather than continuing. My sister and dad went onto to gain their black belts, whilst I avoided any type of fitness! Until 10 years ago when I had a breakdown I had no interest in looking after myself, but I found running as a way to support my own wellbeing and I haven’t looked back. Running is incredibly important to me.
With 6 weeks to go, how have you found the training so far?
It’s been very challenging this time around; COVID has made it really difficult to get out and run regularly, and training throughout the summer (or what little we’ve had of it) has been challenging. For previous races I have trained with others so going solo has been different and I’ve had to be disciplined – sometimes all you want to do after a long week’s work is slob on the sofa! Combined with the ping-demic, which stole 10 days of training from me, I know this is going to be a challenging race but I’m committed to finishing… I just don’t think I’ll beat Mo (Farrah) anytime soon!
What keeps you motivated when running long runs?
Previously having others to run with has been all the motivation I’ve needed, but going solo this year has made long runs really challenging. I usually have a good podcast or some cheesy 90’s tunes going to keep me moving. Failing that, my husband and friends have cycled with me, or provided me with water stops whilst they sit in the sun with a cold beer!
Do you have a time you’re aiming for? What’s your goal?
I completed Bournemouth Marathon a few years ago in 4 hours 20 minutes. I would love to beat that but I will be thrilled with under 5 hours. The training has been very difficult this year so my aim is to finish and finish strong.
What’s your favourite way to recover after a long training session?
My friends at my running club would laugh at this question, as most know my favourite type of recovery is a cold glass of wine at the pub… I am the worst person to ask about recovery as I often forget to stretch and am more interested in the post-run snack! However, for the long runs I have made more of an effort to take in some fluid and food and do some yoga on rest days to stretch out those sore legs.
What is your number one tip for somebody who is thinking about running the marathon next year?
I think that many forget that running a marathon doesn’t just involve lacing up on the day and going for a little run. You need to have time and commitment to train. Your weekends are overtaken by training runs for at least 16 weeks before, and its important to consider your diet to make sure you’re getting enough protein and carbs to maintain a long run.
What would you say to those who are thinking about running the marathon next year?
Do it! If it’s not London then there are plenty out there to enter. Just think about the time commitment and if you can find a running buddy it makes it far more fun!