Q & A

After a pretty hectic 5 weeks of racing, which included; Berlin Marathon, Abersoch Half Marathon, National Road Relays, Chester Marathon and Manchester Half Marathon, I now have a few weeks to recharge my batteries and refocus before Snowdonia Marathon. This is to be a time of quietness and contemplation. Not great blog material though is it.

BUT…I did a Q&A on twitter recently and really enjoyed it, so here are some of the questions and my wonderfully insightful, whilst succinct, answers. Hope you enjoy!

c10bc9de9dWhat is your next long term goal? What is your favourite distance? Have you ever considered Ultras (UTMB?)? What’s the best way to pace a HM?

c86d3d649dLong term goal is , July, would love to beat my 10km pb of 30.14. Then get back to Berlin Mara. Favourite distance either 800m or Marathon, the 2 toughest events! Would love to do Comrades one day, my uncle has done x10!

c10bc9de9dRussell, is 5hrs+ to sub-3hrs marathon possible within a two-year period of training? I’ve reconsidered a Boston Qualifier attempt after a more successful run in Berlin than I expected last month.

c86d3d649dYeah it’s possible, that is a short time frame though. Lot more risk of injury and burn out. But if it has to be 2 yrs then much bigger sacrifices needed, and risk of not enjoying the journey! Cheers Will

c10bc9de9dWill dropping weight either a stone or half stone make a massive improvement on speed and times? Or should I focus on speed work alone?

c86d3d649dI coach a few guys who maybe carry abit of weight. Honest to God, if you focus on the training, the weight WILL take care of itself. And when it comes off it will stay off! Eat well on weekdays, drink water, sleep 8hrs, and run. It will happen mate

Thanks mate. I think I could manage eating well over 5 days and cutting my alcohol down so my recovery is better. I didnt know you did coaching?

Yeah I absolutely love coaching. Looking forward to retiring so I can focus on it more! I am part of a great group at the moment that meet every Tuesday in Bangor 6.15pm, you more than welcome man!

c10bc9de9dWhat do you do to recover from a hard session or race? If my marathon pace is 7.25 what pace shud my easy runs be?

c86d3d649dOn my blog you can see all my training. I will run at 9-10 min miling and my race pace is 5.20. I have seen run the same pace. If it is a recovery run, I love going slow. For you around 9-13min miling, but don’t even look at your watch!

c10bc9de9dI’m sure this is well documented
somewhere but why north wales russ
your example is remarkable
in so many ways
the trials and tribulations
last weekend on it’s own
exemplifies your formidable story
given you are on that
crest of ‘near the top
of the mountain’ what will be the measure
of your summit?

c86d3d649dhaha check out , Nina and I used to come here for a months holiday every Nov, & just fell in love with the place. Neither of us like the big city life. It was either here or Kenya, and here is nearer. We love mountains and being outdoors.

c10bc9de9dPerfect sand:cement ratio for re-pointing a chimney stack?

c86d3d649dhaha brilliant! Go 3 building sand and 1 cement. Maybe abit of lime in there to get the colour right!

A perfect analogy for marathon training there. The sand is your aerobic base, cement is the sessions and the lime is core and loading.

c10bc9de9ddo you find training for a marathon, juggling family life and work tricky, ? I’m a masters runner myself, and running lots of miles and juggling life can take some skill…

c86d3d649dYeah it is definitely tricky, and I’m not an organised guy. Have to write my training week up in big letters on a white board so the whole family knows what I’m up to. Getting up early to run so can see kids for breakfast, taking them to races, that stuff all helps!

c10bc9de9dWho is the most foul mouthed team mate you have ever run with?

c86d3d649dYou know the answer. When he first joined us I was better than him so I used to tell him to shut the f*ck up, but now he’s the man, so I have to bear it!

c10bc9de9dSo, what’s your favourite hill / mountain to run up?

c86d3d649dGot to be the Moelwyns, can run up them right from my door. There is an epic race every year, Ras Y Moelwyn. We def gonna do a fell running camp one day from my place! And I will take you up there, best views in Snowdonia!

c10bc9de9dwhat is your favourite shoe for mileage, sessions and for racing?

c86d3d649dLove the cloudflow for longruns or easy runs, cloud x for tempo stuff and parkruns, and the cloudflash for racing and track sessions!

c10bc9de9dYour job is physical very demanding . What impact does it have on your running?

c86d3d649dIt makes me better! After Berlin I was up and down a scaffolding all week. Gets the blood flowing, keeps my hips flexible, stops me ceasing up. I am quite robust, rarely injured. Plus I need routine in my life and something to focus on other than running

c10bc9de9dAlright russell. My daughter is 1 tomorrow and i have Abingdon marathon next week targeting a sub 2:40 off a recent sub 75 half. First of all doable? Secondly how do you manage the family balance. Does your wife accept it more now you win prize money in races which helps i guess?

c86d3d649dMara is so different to the half, the maths definitely add up, so if u been nailing the long runs, u got a great shot! I was a runner before I met my wife (age 16), she has always been part of the journey. Keep the family involved. Go running together, buggies, take them to races

Also im a tradesmen, working in ldn and living in london. Working 45 hours a week! Do i accept i will be a 2:40 runner or can i push to sub 2:30. Aged 30

often work 40hrs, there are so many benefits. Physical and mental strength from grafting every day. Cuts and bruises and knocks make u tougher. You can totally run a 2.30 if you want it! 30 is a baby. I’m gettin wupped by 42yr olds


c10bc9de9dwhat’s your fave type of run? What is the one you believe benefits you the most for the marathon (assuming they may be different)?

c86d3d649dMy favourite run is pretty much any fell race. Absolutely love them. Best session for marathon is Sunday Long Run. Learning to stay relaxed at sub 6 min miling and just holding and holding! There is no substitute. Cheers John!

c10bc9de9dIf you didn’t run. What other sport would you do

c86d3d649dLove the NFL. Played abit as a running back as a kid. Walter Payton, who I’m sure you’ve never heard of, is my hero! Those guys are the fastest athletes in the world. Love running more than anything tho! Well done Kev, shame bout parkrun tomo hey!

c10bc9de9dYour training logs are fascinating, what motivates you for those long days? Like practically when your alarm goes off or when the treadmill is looking at you – what is it that makes you think, ok yeah, let’s go.

c86d3d649dSuch a hard one, because it can vary so much. I am a lazy guy, no will-power. It is routine that really keeps me doing it. Routine conquers will-power. I started by getting up, having a coffee, then running a mile. That’s not hard. Then in a week or a month, it’s 2 miles etc

Do you take any multi vitamins or supplements and anything special for pre-workout or recovery on those hard days?

When I was a track runner I took so many supplements. Vit C, Glucosomine Sulphate, Iron etc, but I was always injured. I saw the Kenyans were just eating right, fruit and vegetables. And they didn’t need the other stuff. Now I don’t take anything! How bout you?

So do you pay a lot of attention to your diet? I take but am going to try add in an omega and some calcium/iron too. I’ve no problems but thinking ahead and women seem to be prone to osteoporosis later in life, etc.

I have been on Paleo/ Slow Carb diet for 10years. Very little grains or sugars, unless before big training session or race. Love salads, spinach and brocolli all the time! Fish or meat every day. Which I believe are important for runners. Don’t think supplements can hurt tho

c10bc9de9dAny tips on avoiding cramps during a Mara?

c86d3d649dtough one. Heard the Maurten drinks are good. I practise doing long runs in fasted state. No breakfast, no water. Just run. Your body can adapt if you give it time. Hope it helps!

Non-Running Related Highlight Of The Week

Saturday afternoon go for a walk along abandoned tram line up in the quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Beautiful, eerie, spooky. Loving it till Nina’s phone (and our one method of route finding) runs out of batteries and El starts to feel the cold. I pick Jim up, Nina has El, and I make us run down the hill until I can see the safety of town lights below. 

WhatsApp Image 2018-10-21 at 08.22.54(1)WhatsApp Image 2018-10-21 at 08.22.54

Best Thing On The Internet This Week:

Former winners return to Snowdonia for 2018 marathon showpiece.

Read here

Thing I’m Digging This Week:

I won this book over at Running Dads blog, and have been really enjoying it. Abit heavy going in places, but stacked with really useful info

15/10/2018 AM PM
pretty damn tired after Manchester Half + NFL game + 6hr drive back to Wales
Tuesday REST 4 x (1km, 600m, 400m) 2min, 5min rest. 5.20miling. 1×200 – 32, 1×100 – 13. 8 miles total
heel sore, go easy on it
Wednesday 3 @ 10min miling. 2 @ 6min miling. 5 miles total REST
heel sore but warms up after easy run
Thursday REST REST
heel feeling much better. Still tired from weekend, rest day to catch up on zzz
Friday REST 5
Saturday 12 easy REST
volunteer at Coed Y Brenin Academi. Long walk with family
Sunday REST 6tm
relaxing home day, nap, read, so nice
TOTAL: 36 miles tm = treadmill


5 thoughts on “Q & A

  1. Hi Russ

    Great blog, just wondering if you can help, I’m coaching a guy who’s doing the Frankfurt marathon on Sunday andd hoping for a sub 2:40, he’s trained really hard and in good shape, only issue he’s picking up a niggle and it’s knocked his confidence, any ideas how I can get his mental side back positive.

    Cheers Graham

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Positive self talk is so important! Just telling yourself every day every hour that ‘it is getting better’, ‘i can do this’ over over again. Even if he feels silly doing it, it will work anyway. Also, somewhat contradictory, it helps to read the Stoics. I read Marcus Aurelius ‘meditations’, life is so short and we are so insignificant, there is no point worrying about anything really! Hope this helps!


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