It’s been sometime since I have blogged, most have my efforts have gone in to training for a marathon that I have run last week. Whilst I was running a marathon, Andrew Evans my blog competition winner was running the 2nd Cheltenham half marathon.
Here are his thoughts and feeling about the run and his training.
So, how did you get on at the Cheltenham half-marathon?
I finished the race in just under 1 hour 47 mins.
Were you pleased with your time?
Yes and no. Yes, because the first 10 miles went well and I felt good. No, because I am aiming to go below 1 hour 45 mins for a half-marathon. Back in June, I did a much harder course, the Bourton Hilly Half, in 1 hour 44 mins. So, I could have run faster last Sunday.
What happened in the last 3 miles?
I was tired, I slowed down a lot in mile 11 and, mentally, once I knew I wasn’t going to run it in less than 1:45, I switched off a bit.
What’s the course like at Cheltenham?
Mostly flat, a good level of support, a tricky section around the racecourse – it’s a really good event, well-organised and a very large field of runners.
Do you train on your own or with a club?
I train with Bourton Road Runners once a week, sometimes twice. I also run on my own, but not as often as I should. To develop my half-marathon endurance, I need to do longer runs on the weekends. Life is busy – it’s hard to find the time – but I’m always pleased when I have made the effort.
What did you enjoy most about the Cheltenham half?
Running around Dean Close School. A few teachers were taking part, so they had noisy support – there was a group of teenage girls who looked like they had just got up, who were cheering on the staff enthusiastically on a Sunday morning. The last few hundred metres were also enjoyable – excellent support from the crowds.
Which part of the race did you enjoy the least?
Cheltenham Racecourse, especially the short hill at the end of the racecourse section.
Was it your first half marathon?
No, my 24th… so, you’d think I’d be able to get the preparations right by now! It’s my fourth half marathon of 2014. My fastest time this year was at the inaugural Surrey half, back in March.
Have you ever completed a full marathon?
I have completed three – London twice and Paris once – but, for the time being, a half is a big enough challenge for me.
Do you have any training tips for people thinking of doing a half marathon?
Mix up the running – some speed work, some tempo runs & a long, slower run once a week. Do the full distance on one or two of your training runs – I didn’t go beyond 11 miles and I think that’s one of the reasons why I slowed down towards the end. And join a running club – such as Bourton Road Runners. You’d be very welcome.
A huge well done to Andrew and all the other runners who took part in the event. I look forward to hopefully seeing you all myself next year.