East Anglia Children's Hospices
Take us back to when you first made the decision, why now? Harper passed away in March 2019 and it was down to the support and care that EACH (East Anglia’s Children's Hospices) showed that made me want to do a charity event to raise awareness and raise money for them. Having been running lightly at this time it was a great opportunity to do this and push myself to train for my first marathon. I spoke with EACH and got a charity place for the Cambridge Half Marathon in March last year and combined this with the Liverpool Marathon which should’ve been in May last year. I was at uni in Liverpool when Harper passed so it was always going to be the Liverpool Marathon that I wanted to do. I started training properly at the beginning of 2020 and did the Cambridge Half in March. Then COVID hit, the Liverpool Marathon got postponed 3 times, there was a time I thought I wouldn’t be able to run it at all. It’s felt like a long time coming but also like it’s come round quick, I think the build up has made me look forward to it even more. I’m really looking forward to getting back up to Liverpool for it.
What is your motivation for the up and coming marathon? Firstly and most importantly it’s the opportunity to raise money and awareness for EACH. That’s kept me motivated and made sure I’ve stayed consistent with my training. They provided fantastic support for Harper, Sophie and Jake and I’m happy to be raising money for them and awareness of what they do. Secondly, the challenge is something I thrive off. I’ve always been into fitness and pushing myself, but the physical and mental challenge of running 26.2 miles is huge and not something I am used to. But I’ve really enjoyed building myself up for it over 4 months of training and having something to train for.
Can you give us more information on how to donate and more information on the charity you are running for? EACH provided outstanding support to Sophie and Jake throughout Harper’s life and continued with exceptional after-life and bereavement support. EACH have become a close charity to our family because of this. It’s a local charity that rely on public donations to continue to offer amazing support and bereavement care for families, and the opportunities they provide for children with life threatening illnesses. The quickest and easiest way to donate is on my JustGiving page. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has donated so far it’s really appreciated.
Any advice for children who think they might want to take up running? Over recent weeks I’ve had a few conversations with children in Schools who have taken up running and it’s great to see. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about it to give it a go. Always feel better after a run, sets you up positively for the day. Run with your family, with your friends, join a local running club, enjoy the social side of it. So many physical and mental benefits of running in the outdoors too!
Can you give us all an insight into your training methods? The marathon was originally meant to be in May last year, but COVID hit and its been postponed 3 times, but I’ve kept my running going since then. I haven’t followed an online plan but It’s been about 16 weeks of training doing steady runs, paced and interval runs, and long runs, building up my total mileage week by week. I have tried to stick to a routine of 4-5 runs a week, with my long run being at the weekend. At the start of each week I plan out my runs and mileage for the week ahead. I’ve also included some basic resistance training a couple of times a week. I’m now tapering down as I get ready for the marathon so I’m reducing the intensity and distance. I’m hoping the miles and time I’ve put into it will pay off and I want to make sure I enjoy running my first marathon. I’m quite big on my nutrition as well so I try to stay on top of what I am having around my training.
What is going to be your tea the night before and breakfast the morning of the run!? As I have just said I’m quite big on my nutrition so I’ve been practicing my nutrition routines for my long runs in training. I’ll start to increase my carbs and drink lots of water on Friday and Saturday before the marathon so I know that I am fuelled and ready to go come Sunday morning. Getting this right will help me feel prepared for it come the start time. Saturday night will likely be a big bowl of rice, with a little bit of chicken, maybe a little bit of veg and a glass of orange juice. Maybe a little rice pudding as a treat for dessert. Just loading with carbs. What I’ve been having in the morning before my long runs is a toasted bagel, with a little bit of peanut butter, a banana sliced on top, lots of honey, big bowl of rice Krispies and a glass of orange juice, so I’ll stick to what I know and have this as my breakfast about 3 hours before I run. And aim for about 1.5 litres of water through the morning.
How to Donate : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/each-harper