Please describe a typical week’s training?
A typical week’s training usually involves 2 or 3 sessions per day, dependant on the time of the year and how close it is to any competitions. Between sessions I am currently studying for my Personal Training qualifications.
Sunday is long run day, which is normally between 13 and 20 miles. I follow this with a swim session in the evening.
Mondays are normally a double run day, with steady mileage, and then a gym session of basic strength and conditioning work to target some of my weaknesses and other key areas for runners such as the glutes and hips.
Tuesdays are session days, which can target tempo, hills or track work depending on the time of year. I supplement my hard session with an easy morning run, or an evening recovery run if I train in the morning.
Wednesdays are again steady running days with gym and swim sessions.
Thursdays vary through the year, but during the current base-building phase they consist of a medium to long run.
Fridays used to be an easy day, but I’m adding some quality running to give me an extra day of recovery following Tuesday and an extra day before the Sunday long run. Again, I will supplement the workout with an easy recovery or morning run.
Saturdays have now become my recovery day and I find it important to listen to my body on this day to ensure I recover properly from the week’s training as it is a vital part of my programme. I normally run anywhere between 5 and 10 miles.
I won’t be afraid to change things if I feel particularly bad on a Friday, for example, and will run my interval session on the Saturday instead. I try to ensure I recover following sessions as best as possible by getting some quality nutrition down me and managing any little niggles with the use of RockTape and regular visits to my physio, Alex O’Gorman.
What is your favourite training activity?
I’m really enjoying running hill reps, which I’ve never done before. Though I’m sure once the novelty has worn off I’ll be like every other athlete in the country and despise them. I also like tempo runs as it’s a good feeling of being in control yet still knowing you’re working hard.
What is you least favourite training activity?
Long runs on my own are my least favourite activity, especially if I’m in Liverpool. The parks are great for running round, but after a while they get very repetitive. Other than that, standard 10km sessions on the track such as 6 x 1 mile and 10 x 1km always hurt, especially when the weather is bad, which it normally is at Wavertree.
What is the single most important or effective part of your training?
Consistency is the most important part of my training. I’m now learning to train smarter to get the most out of my routine and ensure I can recover properly in between sessions. This way I am more likely to train consistently well over longer periods rather than breaking down. It’s more beneficial to put together 12 weeks of good, solid training rather than 3 weeks of high-intensity, high-volume training followed by a week off for an illness or injury caused by not listening to my body. This is a recent change that I’ve made and I’m looking forward to seeing the progress reflected in my race results.
What are your top tips for any aspect of achieving sporting goals?
My biggest piece of advice to any aspiring athlete is to never give up. I’ve lost count of the number of set backs I’ve had during my career; injuries, financial cuts and disappointing races, but I’ve stuck at it. Every time I get injured, I just think positively and tell myself I’m going to come back stronger and better. When I lose funding or get turned away for sponsorship, I just use it as extra motivation to prove the doubters wrong.
What activities to you enjoy that are not directly linked to running?
I also enjoy other sports such as football and golf. Although I don’t play football any more and I miss the buzz of being part of a team. I do watch it as much as possible on the TV.
What’s your guilty pleasure on recovery days?
My guilty pleasure would have to be shopping. I tell my girlfriend that I hate it, but secretly I enjoy a touch of retail therapy every now and again. I also enjoy watching films and playing the Xbox during recovery times.