Bethany Clague

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Training with Rory Coleman

The weekend of Saturday 24th January I had the honour and pleasure of training with Rory in Nottingham. Who is Rory? He is the UK's most prolific ultrarunner, having completed 613 marathons and 150 ultra's including MdeS six times. He has run from London to Lisbon and holds nine 'Guinness Book of World Record's' for running on a treadmill. He is inspirational in that 15 years ago he was overweight, an alcoholic and a heavy smoker. He made a decision to sort his life out and he started running, and has not stopped. He is 47 years old and has six children and a beautiful wife, Sarah. I went across to live and breathe Rory and hoped his motivation would rub off on me, so that my John O'Groats to Lands End run, (JOGLE), in May 2010 would be within my limits. I was not to be disappointed.

On the Friday Rory took me to a gym in Derby. Rory is a personal trainer and is currently training Helen, a 'Blue Peter' presenter, to run the Namibia Ultramarathon in the desert. After a warm-up, I was then thrown into a VO2 max test. This involved running flat out on a treadmill for 12 minutes to see how far I could run. I nearly collapsed after turning green, towards the end of the sprint, as Rory yelled at me to go faster! I ran 2.44kms which gave me a VO2 max of 44. This puts me in the 'elite' women's category for my age group wow! After this ordeal I was pushed hard into a circuit of weights followed by treadmill sprints. However I realized I have to work this hard in the gym everytime in order to see any benefit. I crawled out of the gym after 3 hours in considerable discomfort but very pleased with my baseline fitness level.

On Saturday I ran the first of two marathons.  The first was on roads from Leicester to Long Eaton and on Sunday it was an off-road circle round Long Eaton. I completed the first, running all the way, in 4 hours 57 minutes and was delighted with the time after Friday's gym session. However I was badly chafed and I stiffened up dreadfully overnight. I also ate very little a big problem of mine and woke on Sunday morning feeling very sick, dizzy, pale and very apprehensive about being able to run another marathon. However after porridge and energy drinks I rallied in the fresh air outside and went on to enjoy a very muddy off-road marathon, finishing in under 6 hours. This run proved quite eventful; we nearly phoned the police to report some kids messing around on a high disused viaduct but they moved off it when we challenged them. Then we did call the police (999) after coming across 2 men with a large rifle poaching in the countryside! We were sure by their suspicious behaviour that they did not have a gun license and anyway they should not have been shooting in fields near a busy service station! Again I was pleased with how I had run, walking up the hills and running on flat and downhill stretches. However again I began to get very tired at 18-22 miles with the last mile being particularly painful. I tried to eat more on the run and this helped me a lot. In the back of my mind I kept thinking of the 2 marathons a day for 15 days I would be required to run for JOGLE next year! I need to do a lot more training.

I now have a clear idea of how to train and how many marathons I need to be running. Rory switched on the running mode in my brain and I have now since completed 3 marathons in 8 days as training. I have a few niggles with my feet and right knee, but have joined Mount Murray gym and have a few running surprises for the Manx public lined up. More importantly I love running and walking. My life revolves round training now and I feel very happy, positive and focused.


This site was last updated 23-Dec-2009

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