To start this series of blog posts, allow me to introduce myself.  I have always enjoyed running but my performance until recently cannot be defined as much more than enthusiastically intermittent.  Pressures of my job, lack of a training plan or SMART goals have not given me opportunity to explore my potential.  Over the last 18 months, I have had a bit more time to train and set some challenging goals.

I was close to 85kg (178) in late 2012 and had already completed 2 Olympic distance triathlons that year in around 2:45 having taken up triathlon cheaply in 2011.  I mainly finished in the middle of results list being a strong, natural runner, an average cyclist and a poor swimmer.  I was, in fact, the last person out of the water in my first triathlon, a sprint distance in St Mawes, Cornwall.  That was a difficult, hard swim with big waves wearing an ill fitting £15 wetsuit.

As a baseline, I ran 10k after a month’s training in just under 40 min in Oct 12.

I enter the ballot for the London Marathon most years.  It’s a lottery.  You don’t have to pay or plan ahead until you’re in and so have 6 months to work out if you can attend.  I luckily got a place for 2013 and set about training knowing my work as a navigation instructor would allow some time to train.  I set a goal of running sub 3, confident that I would improve, whilst training for the Outlaw Iron distance triathlon.

Running an average of 30mpw over no more than 3 sessions a week supplemented by commuting by bike and lunchtime swim sessions I ran 2:55:59 in a poorly paced run.  I also ran 1:18:26 at Stafford Half Marathon.

I cycled more and ran less to complete the Outlaw 11:37 including a 4:15 run/walk marathon.

Following the Outlaw I decided to focus on my strengths.  Cycling is requires a lot of time to get to a decent standard.  I struggle with swimming and don’t enjoy it.  So I wanted to take advantage of my natural running ability and achieve the best time possible.

With only 12 weeks training and a degraded heel pad I managed to get back in shape to run the US Marine Corps Marathon, Washington in 2:55:52; a 7 second PB.

After that I have started training “properly”.  I have increased my mileage to over 60mpw and have a coach with the goal of running sub 2:45 at London.  I will also be running Fleet Half Marathon on 16 Mar 14, hoping to run a PB.  I hope to inspire people to their goals on UKRunChat and will blog on my experiences in training and races to give you a taste of the routine of a faster runner.  You will see that it is not so different and we have so much in common.

You can catch up on my past experiences at or follow me @totriornottotri on twitter.

Happy running and see you soon @ukrunchat!