Marathon Monday Marathon Monday
On 04 February 2018 In Running News

Marathon Monday: Meet the Runners



Nathan and Kevin resized

In our two previous pieces in our Marathon Monday Series, we have introduced the series and have discussed the performance triangle and how the BRAT Club Sessions can be used for marathon training. However, it’s not all about the training and race strategies. Over the next couple of weeks we will periodically introduce you to runners from the club who are aiming for a spring marathon. If you want to be included let us know on Facebook or speak to one of the coaches.

You may know that the club has 2 slots at the London Marathon, which are allocated annually through an application process in the autumn, after those who were successful in the ballot have received their places. For the 2018 edition of the London Marathon, the club places have been allocated to Kevin Oakes and Nathan Smith. Here they are enjoying a little break on their long run last weekend. 


Today, you’ll hear a bit more from Nathan about his motivation and goals, his training as well as his favourite treats.


Nathan Smith

NathanI'm Nathan Smith, 39 years old. I'm married to my wife Zoe and have two children: Madeleine (11) and Leo (8). I'm an Applications Engineer for a packaging company.

What is your sporting back ground?

I have always been active throughout my life. When I was young I played football, tennis and enjoyed running. I took part in some XC runs for my school. I used to spend hours out on my bike with my friends. Sport dried up in my 20's and when I hit 30 my friend challenged me to do an Aquathlon. I entered with only 4 weeks to train left and knuckled down. I started swimming twice a week and started running. As each week went by I could feel myself getting fitter and faster and I also began to lose weight. I completed my first Aquathlon in 43 mins at Friary Grange (formerly the 3 Spires event). Spurred on by my first experience I went on to complete 6 Aquathlons in 6 months. I have never looked back since. Exercise is a major part of my life.

What is your goal for the Virgin London Marathon?

My first goal is to finish. This is new territory for me as it’s my first marathon. I want this journey to teach me something new. I hope to learn how to train smart without getting injured, that is my biggest fear. I'm hoping to go under 3hr 30min. My half marathon PB is 1:29:34, so I doubled it and added half an hour. I think that is a fair estimate.

What does your weekly training look like?

At the moment, I'm following the VLM training plan. I use it as a guide. I'm trying to put rest days between runs, because I was getting niggles when doing consecutive days of running. At the moment, its working for me, but as the event draws closer I will start adding extra days. I'm not afraid to have 1 week rest if I feel it’s required. There is no point in over doing it and not making it to the start line.





My current weekly training looks something like this:

Saturday: Long Run

Sun: 5k easy recovery Run

Mon: Rest

Tue: 1 hour steady

Wed: Rest

Thu: Speed (track)

Fri: Rest


Have you got a preferred running time and why?

I will run at any time. I love being out there!


Any quirky habits when running?

Zoe got me Bose Sports Bluetooth ear phones for Christmas, they have been great for the long runs. I have a play list which consists of 90's indie, old skool hip hop, funk and soul. I can share the spotify link if anybody likes the sound of it!


What’s the best and worst part of running?

Best part: Sense of achievement, sorts your head out if you've had a bad day.

Worst Part: Having a bad race, not achieving what you went out for!


What do you think about when you are running?

I think about the current when I'm running. If I'm climbing a hill, I'm thinking about getting to the top; if I'm on a flat I'm thinking about getting a move on; if I'm running off road I'm looking at the terrain so I don’t trip up. It’s a good way to take your head away from the day to day hassles, I think. That’s why running is good for your mental health.


What are your favourite pre-race meal and postrace treat?

Pre race:  Peanut butter and jam on toast or porridge with banana

Post race: Chinese take-away


Why are you doing this, what motivates you?

It’s personal really. I've done lots of challenges since I found multi-sports in 2008. Due to injuries I've never really considered marathons but over the last year I have felt the need to complete a marathon. London is the only one for me, I tried and failed in the main ballot. I'm extremely grateful to the BRAT club for giving me this opportunity. I want this experience to improve me as a runner. I'm hoping the mileage and learning to train smarter will push me towards a sub-40 mins 10k and sub- 19 mins 5k. I have come close with both but I think my endurance has let me down. I'm hoping the marathon mileage will put that right! (after London of course) 


Read 2749 times Last modified on Sunday, 04 February 2018 23:28