What made you start running initially?
My older sister won a race when she was about 7 or 8 years old, without any training. So she started doing some training after that and when I turned 7 I ended up going along with her, and since then I have been running! I liked it initially because it was a family activity, and we all did it together, both my wee brothers and my sister all run, and just more recently it has become more serious.
What do you enjoy most about running?
I enjoy racing a lot, so because of that I enjoy the training, it gives me the motivation.
What distances do you normally race?
5-10km usually, and throughout the winter Cross Country.
Do you have any ambitions to do any longer distances?
If in the future I got to the stage where I felt I’ve done what I want to do with my 10km distance then yes I would think about increasing my distance. Growing up I always did longer distances through hill running, so I think going up in distance would be more likely than going down.
What would you say is the biggest challenge you’ve came across so far with running?
The injury I got in 2014. It was a challenge to stay motivated, as I couldn’t run for pretty much 2 years. Between May 2014-March 2016, I only raced 3 times, and couldn’t really get consistent training going without being in pain. The issue was undiagnosed so I didn’t know how long I would have been in that position, not able to race. I wasn’t able to train with my family on holidays etc. which made it hard. I managed to keep fit with a lot of hours on the bike and in the pool but not being able to run for that length of time really got to me. In that period that I was injured my siblings won some national titles, so although it was hard not to be able to compete, their successes kept me motivated.
What is your proudest moment?
Running my 10k PB in November. It was also the first time I ran for Scotland at a senior level. Before that I had ran 10km in 30 minutes low quite a few times, and it was nice to get under that 30-minute barrier.
Have you had a lot of injuries since you’ve started running?
They have all been linked to that major foot injury I think, where shorter-term injuries built up to the period where I couldn’t run. Like lots of people I have had niggles and tight feeling muscles, but that foot problem has been the main injury.
What does a typical weekly training regime look like for you?
Monday – A Fartlek session, I usually do this every Monday on my own. Typically, it’ll be on the grass somewhere undulating.
Tuesday and Thursday – I start quite early with an easyish run, but to prepare for the evening session as well. Evening time is a session on the track, sometimes on road, with a small training group.
Wednesday and Friday – usually a 1 hour run in morning, and 30 minutes in the evening
Saturday is usually a rest day, or if I’m racing I change the days around so Friday is easier.
Sunday – Long run up the Water of Leith, with a small group. Typically 28 to 32km of steady running getting progressively faster.
I do harder runs on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. This works best for me I think.
I usually cover 130-145km (approximately 80-90 miles) on a non-race week.
Have you had many treatments to help with your training?
I haven’t typically had sports massages consistently through-out training, although if I am feeling tight or tired I tend to get a massage as I feel it helps a lot. Most of the time I will see a Physiotherapist for a specific issue like a minor injury. I have had a pre-event massage before and felt it really helped my performance on the day.
Do you spend a lot of time on prehabilitation/stretching etc.?
This is probably my worst area, I should spend more time on this! During the holidays it is easier as I have more time but with being at University if I’m busy with work the first thing to go is stretching. I feel I could replace an easy run with a stretching session as I don’t think it would affect my running doing slightly fewer miles.
How is your nutrition? Are you strict?
I went vegan last year. It’s harder to be tempted into easily buying treats in the shops so it keeps me quite disciplined in that sense (although that’s not the reason I became vegan). I don’t obsess over my diet, but I do think about it in the background. I’d say generally I am pretty healthy but it could be improved.
Have you had much advice throughout your running on injury prevention, stretching etc.?
I’ve had plenty of advice from physiotherapists throughout and told to stretch more quite often, so I do have the information, it’s just finding the time to dedicate to it, especially during term time.