We love to support whoever we can here at ProBikeKit, because it’s not just about the cycling clothing and equipment, it’s about what you can do with them. This week, we’re asking Kieran Norcup a few questions about his marathon training, how he’s doing it and why.
So Kieran, thanks for taking part in this ProBikeKit interview, what motivated you to sign up for the London Marathon?
2014 will be my 4th London marathon, and although the distance is daunting, the atmosphere is amazing and really helps to drive you through it. The training is a big reason as well, it keeps me fighting fit. Knowing I have a full marathon to train for makes me go out and train regardless of the weather, so it’s not just all about the raceday.
Would you say you feel prepared at this moment in time?
I started training on October 1st 2013 gradually increasing the distance and improving my times. Training was going well up until I had food poisoning last week, which prevented me running for 7 days. However I’ve picked my training back up and I have just under 11 weeks of training to go until the big day. I’ve yet to do one of my big runs but I will be doing a 20+ miler over the next few days.
What has your training schedule been like?
I tend to train 2 or 3 consecutive days and have 1 day off. Since October the distances have increased and my times have become quicker, which is always a good sign. At the moment if I train 3 consecutive days I’ll run one 8 mile run, one 10 and one 13; with the 13 mile run will increase to 16 soon. It is always important to break up the greater distances with an 8 mile run in-between. It is also crucial to think about recovery times and plan.
One vital piece of equipment which motivates myself is my Garmin GPS watch. It tells you everything you possibly need to know and more, and I use this to measure my average pace, lap pace, distances, cadence, steps per minute, elevation, heart rate, the list is endless. It is satisfying to upload your results to Garmin connect and analyse the results.
At the moment I’m hitting on average 7 minute 10 seconds per mile over 13 miles. The watch monitors, motivates and pushes my legs on to go faster when I know I drop below what ever speed I programme in.
I also believe it helps wearing the right gear. A gait analysis can be a great opportunity to find which type of running shoe your foot requires. I wear Nike shoe that provides the perfect light weight cushioned feel I require. Clothing wise I wear base layers with a running vest and running shorts.
Have you altered your diet at all in preparation for the event?
I should be a little bit more strict than I am if I’m being honest. I don’t proclaim to be a nutritionist but I do try to eat decent protein sources, such as chicken after my runs. I also ensure that I have enough carbohydrates before running hard.
The morning of the race I’ll be up 3 and a half hours before the start. I have half a mug of coffee, a small amount of porridge, an energy tablet drink and a piece of toast. Whilst making my way to the starting point I have an energy bar, banana, sip water. Just before the start I take an energy gel and will have 2/3 further energy gels during the race.
When I’ve completed the event, like previous years, I’ll always go to my favourite Italian restaurant in the evening for a replenishing treat.
Tell us a bit more about your fundraising events for the London Marathon…
I’ve contacted over 150 companies and over 40 local schools. A few companies ( like yourself ) have kindly donated items for a raffle and a primary school has agreed to hold a non school uniform day with the proceeds raised being donated to the charity. The local supermarkets have also been brilliant, in that they have allowed myself and a few others to hold a bag packing day, where we packed customers’ shopping. This raised £317 and they have agreed we can do a further day.
That’s great stuff. To finish off, if you could give one piece of advice to someone preparing for the London Marathon, what would it be?
Add variety to your runs to keep yourself interested. Running the same route time and time again can become quite boring. Also for performance improvements, keep a diary of the distance / time achieved.
We’d like to personally thank Kieran Norcup for taking part in the first edition of our ‘ProBikeKit Friends’ interview series. We also wish him all the best in this year’s London Marathon and all of his future training and racing endeavours!