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20 20-21

The Scotsman



Long-distance task with plenty of gain for a portion of pain M

ost peple have heard a friend r clleague ay wih a rueful mile: “I can’ run”. Perhap yu have even aid i yurelf, recalling previu breahle lap arund a lcal park n a freezing January mrning. Ye everyne ha a marahn in hem. or  ay pernal rainer and eaned runner Rger Alp. “L f peple ay hey can’ run, bu in fac hey ju dn’ knw hw,” ay Rger. “I i pible  g frm n running a all,  running a marahn, even if yu are lder r a lile verweigh. Righ nw, I’m raining an verweigh man wh i aiming  d a half marahn in under w hur – he’ cme n leap and bund ince I fir me him. “I’m n aying i’ eay  run a marahn – far frm i. Bu wih a gd raining plan and a l f ime and cmmimen, anyne can achieve i.” Rger peak frm experience. “I fir k up running becaue I culdn’ find any her pr I wa gd a,” he recall. “the fir running grup I wen u wih lef me w mile in an eigh-mile circui! I wan’ grea a i, bu I lved i.” He perevered, and quickly became ne f he frem runner in he UK. He ha frequenly repreened scland

You may not think so, but everyone has a marathon in them, writes Nicola More and Briain inernainally and hld w Eurpean brnze medal. A 41, and by hi wn admiin “pa my prime”, Rger ran in he A-eam fr Edinburgh AC, helping hem  a win in he scih Rad Relay Champinhip. Nw baed in Chehire, Rger prvide pernal raining and fine

“The trick is to not panic. If you stick to a sensible schedule and keep calm, you will make it” plan fr a range f clien, and i al a mivainal peaker. Hi ecre? In marahn raining, preparain i everyhing. Rger recmmend raining hree ime a week fr a lea hree r fur mnh, gradually increaing he mileage by 10-20 per cen each week unil yu have run 18

mile a lea nce. Many peple find i helpful  run wih a grup, uch a Jg scland,  ay mivaed and pur each her n. Hwever, i’ al impran n  puh yurelf  hard – ake a re every furh week and devie a raining plan ha fi in wih yur life and fine level. try running a few 10k race and a half marahn in advance  ge yur bdy ued  hi level f exerin. “try u everyhing in advance,” ay Rger. “If pible, d yur raining a he ame ime a yu will be running he marahn,  yu ge  knw wha fd and drink yur bdy need. thi al applie  he pace yu will run a and he clhe yu plan  wear. Ge  knw yur wn bdy and limi.” An apprpriae die will vary frm pern  pern, bu i’ impran  ge pleny f carbhydrae and prein  replace he energy l in running. During he race, Rger recmmend refuelling wih waer r an energy drink afer an hur, hen every

30 minue afer ha. Keep a eady pace and, if yu’re running again a arge ime, d n ry  peed up  recup any l minue – aking ff  quickly r puhing  hard i he m cmmn miake made by new runner. “the rick i  n panic,” ay Rger.

“Fr example, many peple have a big fear f ‘hiing he wall’ – when he bdy run u f glycgen and yu lierally can’ carry n. In ruh, if yu ick  a enible chedule and keep calm yu will make i. Remember, i’ n ju abu geing hrugh he race; i’ al


The Scotsman


CHOOSING THE RIGHT KIT SHYAMALA STOTT OF THE SPECIALIST RUNNING SHOP RUN AND BECOME SHARES HER TOP TIPS FOR SELECTING MARATHON CLOTHING SEE A SPECIALIST Most shoes are cushioned enough to protect the feet, but it is worth having a consultation. When our feet hit the ground they pronate, which is the natural action of the foot landing on the outside then rotating into the arch, acting as a natural shock absorber. Some people’s feet over-pronate, which can pull on the ankle, knee and back, and eventually cause injury. A specialist will look at your foot shape and the way you walk and find the right shoe for you.

about having fun. When I look back on my marathons, yes, they were exhausting but I also have some fantastic memories. So stay positive and enjoy yourself!” l If you would like a personalised training plan, please contact Roger through his website at

PAIN RELIEF Some run for the fun of it, main, while Roger Alsop, above right, is also a seasoned competitor Picture: Neil Hanna

GO LARGE Feet swell during long-distance running, which can lead to bruising on the toes, so you should be prepared to go up a size. Of course, the shoe shouldn’t be too big, but allow the toes to move. AVOID COTTON AND SEAMS A common mistake many runners

make is to pick out an old cotton T-shirt. Cotton absorbs sweat and becomes heavy, irritating the skin and causing you to overheat. It’s better to wear breathable, lightweight fabric. In winter, any thin thermal layer is preferable to cotton. For women, it’s also essential to invest in a sports bra. The other thing to look out for is seams, especially between the legs and under the arms, as these can cause chafing. REFUEL It’s important to refuel


regularly during a long run and there are lots of options for this – hand-held bottles cost as little as £10. Alternatively, if you don’t want to carry anything you can get a camel bag rucksack. Prior to the race, try out water, energy drinks and energy gels to see which is right for you.

l Run and Become, in Dalry, Edinburgh, is running a series of training workshops in January where you can get advice on the right kit, training, and nutrition. See www.



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My articles: Scotsman  
My articles: Scotsman  

This is an article I wrote for the Sporting Scotland supplement of Scotsman newspaper. Reproduced here with kind permission from the Scotsm...