We had a chat with Steve about his world record adventure, and what his best tips are for running a marathon, so you can start too!
We’ve gotten some great tips and tricks from you in the past, but if there’s one golden rule for running a marathon, what would that be for you?
Such a difficult question to answer as I have many golden rules! The marathon is such a long way and as such many things can go wrong if you don’t follow these rules. Preparing well, good pace judgement and getting your nutrition right are all very important but if I had to pick one it would be pace judgement and specifically not to start too quickly. I see many people do this and you can ruin your whole marathon plan by running to quickly in the first 2 or 3 miles which is so easy to do at the big events when the atmosphere is electric and you’re hyped up. Much better to start steadier than planned, conserve energy and hopefully that will help you stay strong in the latter miles.
You’re currently ran 875 marathons with an average finish time of 3hrs 19min, what is the main thing you struggle with to keep this average up?
I guess there are three main things really. First, trying to keep the desire & motivation to maintain a full on 5/6 day training regime every week and then run a marathon most weekends, month after month, year after year without any real breaks. Second, trying to maintain that ever so fine balance between training hard enough to maintain my fitness to the best it can be without getting injured. Third, dealing with the demons before every race knowing I’m about to put my body in the hurt locker for another brutal 26.2 mile race in which taking it a little easier just isn’t an option.
Many people find running a marathon (or running in general) mentally very challenging. What do you recommend for passing the time? Do you listen to podcasts or music yourself?
I don’t listen to music or wear any listening device when I run so from a mental perspective I have to cope in other ways which I guess I’ve trained my mind to do over many years of running. Part of that conditioning comes from the fact that half of my weekly training miles is done around a cricket field going round and round, mind numbing laps which has made me learn to cope with that repetitive boredom factor. I also use distraction techniques to try and take my mind off the pain & tiredness that my body is feeling, I try to switch off and think of other things, you could say I day dream a bit! I also break the race down into chunks so I don’t focus on the whole distance in one go, that way I can get through each part of the event and deal with the next bit as and when I get there.
Besides Fisiocrem, what other products do you use regularly to keep in good shape?
Racing marathons on almost a weekly basis places a massive toll on the body so I try to do all the things I possibly can to aid my recovery. To that end I massage my legs with Fisiocrem most days which is great for helping tired sore muscles. I take Paingone Nutriplex and use Joint Plus Gel which helps keep my joints healthy. I also use the Paingone Plus TENS pen and Easy Device for treating niggles that I get from time to time, as it’s much better to sort out any niggles before they develop into full blown injuries. At the end of the day it’s lots of little things all for marginal gains but over a long period of time they combine to make a huge difference which is extremely important for the 1000 marathons world record that I’m trying to set.
What is the main thing you’re looking forward to after completing a marathon?
There’s a massive sense of personal achievement after completing an endurance event like a marathon, the endorphin rush alone leaves you on a high for the rest of the day so that’s definitely a good feeling to look forward to. However I would say the main thing is getting home, having a hot shower and then relaxing with a nice cup of tea followed by a snooze!
You can follow Steve’s challenge on his Facebook here.