Time for a change

Paul Turner tells us how he went from hating cross country to becoming an ambassador for #Run1000Miles

Paul Turner ambassador.jpg

My running days started at school, where I was a fairly good sprinter. However, I always hated cross-country - it was too long, too cold and too boring!

Fast-forward 30 years and the realisation came that I had hit my forties with very little weekly activity and that I needed to change if I was going to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Obviously, I could no longer achieve the speeds of my youth, so what to do? The answer was a local 10km race. The training went well, but calamity struck in the race - a long-term ankle injury flared up, leaving me to run-walk-hobble the second half of the race. Undaunted, I vowed to return the following year.

Around the end of 2016, I came across a challenge in my favourite running magazine - #Run1000Miles. Why not? I thought. I viewed it as a tough but hopefully achievable target and something that would spur me on to greater distances in 2017.

My 2017 personal challenges were a marathon and an ultramarathon. By this time, I was training at around 150km per month and so it wasn't too much to add an extra 10km per week to bring the training distances to marathon training levels. Unfortunately, I was carrying a niggling injury into the Liverpool Rock'n'Roll Marathon, but struggled through to complete it in 4:30.

After some physiotherapy, I was back on track and signed up for my first ultramarathon, the Warrington Way - a muddy 40-mile loop. I ended 2017 just shy of 1500 miles for the year - challenge achieved!

As we approach the end of the first quarter of 2018, hopefully moving into warmer temperatures, it's a good milestone to reflect on progress and plans for the next few months. I'm pushing distances up again with the L2M Ultramarathon (50-mile, Liverpool to Manchester) and then back to the Liverpool Rock'n'Roll Marathon in May. I'm not sure what the second half of 2018 will bring, but it'll definitely be fun finding out!

In summary, my advice for #Run1000Miles participants is not to focus too much on individual runs. Rather it is the monthly and longer-term goals that are the real life-changing focus. Good luck for successes in the coming months!