The top British female finisher at the Virgin Money London Marathon talks about off-road running in Alicante - and the Marathon des Sables
Lily Partridge, who set a PB of 2:29:24 to place first British woman at the Virgin Money London Marathon yesterday, says trail running was a big part of her build-up.
The runner from Aldershot was speaking to TR three days before the race and the day after returning from five weeks training near Alicante in Spain, where much of her running was off-road.
"I like to run off road on the trails," said Partridge, who is a former English National cross-country champion. "It’s better for the legs, a bit more scenic. When I was out in Spain we ran on the trails pretty much all of the time. I think it builds your strength, I think I takes the stress off the legs that maybe the Tarmac creates, so it’s been a big part of my build-up."
Partridge is not short of trail routes back home either. "We have the canal," she said. "There’s big grass playing fields because the Army use all the trails in the woods, we have access to that."
Although she is focused in the short and medium term on improving her times on the roads - including getting her PB down to the low-2:20s - she admits she would one day like to try a trail race.
"I have friends that run trail ultras, I think they would try to rope me into a few. It looks fun so definitely," said the 27-year-old.
As for which one, Partridge said: "My friend recently completed Marathon des Sables. If I say that looks 'fun' it’s probably not the right word! But any of those sort of things. If I’m going to run on the trails up mountains I’d like it to be somewhere nice and warm. [Marathon des Sables] is the one that came into my mind anyway."
Descending technical terrain ought not to be a problem, she believes. "I’ve never really run up a mountain and down the other side, but I think I’d be all right with a cross country background," she said.