Half Marathon Training Advice from Michelle Ross-Cope one of the UK’s top female runners

Michelle Ross-Cope is one of the top women’s long distance runners and has represented her country in international competitions.

But as well as competing at the highest level Michelle is also a mum! Recently we asked her how she juggles parenthood and training and her advice for first time marathon runners!

1. On your website you describe yourself as a ‘long distance runner’ you’ve had some huge successes across a number of distances which distance do you enjoy the most and why?

Yes, but to be honest I have raced from 1500m as a youngster and have slowly moved up to the marathon distance. I did my first one this year in London. To be honest I really did enjoy the Marathon, It’s the ultimate challenge for a distance runner, to push yourself and your body to it’s limits over 26.2 miles, is a major achievement. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, now my challenge is to improve on my time.

2.You’re mother to three kids and managing to compete at the highest level, how do you manage and what advice would you have for people like busy people trying to train for events like half marathons?

It’s all about commitment, if you want to do it enough you find a way, if it means running before dawn, or late at night you do it, if you have to miss lunch so you can fit in a run, you do it. There’s days when you wonder if it’s all worth it, but there’s also days when you wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. However, my first run of the day is at 5.30 am and I tend to do my sessions at lunch time, this then does not effect the children as they are either sleeping or at school.

3.At this time of year it’s difficult to get out of bed or off the sofa to go out and train how do you do it?

It’s about a routine, sometimes you are on autopilot, I get up and straight on with the running gear. When you train for as long as I have you actually feel guilty if you can’t train. I must admit the hardest thing about going for a run is to actually get out the door to do it. Once you are out it’s great.

4.With long distance running there’s two races going on one against the clock and the other against the other competitors which motivates you the most and why?

Hard to say, there are times when you are happy just to come out of it with a time you can be proud of, you know you’ve done well. But it is nice to win, when I’m running you always want to be the first over the line, but after the race is done, if you haven’t won but you’ve done a time to be happy with it helps, and sometimes if you win but the time is poor you’re still unhappy.

5.Around the time of year lots of people are starting their training for their first ever marathon what training advice would you give them?

Take is steady and build up gradually, you don’t have to run miles on the first day. And make sure you eat properly! can’t do all the training without eating properly or you’ll end up doing yourself damage. After any session or run, start to refuel as soon as possible.

If you are over 30 and have not done much running, go to see your gp and have a general once over check.

I also swear by regular massage, with doing lots of miles, your muscles will be glad of

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