Amazing Andrew! Royal Parks Half Marathon

Published on: 20/10/2019

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration today, then look no further. Last week; after previously doing zero running, Andrew completed the Royal Parks Half Marathon and raised over £1,000 for MAMA Academy!

We often see the end pictures of these events, but rarely get to hear about all the hard work and dedication that goes into running a half marathon. So what does go into training for an event like this? We asked Andrew:

What was your fitness / running experience before?

Practically zero, I had never run as an adult before and did little to no exercise. Before I started I weighed 21st 9lbs and the day after the race I was 18st 7lbs

What was your training plan like in preparation?

I started with the Couch to 5k but quickly abandoned that and followed the Nike Run Club App which allows you to set your target distance and it then builds a plan for you, it also adjusts as you go along, that and my Apple Watch were invaluable.

Did you manage to stick to your plan?

I work in Central London and live in Southend so running during the week wasn’t always possible but I tried to get out at least twice a week (the plan often asked for 3 or 4 runs a week.) The heatwave over the summer didn’t help as some days it was just too hot. I also injured my calf in August which made running very painful but a little break and a shopping trip to get some snazzy leg compression thingy’s (that is their technical name) really helped.

How did you manage to stay motivated?

My partner was also running for a different charity so we kept each other motivated, I also very early on put it out on social media that I was doing it as felt like once it was out there I couldn’t back down.

Were you very nervous beforehand?

Not really as I knew that I was never going to be able to run the full distance non stop, so my aim was not to finish last or be the first person to start walking and I more than managed that so was very happy.

How did you feel on the day / during / afterwards?

The rain over the weekend didn’t make the park a nice place but once we were out of the mud the roads were clear, the race was good and running past the Extinction Rebellion protesters in Trafalgar Square was fantastic, they gave the loudest cheers and the biggest support to all the runners as we went past. Afterwards I enjoyed the first pint as had stayed off the beer for 4 weeks beforehand to help with the early morning hangover free training runs in the build up.

What advice would you give to others thinking about attempting a half marathon?

Expect to get hurt and take a day off work the following day just to relax, it really helps the recovery, apart from that give it a go you will surprise yourself.

What made you choose MAMA Academy to support?

I am very lucky to have not been affected directly by any of these issues but know a number of friends and family who have, and I know how hard it can be so the help and support as well as the work that MAMA Academy carry out for this is fantastic and one I could really get behind.

Thank you so much Andrew! We can’t tell you how much we appreciate all your hard work and how much the money raised means to a small charity like us. Such a great personal achievement and we can’t wait to hear what you do next.

If you’re feeling inspired, but also a bit unsure as to whether you could actually do something like this, don’t hesitate to contact for information on future events. Dom is very experienced in running events and can even help with a specific training plan if you are struggling.