STUART MCCLELLAND – BLOG 1 – NOVEMBER 2019
I’m delighted to be a Kilomathon ambassador for the 2020 race. I look forward to sharing my training updates and race preparations with you in the coming months and to standing on the start line with everyone in April.
Firstly, a little bit about myself and my running story. I’m relatively new to running but have packed a lot of experiences into a short space of time. For many years my only participatory sport was football and I played at a decent level, however in my late 20’s I began to fall out of love with the game and called time on my playing days.
For around 18 months to 2 years I was almost completely inactive and became increasingly unfit and gained some weight. I decided it was time to get out and get active again so I bought a pair of running shoes and hit the road.
It would be a stretch to say I fell in love with running immediately, to put it bluntly I couldn’t run the length of myself without being out of breath and struggling. I required some structure so downloaded the ‘Couch to 5K’ training programme and set myself a target of running a race at the end of it. Throughout the winter I trudged through the streets and as I sensed improvement I began to enjoy running. At the end of the programme I ran my first ever 5K in 26.52.
Photo: Stuart after completing the EMF 5K in 2016
For a few weeks I attended my local Parkrun and saw initially small and then increasingly obvious improvements in my time culminating in a sub 20 minute PB a few months later.
Life can change quickly and running took a back seat when I found out I was to become a Dad for the first time. My daughter was born just over 2 years ago and I have had to find ways to fit running in around my new found responsibilities; I have had to add structure to my training and busy days have also encouraged me to take advantage of every opportunity I have to run. This has often meant running very early in the morning or late into the evening.
Photo: Stuart and his daughter – his biggest supporter
Over the last couple of years I have had some great experiences! I ran my first 10K, my 1st half marathon, being greeted by my daughter at the finishing line of my 1st marathon was one of the greatest moments of my life and earlier this year I ran my first ultra-marathon distance (81km) in a fixed time event.
So why kilomathon? Well, firstly it’s a race I have seen advertised for a few years now. I always experience a bit of run envy when I see people completing races on my own doorstep when I haven’t taken part. Unfortunately until now I just haven’t been available when Kilomathon was being held, however this year it fits perfectly into my running schedule and I will be using it as a ‘training race’ for an ultra-marathon I am running later the same month.
Secondly it is a fantastic route. Much of the race takes place on paths which I have run on as part of my training for some time. For anyone who hasn’t run the route then you are in for a treat, it really is a fantastic course. Also the opportunity to finish at such an iconic stadium is a draw.
Finally I am excited to try a race over a new distance, I have run races over 5K, 10K, 21K and above but 13.1K is a new experience and one I am looking forward to tackling. Every race comes with its own challenges and Kilomathon will be a test of both speed and stamina.
I had a very busy start to this year with a half marathon in March, a marathon in April, 3 10Ks in May and June and then an ultra in July. I then had to withdraw from an October marathon because of a niggling toe injury. I am currently trying to get some miles back into my legs and will be running a 10K and a half marathon before the turn of the year.
After New Year I will be throwing myself into training with a steady increase in mileage and incorporating some strength and core training as well. I’ll hopefully have a few interesting tales to tell and a few nice photos of the routes I’m running for you in my next update.
There’s always a few running posts on each I will be sharing regular updates on my road to Kilomathon.