Interview with a runner – Alasdair McGill

Alasdair McGill is a runner from Inchture, Scotland in the United Kingdom. Alisdair is an accomplished Professional Accountant and public speaker and is a relative late bloomer in the running world. In a short period of time he has completed a number of impressive races culminating in his first marathon at last years Loch Ness Marathon in Scotland.
Alasdair’s personal bests are;
10K- 46:09
Half- 1:45:42
Marathon- 4:01:59
How long have you been running, and how did you start?
I raced a bike for 10 years, towards the end I was racing cyclocross over the winter, and in cross you do a bit of running as part of your training. At the end of the 2014 season I decided to keep running and entered the Edinburgh half marathon. I’d never run before, so it was a big challenge, but I loved it and eventually did several races in 2015 including 2 half marathons.
However there was still a part of me that missed the bike, so in 2016 I spent more time riding & racing than running, but I got it out of my system. Since the Spring of 2017 I’ve been focused on running and hardly touched the bike!
What running achievement are you most proud of?
I ran my first marathon at the end of 2017, it was the hardest sporting thing I’ve ever done. My target time was 3:45, and I was on track until around mile 18 when the wheels came off. I limped round in 4:01. But I loved training for it, the anticipation and then the experience on the day. I’m looking forward to going sub-4 in 2019 when I’ll do my next one.
What is your biggest tip to becoming a successful runner?
It has to be consistency. As Des Linden says, keep showing up. Make running part of your daily routine, then it becomes something you just do. As well as making you a better runner, it will also make you a better human – it will keep you fit and is good for your mental health.
What is your favourite training session?
I do like a good tempo session. At the moment we’ve moved up to 3 x 10 minutes, after doing 4 x 8 minutes the past couple of weeks. These are good sessions that build endurance and get you used to harder efforts. I’d best describe them as sessions where you’re comfortably uncomfortable…..
How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?
It’s really not something I have a problem with. I rarely have mornings (I do most of my training at 6am), where I don’t want to get up, but when that does happen all I have to do is think about the goals I’ve set myself an that will get me up. I think goals are important in life, and certainly in sport. I’ve competed most of my life (it was golf until I started cycling), so I know that if I want to get better I have to put the work in.
What are your favourite running shoes?
I’ve always run in Brooks shoes. Bought my first pair from Run4It, the local running store and I’ve just stuck with them. I started our in Glycerins, had several pairs of those, had a pair of Ghosts, but they wore out too quickly. At the end of 2017 I bought a pair of Launch 4s, really liked them, so I’m now onto my 4th pair. I also have a pair of Brooks Hyperion racing flats that I use for 5k & 10k races.
What are your goals for the future?
I’m still a novice at this running lark, so it’s all about steady improvement. I’ll be 50 next year, and doing my second marathon, so I want to go sub 4 hours. Ideally 3:45. Beyond that, I simply want to stay injury-free and enjoy my running.

Ali documents his running and professional life in his blog at alasdairmcgill.com and his instagram @ali_mcgill. You can also follow his training on strava at Alasdair McGill.
Thanks for your time Alasdair and good luck with your future running goals.

Interview with a runner – Amanda Moore

Amanda Moore is a runner from Dallas, Texas. Amanda is a very good runner with an impressive list of personal bests. Amanda runs in a combination of her Vibram Five fingers and minimal racing flats and is also a high mileage runner putting in some big mileage weeks through the extremes of the Texas summers and winters.

Amanda’s list of personal best times are as follows;

5k 19:01
10k 40:32
8 mile 52:12
15k 1:01:40
Half 1:29:17
Full 3:26:50

Amanda was kind enough to answer a few questions about her running.

How long have you been running, and how did you start?

I ran track at a young age and had much success in the 400 meters, the 800 meters, and high jump at both a State and National level, but a stress fracture and life threw me off track which ultimately ended my track career. It didn’t, however, change the fact that running was in my blood, so, years later in 2011, when I read the book Born to Run, I felt driven to get out there and start again. At 25 years old, I began my journey as a long distance runner. I started out slow and ran only a few miles at a time. After a couple of months, I signed up for a half marathon and gradually began increasing my weekly mileage. Looking back, when I signed up for the half, I was hooked.

What running achievement are you most proud of?

Tough question… I am most proud of my first sub 1:30 half marathon in December 2015. I set the goal of running sub 1:30 by the end of the year in January 2015. I trained hard, raced hard, and pushed myself all year to reach that goal. At that time, my long distance running career had included no formal training, no coach, no written out training plans or race strategies. When I crossed the finish line in 1:29:44, I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I cried. Reaching that goal meant so much to me, and while that is not my fastest time, or “biggest” achievement, that is the achievement I am most proud of.

What is your biggest tip to becoming a successful runner?

Believe you can. Work hard. And don’t give up!

What is your favourite training session?

It’s a toss up between Summer and Fall, but I think I’ll go with summer. I love to sweat, and I love working hard. Summer in Texas is no joke. It’s hot. It’s humid. Sometimes a break from the heat is nice, but overall, it’s my favorite training season because I know I am putting in hard work that will pay off in the fall racing season. Most of the summer is base training for me which includes hill repeats, 200 meter repeats, relatively short tempo runs, 16-20 mile long runs, 5k’s, and high weekly mileage (60-80 miles per week on average).

How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

I think of my goals and remind myself that I feel better when I stay on track. Most of the time, if I just get out there and start to run, the hesitation, doubt, and dread fade away, and the desire to run kicks back in.

What are your favourite running shoes?

New Balance Hanzo Racing Flats, Vibram Five Fingers KSO Evo, Mizuno Wave Universe 5. All minimalist shoes! I currently race and train the most in the New Balance Hanzo Racing Flats.

What are your goals for the future?

As for time goals…to run a sub 3:00 Marathon, a 1:20 Half Marathon, and a sub 19:00 5k
Another goal of mine is to place in the top 3 in a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Half or Full.

Thanks for your time Amanda.

If you want to follow Amanda’s running journey you can find her training and racing logged on her blog at irunelite.com. Amanda is honest and open in her blog and it is always entertaining reading.

You can also catch her on Facebook at I am a Runner, Instagram at @irunelite.com and Strava under Amanda Moore.

Thanks again to Amanda for her time and good luck with your running goals in the future.

 


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