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Running High - Bethan of A Pretty Place To Play

Running High - Bethan of A Pretty Place To Play
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For those who don't know you, could you give a short introduction of yourself and your blog?
I’m Bethan and my blog, a pretty place to play, is all about making the most of life in London, running my socks off and living with a positive outlook!

When did you start running?
I started running in the spring of 2013. I was in need of a hobby and toyed with the idea of all sorts of activities, but the one I kept coming back to was running! Which was strange because I had always been quite rude about running! These days I love it - being brave enough to go with that strange compulsion to run has changed my life.

How do you train for half a marathon?
I’ve actually just started to train for my first half marathon - Birmingham Great Run. I’m a crazy planner so I’ve been overthinking things for week and have settled on following Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 half marathon training plan with a bit of extra strength training thrown in. I’m really hoping to use this half to build a strong base before I start marathon training in December! 

Why did you decide you wanted to run the Paris marathon? Are you running for a cause or your own goal?
I always said I would never run a marathon as it felt like such a massive commitment - both the act of running 26.2 miles and the hours training. However, earlier this year, having started to take running more seriously, I started to realise that it could be within my grasp and thought it might be cool to see what I was really capable of! The decision was something I really thought about, I did loads of research on training (crazy planner) to see if I could realistically fit all the training around my work and personal life, and when I worked out I could that was it, I was running a marathon!

I chose Paris because I wanted to do a big city marathon and London is hard to get in to unless you opt for a charity place. I knew I couldn't commit to training and fundraising if I wanted to keep my job and stay talking to those I love, so I shopped around a bit and the scenic flat course in Paris felt like a good fit!

What's your ideal marathon like?
The dream would be for things to flow, which is what I want in any race - a nice organised start, not going off too fast, keeping good pace, beautiful scenery, support along the way, camaraderie with other runners, keeping my head in the game the whole way round and legs that aren't too heavy at the end!

How do you keep track of your progress?
I use Nike+ to track all my runs, it’s a great free tool and means I can see how I have progressed over time, which I love! My blog also gives me an outlet to reflect on my runs! I am hoping for a Garmin Forerunner for my birthday…fingers crossed!

Running High - Bethan of A Pretty Place To Play, Running High Interviews,

You mentioned you had a problem with your ankles (achilles tendonitis). What did you do about it and do you have any tips for other runners with the same problem?
Last winter I did have a few issues with my left ankle as a result of over training - a classic case of too much, too soon! Initially I followed the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) protocol, but once I realised things weren’t getting better I got myself to a physio for professional help.

The physio got me doing all sorts of targeted exercises to strengthen my muscles - the whole experience made me realise how important strength training is as a runner!

What is your best time at which distance?
Ha, well, my best time is up for debate as Nike+ and a race chip had a bit of a disagreement about my time for the Bupa 10,000! Nike+ reckoned I’d run 500 meters further around 2 minutes faster than my race chip - so my best time could be 54.16 for 10k if we believe Nike+! Otherwise it is 56.01 for 10k at We Own the Night.

What's or who is your inspiration?
Paula Radcliffe and Chrissie Wellington are both really inspiring - they are both women who work really hard and test themselves to see what they are capable of. Steve Way is also really awesome, he is living proof that we all have talent, we just need to work out what it is!

You also mentioned you've got a real interest in engaging women in sport, why is that and how do you engage them?
So much of the media tells women that they need to look perfect at all times, God forbid they sweat! My dream is that people will see me out running, sweating like you wouldn't believe but so so happy and realise that this just isn't true. It’s a little thing, but not being ashamed is important and it can have a domino effect. I also hope that my blog inspires other people - if I can run then it can’t be that hard!

Do you run all seasons?
Yep, rain or shine I am out there! In fact I kind of love running when it is tipping it down!

Any tips for starters?
One of the things I have noticed when talking to new runners is that they worry about not being fast. Don’t - speed doesn't matter, just get out there are try your best! I’d also suggest using a plan like Couch to 5k, having a race to work towards and linking up with other runners for support and advice!

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  1. I loved this interview. I hope I will get under the 10K 1 hour mark someday too. Very inspiring! :)
    And good luck with the marathon training! I'm sure you'll have a blast in Paris.

  2. Stephanie Louise17 August 2014 at 13:32

    Great post and amazing interview. I've grown so fond of participating in marathons because I love running. I did my first last month, Color Me Rad 5k, it was awesome!

  3. Thanks Stephanie! I hope you enjoyed Color Me Rad! I'm doing Run or Dye next month and I can't wait to become a human rainbow!

  4. Thanks Charlotte! I've never been so excited/scared about something - I'll be sharing my progress on my blog! Keep working on it and you will get sub 1hr!