21 April 2016

Our Director of Housing & Accommodation, Adam Brooks is gearing himself up to take part in the London Marathon on Sunday 24 April. He’s raising money for YMCA St Paul’s Group Housing Services, and has been preparing well to achieve his desired time of just under 5 hours. He got the running bug a couple of years ago and ran his first marathon in Brighton for YMCA East Surrey.

“I’m not a fast or competitive runner, but I enjoy it. I’ve got pretty decent stamina and reasonable confidence, so I put myself down to run the Brighton Marathon for my previous employer YMCA East Surrey.

“It’s a great atmosphere and one of those things that you need to experience to understand how good it is; how welcoming the crowds are; how encouraging they can be. I loved it and then began thinking about taking part in the London Marathon”.

So just how tough has the training been? Adam doesn’t belong to a running club, and has been going out on long training runs by himself, with just his trusty podcasts and audio books to keep him going. He uses the Strava app on his phone to monitor his run times and has been slowly increasing his run distances until he reached his last long run of 20 miles.

“My last run was 20 miles from South Croydon to Limpsfield Village. Generally speaking once you go over the 20 mile barrier, you’ve got reasonable confidence that you can do the full marathon. I’ve shortened my runs back down as the London Marathon approaches to avoid risk of injury”.

In terms of mental preparation, Adam says the hype, the atmosphere and the adrenaline are great motivators.

“On the day, you’re buoyed up by the event and the adrenaline, and you really do get into the mind set. If you have the discipline to do the long training runs, then you can build up the mental stamina to take part – you just have to overcome any internal barriers you have”.

So who will be meeting Adam at the finish line? “My family are coming along on the day. Also YMCA England is having a reception for runners, so I can join in with that – but it does depend on how I feel when I’ve finished!”

Adam’s advice to anyone thinking about running in a marathon is to think small, run short distances and then build up from there. And do your research, as there’s a lot of information out there to help you.

“Don’ t start off too ambitious as you’ll just put yourself off , and possibly injure yourself. There are plenty of apps out there that will help you run up to 5k. This is a good goal, then you can work up to 10k. There’s a wealth of magazines and websites that give you information and advice”.

Adam’s target is to raise £1700 and he has currently raised over £650 – which is fantastic. If you would like to support Adam, then do go to his Just Giving page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AdamBrooks4