LandAid 10K winner crossing finish line

LandAid 10K winners share their top tips for race day success

James de Souza | 19.04.17

From marathon runners to causal joggers, anyone can take on the LandAid 10K challenge and succeed! Michael Wright, Senior Building Surveyor at Watts Group, and Emily Locke, Marketing Executive at Native Land, both claimed trophies in property’s biggest 10K last year. Michael came first overall, sprinting over the finish line in a speedy 33:57, and Emily took the title of Fastest Female Under 45, completing the course in 44:48. But the two of them have quite different track records…

Michael has been running competitively since he was 12. He has taken on two London Marathons so far and is gearing up for his third this weekend. With a blistering personal best of 2:28:28, just 25 minutes off the world record, he’s a firm favourite to defend his LandAid 10K title. Emily, on the other hand, is a running enthusiast with a Great North Run under her belt. She speaks to the runner in all of us when she says she loves it because it’s a great (and free) way to stay active and de-stress.

Ahead of this year's race, we spoke to both of them to find out what we could learn from these different LandAid 10K winners:

You both clocked impressive times at last year’s LandAid 10K. What training advice would you give for runners taking part this year?

Emily: Going for regular runs is important – aim for three, four, times a week in the next couple of months. Focus on gradually building up the distance so you don’t exhaust yourself.

Michael: Training is a good chance to figure out your running pace so you don’t set off too quickly on the day. Getting a GPS watch can help with this. Also, if you’re thinking about getting a new pair of ‘road racer’ trainers, now’s the time to do it – give yourself at least a month to make sure they’re broken in.

With just under two months to go, how do you keep up your motivation when training?

Michael: Training with friends definitely makes running more enjoyable than going on your own – if you’ve signed up to the LandAid 10K with your colleagues, why not go training together? It’s a great team bonding exercise.

Emily: Running home from work (if possible) is a good way to make running part of your regular routine. Listening to music also helps – a bit of Drum and Bass gets the adrenalin going!

Having taken home a trophy last year, what tips would give for the actual race itself?

Michael: If you find yourself in locked in competition with a rival, I’d recommend letting them set the pace. Let them do the work and run into the wind, and just stick close behind them. That way you can save up your energy for overtaking them in that final sprint finish!

Emily: It can take quite a bit of mental strength to keep up the pace once you reach the halfway point and prepare for lap two. But in the moment, you can get quite competitive. I prefer to focus on overtaking other runners rather than how far I have to go!

What food keeps you fuelled on the big day?

Emily: Embrace the carb! I’d go for porridge for breakfast and a sandwich or pasta for lunch. Make sure it’s a couple of hours before running though to leave yourself with enough time to digest.

Michael: Don’t change your eating habits too much or pile on the food beforehand. Simple carbohydrates are the best – something that burns off easily. Avoid anything too fatty or something that’s going to sit in your stomach for too long – sometimes even bananas can do this. You might also want to bring a couple of energy gels with you on the run. For those coffee addicts in the office, you can pick up espresso flavour!

Finally, what are you most looking forward to about this year’s LandAid 10K?

Michael: It has to be the opportunity to get the property industry together and raise money for an excellent cause. With house prices rocketing, it’s more important than ever to give young people support with finding a place to call home.

Emily: Absolutely – I’m looking forward to spending time with colleagues and raising money for such a great charity tackling youth homelessness. Also, inevitably the drinks and party afterwards!

Places are still available for the LandAid 10K sponsored by Evans Randall Investors on 8 June at Clapham Common. Book your spot or sign up as a team today.