Get ready for the LandAid 10K

The LandAid 10k is only a month away!
We asked LandAid Head of Communications Tim Hudson, a keen runner, for his top training tips.  

What was your running experience like before taking part in the LandAid 10K? Any particular running/sporting achievements?

I really hated cross country at school, and any kind of long-distance running.

I have strong memories of cold, wet, miserable afternoons straggling behind all the bigger, stronger kids; my preference was to be running on the 100m track, getting it over with as quickly as possible!

It wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I challenged myself to go from couch-to-half-marathon, purely for the personal challenge of it (and maybe in the vain hope that it would somehow make me ‘a runner’). I put in loads of effort to a training plan I’d found on the internet and managed to get round the Wilmslow Half Marathon with my pride just about intact. Did I enjoy the experience? No, not really! But I set myself a goal and conquered the challenge.

It wasn’t until I moved to the fringes of Peak District a couple of years later that I eventually found how I could truly enjoy running. I had always loved hiking up big hills but it wasn’t until an old friend encouraged me to run up those very same hills with him that something clicked (my heels three times, I suppose) and I found my running ‘home’.

My first proper fell race was a local one – the Bollington 3 Peaks – which takes in 9km and 380m of elevation in the beautiful countryside where I live. That race, and training for it, set off a long-lasting love affair with running (I’m now even on my local running club committee!).

So, for me, the greatest running achievement wouldn’t be how far, fast or high I have run before now but finally discovering my own way to enjoy it.

What tips would you give a runner looking to smash their PB?

The sure-fire way increase your race pace, and grab a PB in the process, is to do some interval training.

It’s not something I indulge in personally (opting instead for the occasional hill-rep!) but doing some sessions where you are running at a comfortably tough pace for short periods (30secs, 1minute, 1km etc.) and then jogging slowly for the same period to recover in between those faster stints, is a well-evidenced way of pushing your limits on the day.

The idea is that you are training your body to learn to run more comfortably at a faster pace, making that faster pace more ‘the norm’ for you.

What keeps you motivated? How do you make running/training enjoyable?

For me, it’s all about the small victories.

The new hill I’ve never run all the way up before; running out to a viewpoint I’ve only visited by car before; seeing the pouring rain outside but getting out there and going for a run anyway. I don’t look for speed or necessarily always distance, but ask myself whether I enjoyed it and if I feel all the better for it afterwards.

On race day, do you have any superstitions or rituals you go through before you run?

Plenty of warming up and plenty of trips to the loo so I don’t get caught out mid-race!

Often on fell races there is an amount of required safety clothing and equipment that you need to carry on the race so I have a habit of constantly checking and re-checking my bag too.

What about breakfast? What food keeps you fuelled?

I’ll tend to have a small bowl of muesli and maybe a banana nearer to the start time.

It’s always a tricky one as you don’t want to be too full of food but you need to make sure you have the energy to get you round. The real key is what you eat the night before – a big bowl of pasta or similar is a good bet; some healthy carbs to load you up for the following day’s activity.

What are you most looking forward to about the LandAid 10K?

It will be great to see people coming together to race, after so long without regular in-person events happening.

It still feels a novelty to see events like this taking place. Even so, I always love the buzz of race day, of seeing some familiar faces, and enjoying the shared sense of anticipation  you have with everyone you meet on the day.

Now that you have all the tips and tricks you need to complete the LandAid 10K, don’t forget to sign up!

Sign up to the LandAid 10k now