Vitality Big Half: Hayley Carruthers 4th Female 1.11 minutes! Hayley explains she is still in shock. Next race……London Marathon.

Hayley Carruthers must surely be one of England’s most promising athlete’s. She has only been running seriously for less than 3 years, yet she has achieved some amazing success. She was the first English Female finisher in the 2018 Great North Run and competed for her first time as an International English athlete in the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon. With her new coach Dan Robinson her running has continued to improve and the Vitality Big Half was Hayley next challenge. She explained her experience;

“The big half in London was one of the best learning experiences of my running career so far. My goal for the Big Half was to beat some of the fastest women’s half marathon runners in the UK. To even attempt this was a huge honour. I would have never even considered this 1 year ago. Even though I ran a 3 minute PB (that I am extremely happy with), the euphoria of completing this race is deeper than that.”

“From mile 1 I felt I was running a pace that was far too fast for me to hold for 13.1 miles. Mile 2 I considered my first DNF. This was going to be really tough. When we hit the first headwind the pack of lead women/men separated quickly and I found myself running alone a few meters behind them unable to inject some pace to catch them back up. This was when my coach decided to sacrifice his race in order to run with me. He could see the panic stricken look in my face as I signalled to him I was in trouble.”

“I then reached into mental toughness toolkit. I began to use other’s legs to power my legs and switch off the focus of how much mine were hurting because I was not going to stop. When this stopped working I focused on lampposts/signs. Just get to the next one. Also, by concentrating on the fierce headwind that would come at regular intervals during the race allowed a longer term focus to split the race up quite well by distracting myself from what was to come and running in the moment. By switching through these mental strategies I allowed myself to run strong and relax regardless of how much I was hurting by separating the physical and mental cues. I was so focused within the last mile I ran straight into the back of Dan (my coach)! I felt so mentally strong I knew I could do it. This race taught me that I am a lot mentally tougher that I though I was.”

Above: Hayley and Dan (her coach and friend) finishing.

Above: Hayley and Dan (Coach And friend).

It is clear from everyone who has met Hayley she is modest and supportive of all runners no matter what speed they are. She is a regular park runner especially at her local Walsall parkrun.

Below: Hayley at Walsall parkrun (white top & black shorts).

Below: Hayley and her coach Dan Robinson at Walsall parkrun

You can follow Hayley on Twitter at @mileswithhayley and her coach Dan at @rungrylikeawolf Hayley also had Psychological Support with Dr. Andy Lane , of Winning Lane (website winninglane.com). You can follow him on Twitter at @AndyLane27 & partner Helen at @RunHelenLane

Hayley Carruthers Represents England in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2018

The marathon is an opportunity for redemption. Opportunity because the outcome is uncertain. Opportunity, because it’s up to you, and only you, to make it happen.” Hayley Carruthers

After finishing First Female at the Great North Run Hayley describes her experience of being selected and running for England in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

“My first opportunity to compete as an international England athlete was such an exciting, overwhelming and fantastic experience and if I could do it ten times over, I would.”

“As I have only being running for 2 years, I never thought an opportunity to compete in Toronto, Canada for my third ever marathon would come along for me at all and never mind so soon.”

“I had two choices. Aim for a show-stopper performance on my England debut and put myself on the line with the risk of ‘blowing-up’ or just aim to PB and accept the time I was given. For anyone that knows me I don’t do things by halves. Yes, I doubt myself at times but who doesn’t.

When I was standing on that start line the nausea, nerves and fear set in. Why? Because I cared about the result and wanted to make sure all my training was put to good use. ”

“That pre-race confusion when your brain no longer functions.”

“As soon as the gun went off all of my nerves evaporated and I felt nothing but gratitude for the opportunity that I had been given and I was going to savour every moment. For me this meant focusing on each mile as they came and living in the present. I didn’t think about what I had done or what I had to do, but only what I was doing at that present moment. I made my choice at mile 17. I felt relaxed, smooth and energetic. I felt too good not to risk it all. So that’s what I did and I ran the last 9.2 miles as hard as I could. The result was an 11 minute PB and the most enjoyable race of my life.”

Hayley is modest and down to earth. She regularly participates in parkruns.

Behind the glamour of Race Day, we don’t see all the hard training.day in and day out.

“Building big foundations to chase those big dreams.”

You can follow Hayley on Twitter at @mileswithhayley

Hayley had Psychological Support with Prof Andy Lane, part of Winning Lane. You can follow Andy on Twitter at @AndyLane27 and partner Helen at @RunHelenLane

Saturday 18th August: Free Talk by Susan Partridge and Rebecca Robinson

This was the second talk in a series of free talks, organised by Professor Andy Lane and Dan Robinson.

The day started with a get together of some runners at the Walsall Arboretum parkrun.

Photo: Susan Partridge, Rebecca Robinson, Dan Robinson (no relationship to Rebecca), Andy Lane.

This was followed by a drill session on the running track at the University of Wolverhampton (Walsall Campus). The drills focus on improving running technique and were led by Mark Nietz, a Strength and Conditioning Expert for the English Institute of Sport.

Dr Rebecca Robinson

The first speaker was Rebecca Robinson, an International Mountain Runner and Road Runner. Her dedication and strong mental aptitude propelled her to 5th fastest on the British Ranking list last year. She has a P.B. Marathon time of 2.36 and a 5km P.B., of 15.48.

If being a runner at this level isn’t enough, Rebecca works as a Physician at the Centre Health and Human Performance in Harley Street, London, specialising in Sport & Exercise Medicine. Rebecca is also Clinical researcher in physical activity at Sheffield Teaching Hospital and a Consultant in SEM in Musculoskeletal medicine at Moor and Ilcley Medical Practice.

The list doesn’t end there, Rebecca is also a consultant for the English Institute of Sport with the GB Boxing Team & British Athletics.

Today her talk was focused on her applied practitioner experience with runners athletes with Relative Energy Deficiency, due to dieting or the pressure of keeping at a very low body weight.

Rebecca explained that more awareness and education is needed both for the athlete and the coach to prevent underperforming due to extremely low calorie diets and dysfunctional eating. Training on a low calorie diets prevents the growth of muscles, she explained. It was a fascinating talk and its became clear that there are so many sides to Rebecca as she has so much running experiences.

Susan Partridge

Susan Partridge is a middle distance and long distance runner who has represented Great Britain at the World Athletic Championships and the European Athletic Championships. She also represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games. Susan has a 2.30 marathon PB, and she has won the Reading & Cardiff Half Marathon and The Great Birmingham Run Twice.

Susan shared her experiences of running from when she was young to becoming an elite runner. There was some very interesting experiences and she explained how she kept a balance between running and the rest of her life.

After they both spoke there was plenty of time to ask questions to both Susan and Rebecca. It was lovely, to hear and see two such down to earth, modest and interesting people. They both downplayed their abilities and performance.

There will be more free talks to come so keep following Twitter @RunHelenLane @andylane27 or Facebook to see when the next one is.