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Three Roads, One Goal: Mo Hashi

Embark on a series of interviews with three SOAR Race Team athletes gearing up for the London Marathon this year. Join us as we sit down with Jacob, Mo, and Andy to explore how athletes with diverse backgrounds unite toward a shared objective. From training techniques to aspirations, gain insights into managing elite-level training alongside the everyday commitments of amateur racers.

Our second guest is Mo Hashi.

What do you consider your best/favourite race distance and why? 

I think, based on my recent training and racing experience, the half marathon is probably the sweet spot for me. I prefer doing the hard speed/tempo workouts. The half marathon allows me to be versatile, unlike the marathon training which takes longer build up. 

My London Marathon debut was amazing, and I enjoyed it immensely. The crowd was unbelievable throughout the whole race. 

How has your approach to training evolved over the years? 

I usually take 6 months before the race to do a lot of volume training and build up consistent mileage. At some point during my training plan, I started to include high-intensity workouts on the track every Tuesday and in the last weeks before the race, I would train at race-like intensities for example longer reps at marathon pace. 

I have tried a few different methods of training and the results have been very different from the first marathon. For my first marathon in London in 2023 I managed 6 weeks of actual marathon training which included high mileage (85-115 miles at peak). In comparison to the Valencia marathon in December 2023 where I tried running more intense sessions at MP but lower overall mileage. 

Can you describe how you’ve approached your training block for the London Marathon? 

In the last 2 marathon blocks, I have been lucky enough to train in Kenya at high altitude at the “Home of Champions “Iten. This build-up has been slightly different as I knew I would be fasting [Holy month of Ramadan] in the middle of the marathon block, I prioritised quality over quantity. 

This approach for London was slightly different from my usual routine, I decided to focus more on my speed rather than mileage and big chunks of marathon pace work. During this block I have tried to race more regularly through the training cycle and in the first 2 months of training I ran personal bests over the 5k (14:34) and 10km (30:48) which was a big confidence booster. 

How do you structure your training week to balance mileage, speed work, and recovery? 

A balanced running schedule is essential going into a marathon block. 

My training schedule/ structure is pretty flexible but simple. The ideal weekly routine is 2 or 3 sessions which varies from track, road, and hills. The rest of the week is dedicated to easy runs which are usually at a relaxed pace.

The weekend is always perfect for long runs (18 to 24 miles) and recovery (including pancakes). 

How do you manage training around work and family life? 

Luckily my job is within the running industry, which allows me to be very flexible with my training and another way to help me is being surrounded by like-minded individuals who have the same interests

I always plan my runs around everything whether it’s running early before work if I’m busy or if I have family commitments. Most of my runs are around Bushy Park which makes it extremely easy to go for runs on my lunch break or after work. Being based in Teddington for work is always a blessing as I have many top-class athletes to join for social runs. 

What’s the key pre-marathon session? 

Key pre-marathon workouts include running lots of fast laps around Battersea Park. Some of the best training I’ve completed that has helped my marathon build-up includes:

· 3x10km with 1km float all at marathon pace: 

· 21km - 1km hard / 1km easy: with the overall average split being close to marathon pace

· Weekly 20 milers around hilly Richmond are my favourite

What’s your approach to tapering? How do you handle the taper restlessness and doubt? 

The taper would normally start 2 weeks before the big day and I prefer to maintain higher quality workouts but lower volume overall. Then 10 days out is probably the most important part where I would recommend getting a sports massage and mentally preparing yourself for the big day by understanding that the training is now done and it’s time to deliver because I know that I have followed the plan, now it is time to recover so I’m fresh on that race day.

What are your pre-race rituals and routines? 

I’m not a superstitious person but as I say below, I do have a fuelling routine the night before and keep things simple to stay as relaxed as possible. I do however like to have a fresh kit and new race day shoes/socks. Doing a light warm-up to prepare the muscles and get the blood flowing. Visualising the race and mentally preparing for the competition always helps to keep nerves calm. 

How do you approach pacing and strategy during the marathon? 

It can be tempting to start at a fast pace, especially with the adrenaline of the crowd. However, I would suggest breaking the race into segments and mentally breaking the race into sections such as 5k, and 10k intervals. The key focus is to stay consistent with my pacing and reassess the strategy if needed. 

Also, I would try to stick to the race plan: Before the race having a clear race plan that includes my goal pace, fuelling strategy, and hydration plan. Sticking to this plan as much as possible during the race to avoid burning out or hitting the wall is very important. 

How do you handle nutrition and hydration during long training runs and on race day? Do you have any specific fuelling strategies that you find particularly effective for the marathon distance? 

Generally, the night before a long training run, I typically eat a large dinner made up of carbohydrates and protein with my classic go-to meal being rice, chicken, and mixed vegetables. Since I have a sweet tooth, I’ll also have a pastry for dessert. The morning of a key marathon session I’ll typically wake up two hours before and start the day with a coffee or tea. To get some carbohydrates into the system I like to have overnight oats with some honey and a banana.

During the run I’ll make sure to take on some electrolytes either in gel or liquid form, these will typically be either Maurten or Science in Sport (SIS). I’m very lucky to work in the running industry so I get great exposure to different brands, and I get to figure out what works well for me. My race day preparation is the same routine as above but during the race, I will take one gel every 30 minutes. I will also make sure to drink some water at each station even if it is just one sip. 

The best advice I can offer is to keep it simple, find out what works best for you and practice it before the race. 

Reflecting on past marathons, what have been some of the most valuable lessons you've learned about training, racing, and preparing for the 26.2-mile distance? 

With the experience I have gained I have come to learn that each marathon is very different and the way you may feel on race day can be too. When the preparation is done, and the big marathon sessions are completed the months and weeks before I can feel proud and confident on the start line and in a position to give it a good shot. If you can stay relatively injury-free (touch wood), consistent with training and get out the door on those rainy days it will all be worthwhile when you get to the start line. 

Most importantly enjoy the process and the people you meet along the way. For me, nothing beats an early morning long run followed by some good pancakes and coffee with teammates. 

What’s your target time? 

I am determined to improve on my personal best time of 2:24 and most importantly enjoy the atmosphere. If I was to set a target for myself it would be to get as close to 2:20 as possible, but race day is race day and who knows what can happen.  

What’s the perfect post-marathon munch? 

Like most people, I’m always shattered and in need of sugar and carbs. To solve this, I’ll try and meet up with teammates near the finish line and eat something easy like pizza or again pancakes - there’s a bit of a theme here in my nutrition. Throughout the rest of the day, I’ll make sure to take on 2 litres of water. 

Since I have been fasting leading up to the London marathon, I’ll be sure to enjoy the post-marathon munch that bit more. 

Post London what is your next challenge? 

Post London Marathon I plan to get back into some speed work on the track to build to Highgate Night of the 10k PBs. This will be a nice change from marathon training but won’t last too long with the Berlin Marathon build starting in June.