Alan Lawrenson

Alan Lawrenson

Runner and SOAR X Member

What got you into running? And what keeps you doing it?
I started running after moving to London. Having left my football team back in the North East, I didn’t fancy getting involved with a new squad, so turned to running. Progress keeps me going. Not necessarily getting faster, but also trying out new ways to train.

What is your typical training routine?
Parkrun always features, then usually a track session with a long run thrown in. Since I hit the wrong side of 30 I’ve started incorporating strength work.

Do you run with a club or a group?
I run with the mighty Queens Park Harriers (up the park!). We’re a friendly, social running group who regularly meet on a Tuesday and Sunday. I recently ran the Berlin marathon with a group of Hoops, it was truly a great experience, so much so that we’re all off to Chitown in 2018 to tick off another major.

You recently joined the SOAR X Cross-country training programme, what was it that appealed to committing to 10 weeks of training to race in the cold and the mud?
Training has always fallen by the wayside during the winter period. I wanted to make myself accountable during a key part of the year so that I can crack the sub 3hr marathon in 2018.   

How does it differ from your prior running experiences? Have you raced cross-country in the past?
I’ve ran a few cross country races, but have never taken them seriously.

Training with the same small group on a weekly basis really helps with motivation. Also, working with two top coaches in Matt and Barry makes a huge difference. Spotting flaws comes easy to them, loose laces and tense arms are just two changes I’ve made (never realised my running form for a marathon looked like Bolt when he runs 100m). 

And what have you learnt so far? Any top tips?
Run your fast runs faster and your slow runs slower.

Where's the strangest place you've run?
The door to the desert. For some strange reason, I thought it would be fun to run 156 miles through the Sahara desert carrying all my supplies for 5 days. I was punished and have since learned I am not built for the heat.

What song, if any, is guaranteed to make you run faster?
Whilst running Race to the Stones I listened to four songs nonstop for 12 hours. 1) All of the Lights - Kanye West 2) Lost in the World – Kanye West 3) Ain’t no stopping us now – McFadden & Whitehead 4) Runaway – Galantis What a mix

Do you run for the fun of it? Or for the results?
I’m not getting paid, so it has to be fun at least some of the time.

What is the best bit of advice you've had from another runner?
Relax your arms.

What simple advice would you give to a new or novice runner?
Join parkrun. It's free, frequent and they have them all over the shop. You'll get a lot out of it.

What is your favourite piece of SOAR kit?
Was never a fan of anything other than shorts until I tried the SOAR dual fabric tights. They work well for warming up and have very little resistance during long runs.

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