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Andy Greenleaf

Andy Greenleaf

Runner / Triathelete and data Scientist

I am a long distance runner and triathlete. I focus on events from 10k up to marathons, where I set a pb of 2:21 in 2015. Much of my training is combined with commuting to and from work, whilst more specific speed is done as part of a group that trains in Battersea Park.

What got you into running? And what keeps you doing it? 
My Dad has always been into running, and at the age of 11 he started to take me to races. Whilst I mostly finished towards the back of the field, I enjoyed it and so joined the local club, Winchester and District. My Dad never put pressure on me to compete and I think that helped maintain my interest in the sport as I was growing up. As I went to university and moved to London, I put more structure in my training and started to realise my potential. I always think I can go quicker at races and achieving a PB gives me great sense of satisfaction, however that will only come with continued training, and it is that that mostly gets me out the door running. 

What is your typical weekly training routine?
A typical week's training involves 3 main running sessions: an interval session on a Tuesday which will involve 8-9k of shorter reps, a threshold session on a Thursday which will involve up to 20k of longer reps and a long run on a Sunday which will be up to 20-22 miles and run at 6-6:30 min/mile pace. Between these sessions, I will do a number of steady runs to or from work, and some swimming and cycling as this gives the legs a rest from the pounding of running whilst being able to maintain the aerobic workout.
 
Do you run with a club or a group?
I'm a member of Serpentine Running Club who I race for regularly. My interval training groups are made up of runners from a number of different London clubs, all with a similar race target in mind. I'm also fortunate to have a number of friends who 'run commute' in the same direction home as me so it means I do the majority of my runs with others.
 
Where’s your favourite place you’ve run?
South of France in Provence-Alpes region. The forest trails in the foothills there are incredible, its unlikely you will see anybody else, and I really like to run in the sun and heat which there is often plenty of during the summer
 
What song, if any, is guaranteed to make you run faster?
Most songs by Arcade Fire. It reminds me of summer holidays spent running in Provence where I listened to their albums over and over again.
 
Is it just for the fun of it? Or for the results?
I do run for the competition and it is always good to have a goal to aim for as it keeps you focused. I'll often have a long term goal (such as a marathon, 10k or triathlon), but along the way I will have a number of other races that will help give be a short term target and allow me to understand my progress. I do also love the training as its great to encourage you exercise outside which is very contrasting to the sedentary lifestyle many of us have.
 
What is the best bit of advice you’ve had from another runner?
Interval sessions make you faster. I have run for over 20 years, however for the first 15 of those, the majority of my runs were at a constant pace. Only more recently have I joined in with groups in London where interval sessions are the norm and I've got used to turning my legs over quicker. This has boosted my results and has allowed me to set all my PBs within the past 5 years.
 
What simple advice would you give to a new or novice runner?
Be determined, give yourself a realistic and relatively short-term goal and continue to motivate yourself to hit that target. Results won't come overnight, but they also don't require you to run everyday. As long as it never feels a chore to lace up your trainers and run out the door, you should be in a position to enjoy it and achieve your targets.

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