Clare Elms

Clare Elms


What got you into running? And what keeps you doing it?
When the triplets were young I needed an outlet and also some quiet time, so I started to do a few short runs a week, which soon became a daily routine and the runs became longer runs. Running became part of my daily life. A running friend said that I ought to join a running club, which I did and that was the beginning of my running/racing career at the age of 43. I broke 40 minutes for 10k within months and also started racing shorter races on the track. I think the mile/1500m is my favourite distance. I keep thinking I will wake up one day and not feel like running but that just never happens. Running is also about racing the clock and I keep doing it in hope of improving my times even at my age now!

What is your typical weekly training routine?
My training routine varies depending on the time of year and what races I am targeting. But I tend to always do a track session on a Tuesday and speed work on Thursdays. If I am training for a marathon I obviously increase my miles. During the track season I will do up to three speed sessons a week, with less volume but faster reps. I tend to race a lot, normally once a week even if some are more training runs than flat out races. I will try and rest one day a week and will then maybe swim instead.

Do you run with a club or a group?
Yes, I am a Dulwich Runner, we have a really big group at Tuesday's track session sometimes up to 50 members. On Thursdays there is a grass session in a local park or a group meet in Hyde Park for a tempo run during the lunch break. I normally do my long runs with others from the club as I tend to run better and also don't get lost!

Where’s the strangest place you’ve run?
Maybe not the strangest but the most amazing was last year when we were visting family in Kenya, I ran at my Brother in Laws holiday home which was a gated area in the middle of the game park in Ol Pejeta. I was reassured that there were not dangerous animals within the complex so I did a 10k circuit around the outer fence. There were zebras monkeys and many more animals but on the other side I could see herds of elephants and there were also lions! The game park was at 6000ft above sea level which in itself made training a real experince!

What song, if any, is guaranteed to make you run faster?
Since I started my daily runs to get away from my three noisy children, in search of peace and quiet I have never really got into the habit of listening to music, to be honest I enjoy it better that way.

Is it just for the fun of it? Or for the results?
I run because I love the feeling of running when I am fit. But I think for me running is about having goals and targets. Pbs and results are important to me but also how I run the races, if I work hard and don't give in and know afterwards I have given 100%!

What is the best bit of advice you’ve had from another runner?
I can't really think about one bit of advice, but my coach has been running a long time so has years of experince so I try to learn from him. I also really enjoy chatting to runners at the club and at races to learn about the different sessions people do and the way they train.

What simple advice would you give to a new or novice runner?
For me the most important thing about running is to enjoy the training and the races and not to put much pressure on yourself because really we do it because we choose to as a hobby. Goals are important but must be realistic, and also it is important to be patient not to overdo the training or run too many miles too soon and get injured.Also to be happy with your races and times because as I have got older I look back at some of my performances which at the time I wasn't happy with but now realise they were actually really quite good!

What is your favourite piece of SOAR kit?
I love running in the Oriel Capris as they are made of such amazing material, also the shell jacket is really lovely quality, it feels great and is totally waterproof and breathable!

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