Paul participated in our SOAR x TRY 5k PB training programme throughout June and July of 2018. The programme took 20 everyday runners under the coaching wing of Olympian Matt Yates, and elite coach Barry Elwell for 8 weeks of dedicated professional training as part of a team. The aim of which was to whip the participants into 5k PB shape by the end. We caught up with Paul about his experiences.
What appealed to you about the SOAR x TRY 5k Programme, and what led you to sign-up?
John Barron raved about the SOAR X Cross Country programme last winter. I was aware of the brand through doing the SOAR Mile twice in Battersea and also owning SOAR shorts. Also the idea of being trained by a non-running club was appealing.
How have you found the programme, what have been your highlights and how does it differ to the training you've done in the past?
Learning to take the basics really seriously like stretching and warm ups, things that I'd make any excuse not to do in the past have been really useful but also the sessions were tough but good and the info behind each session made it feel truly beneficial.
Do you have a favourite session, or element to the training?
I had a love/hate relationship with the fast and furious lap of the stadium. It was tough as hell, I had no idea where I was in the circuit as each section looks just the same and it was just fast and raw. Although it hurt it was a really good measure of progress.
And a least favourite, or perhaps 'most feared'?
Paarlauf 200s. I was preying that my running partner would just slow down to give me an extra few seconds rest. Oddly the 200 wasn't as mentally challenging as the 80 or so metres jog across back to the start line. There was nowhere to hide!
How do you feel it's changed you as a runner?
First, I have a lot more respect for stretching. I’d do anything in the day to be distracted from stretching and often just didn’t bother. I’m also better at fuelling at the right times and most importantly I’ve been educated how arms play an important role. Overall this was a crash course in the fundamentals of running. I knew about most of this prior to the SOAR course, but I just didn't apply them. I do now.
What are your top 3 takeaways from the programme which you'll implement in your own training?
1) Warm ups with bottoms and a second layer on top - no matter how hot it is
2) Drills and stretches are crucial
2) Using arms - my arms, as well as my legs - are also sore after a big track session - never had that before.
What's next for you in terms of racing and training?
I want to do more 1500s and 5ks until the winter marathon season kicks in. I am not doing any marathons after the one I'm doing in spring 2019 so that I can focus more on the shorter distances.
And last but not least, what's your favourite piece of SOAR kit, and why?
I love the Ultra Rain Jacket - I bought my wife one for Christmas and she says it's her favourite piece of running gear.
Tell us why you run, and you could be featured.Tell us your story
We’ll be in touch if we’d like to share your running story with our community on social media.
Meantime, keep running.
Tell us why you run, and you could feature on our Facebook page.