Andy Lane is our current winner of the Uknetrunner of the year award, as voted by Uknetrunner members. We have asked Andy a few questions to find out more about him & his running career to date.
Congratulations on your award. Did you expect to be nominated / win?
I was deeply honoured to be nominated and even more honoured to be voted winner. I did not expect either. I do chip in with sports science links and comments and its nice to know these are appreciated.
How long have you been a member of Uknetrunner, & how long have you been running?
We (Helen & I) joined UKnetrunner in 2014. I did my first running race in 1982 - the Ware 10 miles. I was a boxer and ran as part of training. On stopping boxing in 1988, I started running and doing triathlon. I did my first marathon in 1992, St Albans. It was on Helen's birthday in December and we both did it – very unprepared. Running and triathlon went to the backseat when children came along in 1995. I had an injury in a rather personal place and could not run. I gained a lot of weight, eventually being 25kg heavier than I am now. Between 1995 and 2007, I used to run but did not race.
In 2007, the year of an unmentionable birthday age, I changed my diet and upped my training. From 2007 until now, it has been a lot of running and racing.
What is your favourite race distance & why?
Favourite distance; has to be 5km. 299 parkruns is good evidence that I like the distance. I like running as hard as possible and competing against others and myself. A parkrun 5km lets you do this weekly.
Do you have any running career highlights you would like to talk about?
I have 3 highlights..
a) in 1990 - after 8 years of trying, I finally broke 60 mins for 10 miles.. 59.57 with a sprint from 400m in… very hard.
b) Sub 18 min parkrun.. it took 58 parkruns to go sub 18 mins..
c) In 2015, 23 years after my first sub 3 marathon attempt I went under 3 hours. It was at London and it was the result of following a long term training plan. Because marathons are so demanding, when you miss the goal, it takes a while to have another go. And staying injury free pushing your fitness is a major challenge.
What are your targets for this year, and do you have any events planned?
I have been struggling with knee injuries for over a year. My goal is to stay active and keep fit. Runners get injured and it’s a negative state. However, my approach is to look for new challenges and try to keep positive. I will do parkrun (Helen will run and I will walk, and I my parkwalk goal is now sub 30 mins… doable with a fast turnover I think!).
I have also been entering cycle events.
Back to running, I have a good for age place in the London Marathon I will defer. If I can run with a month to go, I might run. I have the base fitness.
I am doing a 24 hour 'run' at Equinox which I will walk. I plan to walk parkruns as we have a lot a friends at parkrun and this keeps our social running connections active.
What is your typical training week like?
I train 6 days per week. I like to get out each morning. I used to do a very slow run (9km per hour pace, 11 min miling, or just faster than walking). I am currently keeping the habit gong and walking (8km an hour pace – not much difference really (good for Equinox training). These sessions are good for my mood. Its about getting outside.
In terms training that gets me fit?
Sunday is endurance (long, 2 hours plus).
Monday: Strength and core and so its weight training.
Tuesday is a 60-min session at lactic threshold, which for me is a heartrate over 130 and under 150 (I had it tested in a laboratory test; something we should all use to guide our training).
Thurs is intense intervals – short and hard with the aim of pushing maximal levels. The recovery length and intensity varies.
I train around 10 hours per week.
Where are your favourite places to run?
Beacon park, Lichfield. Lovely in the morning.
Marathon run; the run to the Outdoor centre near the war memorial - 30 mins out at threshold, 30 mins back. What happens is you run further as training progresses which is good for motivation. The session is as hard on the first time you do as the next one. Once you do it once, you can do it again. It builds self-belief.
Do you have any training tips for other members?
Polarize training; make the hard sessions harder (and specific to the event) and the easy sessions easier.
Have you take part in the Round Norfolk Relay for Uknetrunner previously, and would you take part this year if we can get a team together?
Yes, we would love to take part. We will do it this year in some format. I might be the support crew but Helen should be ok.