Getting to know…Mark Newson
Continuing our celebration of runners who have achieved half marathon for the first time this Autumn let me introduce Mark. Mark joined us in Spring for Fun Run training and again in the Autumn for half marathon training. Here is his story:
When did you start running and what got you into it?
In February this year, I had a bit of a health scare, where my diabetes level was very high and so was my blood pressure. I was sent to hospital to get checked out. After this, i decided it was time to change my lifestyle. I started to lose weight due to to healthy eating and going for walks. Deep down, I had always been in awe of people who were out running and thought could I do it. So in April I started running short distances, which felt good so I started running with a friend, who was an experienced runner and he started training me with a mixture of length of runs and types such as hill training. Jen, my wife was doing the Fun Run and i was lucky enough to get a slot myself. This was when i had my first experience of SE Fitness, as a friend had mentioned about the Fun Run training and Jen, Tracy (a friend) and myself joined the group to get conditioned.
What made you decide to go for your first half marathon?
Once the fun run had been completed, I felt that there was something left in the tank and wanted the next challenge.
Tell us about your half marathon experience from the training through to the actual race. What were the worst bits and what were the best bits?
Following the fun run training, I knew I had to do the half marathon build training with SE Fitness. I found the Saturday morning sessions were the perfect basis to achieve my goal as the distances were right each week to make the actual run enjoyable and bearable but also the fact that there were so many that were going through the same as me, maybe at different speeds and abilities but with the same goal. The worst bit for me was my first 10+ mile run where I didn’t get my energy intake right and felt rough after the run but learned quickly how important it is to listen to the experience within the group as they have been there before and probably made the same mistake at some point. The best bits are the camaraderie that is in abundance at SE Fitness. The support makes all the hard work bearable and makes me strive to achieve more.
Have you got anything you’d change next time?
I hope to increase the sessions i do with SE fitness by starting to do more in the week. Work makes it difficult but I will make the effort as it definitely improves my ability.
What’s your advice for anyone thinking of their first half marathon?
Believe it is possible. Make sure you try and make it to all or as many of the build up sessions. Listen to all the experienced runners advice.
Any running plans for the future?
Due to the disappointment of not completing the proper distance last week, it feels a hollow victory. So I have booked into doing the Birmingham Running Festival Half Marathon this weekend. I will look to do a half marathon each year and some quicker 10K runs across the midlands to keep challenging myself.