We caught up with five times marathon runner and UKRunChat Ambassador, Katie Mawdsley, to see how she prepares for a race and her recovery afterwards.
Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I’m Katie, a 36 year old accountant that you’ll find running around Southport! I’m up to 5 marathons so far, although I think half marathon is my favourite distance. I’m lucky enough to have achieved Good for Age for London marathon 2017, which will be number 7 (Valencia is no 6 in November!). Running has gone from a necessity, to a hobby, to a way of life. I’m part of the UKRunchat team, and new Southport Parkrun core team, so if I’m not running, I’m chatting about running! Aside from my love for running, I’m partial to red wine, gin and chocolate, not all at the same time though!
How and why did you get into running? I was overweight and determined to get fit, so after using a cross trainer at home to start the weight loss process and reaching a plateau, I joined a gym to try and get to my goal. I spent most of the time on the treadmill, usually 30-60 mins, looking out the window. One sunny day I decided I didn’t want to be stuck inside so the next day I went for a run. It was awful! I barely managed 8 minutes! It’s a whole different ball game outside! I refused to be beaten, ordered a sports watch and went out again. That was June 2013, I’ve not looked back since!
What is your favourite race and why? That’s a tough one, there are a couple that I love and will try and run each year if I can. The Maddog 10k in Southport takes number 1 spot. I’ve run it the past three years, it was my first race and is usually my first for the year. Its in February, and along the coast, so is usually a massive battle of the elements, I’ve run against 30mph winds! Its so well organised, fantastic medal, tshirt and goody bag, which usually includes socks, water bottle, event clips and a variety of food and water. A close second would be Silverstone half, for any F1 fan it’s a must, being able to run on the circuit is fantastic, another well organised event.
How do your prepare for a race? My race prep starts the week leading up to race day. I cut my mileage depending on the race distance, and easy miles only a day or two before. I always make sure I hydrate well the day before the race, 2+ litres, including electrolyte tablets to make sure I’m topped up. If it’s a marathon I make sure I have a pasta based dinner, half and 10k I don’t find it as much of a necessity, but tend to include some carbs. Kit out, checked and rechecked, especially if I’m staying away from home the night before. Race morning is porridge or Weetabix for breakfast with a coffee, at least 2-3 hours before start, usually about 200ml water up to about 30-60 mins before the start. Several toilet stops – as all runners do – and I’m good to go!
What motivates your during a run? Achieving the time/distance I set out to run. Sometimes it’s a very mental battle to keep up pace or go the distance. I am usually training for a target goal/race, and that keeps me focused and determined to stick with it. The feeling of finishing a race faster than you thought is amazing, you can’t beat it. That motivates me to keep going.
What’s the first thing you do once you cross the finish line? Take on some water, and go get my kit bag. Shoes come off and OOFOS come on, it feels good to get my feet out of my running shows, especially after a marathon! Make up my recovery drink or eat a protein flapjack as soon as possible, to replace carb stores and start the recovery process.
How do you recover? For me recovery starts straight away and carries on for the next few days. I am in my OOFOS as soon as possible and for as long as possible after a long run or race, you would find me in the supermarket in winter in them after a long run, lots of funny looks! I’m not the best stretcher post run/race, but I’m learning to do more. I’ve had injury in the past so making sure I stay injury free is important. I always try and go for a run the day after a race, helps loosen my muscles. Hurts for the first few minutes but gets easier!
If you could do anything to relax, what would it be? In the sun on a beach or by the pool, with a refreshing cocktail to keep cool!
Thanks Katie, good luck with marathons six and seven!