Alison is an ultra runner who runs 100 miles a week. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
No, I never really did sport until I discovered running. I didn't really have much hand-eye coordination so never really saw the appeal... Whoever knew that 20 years later I'd be running 100 miles a week on average in a year?!
What made you decide to enter the world of ultra running?
I really like the idea of pushing myself to my limits and running very long distances. I prefer the slow burn rather than 'deep fried' form of running!
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
The Beer Lovers Marathon in Liege. It's a different type of race and is definitely very fun. I would recommend it to everyone.
And your proudest achievement?
Achieving the fastest 100km time in Malaysia (men and women) of 9:40:40 on a trail course in winter.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
At the Tooting 24, there was a heat wave that weekend and I found it really hard to keep cool or fuel myself. Unfortunately, due to the nature of 24-hour races, once you fail to give your body enough nutrition, the body can't cope. I only managed 185.9km which was disappointing given the training I had put in.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I just treat each day as a new day and start again. I also don't complain too much and just get on with it regardless of what the weather is or how tough the session is. It builds mental strength and resilience which is so important as an athlete.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Find a coach you trust and don't just go with the coach everyone has. Having full and complete trust in your coach and them understanding your body is so important as it takes out a lot of second guessing. Working with a coach also takes time. It took about 6 months of working with my coach to see big leaps in my performance.
What are your goals?
To compete in the Big's Backyard ultra one day, and redeem myself on a 24-hour race.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
My coach. He is 70+ and still runs everyday for at least an hour, regardless of the weather. He is very passionate about running and carries this through when running sessions. He runs Tuesday track and Saturday hills for free for anyone and never fails to bring out some really horrible sessions!
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I like Sundried's approach to making kit sustainable and functional. As someone who run 100 miles a week, I like kit that last and Sundried materials are very hardy! I really like the sports bras and tops as they fit well to my body and do not chafe (very important for my super long runs!)