Running with Alex Moran
After the launch of Running Club last year, jogging around the grand setting of Birmingham University once a week has become a common occurrence for many of the MPW Students. This year AS student and aspiring Lawyer, Alex Moran has been the figurehead for Running Club which he has developed into Half Marathon Club! He tells us about his experience of running and how he balances his passion with studying at MPW.
When was your last race and how is your body coping from it?
My last race was the Stratford Half Marathon in April. I wasn’t sure how I would get on there with it being only two weeks after the London Marathon but I felt adequately recovered and managed to get round in 1 hour 27 minutes. I cope fairly well after half marathons now and was able to do a recovery run the second day after the race.
What’s the most difficult race you’ve ran?
My most difficult race was the London Marathon 2014. It was my first marathon and so was completely unknown. It was a really tough race, but I loved it at the same time and can’t wait to do it again next year.
How do you prepare for such a race?
My training for the London Marathon was really different to anything I had done before as it involved long runs of up to 24 miles. Prior to the marathon my longest training runs for half marathons were 15 miles, so it was a challenge to balance longer runs with some speed work.
Which club do you run with and how long have you been with them?
I train with a number of clubs. I train with Barnt Green and have done for around 4 years now. Their Monday night run is my favourite run of the week as it is more relaxed and there is a more social element to it. I also train with BRAT (Birmingham Running and Triathlon Club) and Bournville Harriers. Their coached sessions really help to develop my technique and it is good to run with people much faster than I am – it always makes push myself harder.
What’s your training schedule on a weekly basis?
My training schedule currently involves 2 steady runs of between 6 and 8 miles, a long run of around 15 miles at just below race pace, a speed work session on the track and the 4 mile MPW Birmingham Half Marathon group training run. I also try to get a couple of bike sessions in. Usually I manage to do a session on the turbo trainer and then a 30-40 mile ride on Sunday morning.
How do you balance being an athlete with your education?
It is hard to balance training with education. Before my time at MPW I was training with Great Britain Triathlon and was training up to 25 hours per week. This led to a neglect of my studies and I have had to scale back my training in order to concentrate on my A levels. The focussed nature of MPW has enabled me to train a fair amount whilst raising my academic aspirations. Education ultimately has to come first, although if exercise and study can go hand in hand that is even better, but I have learnt that it has to be in moderation. I now have the attitude that if I have work and training to do, training must be sacrificed for that evening.
What are your long term aspirations - academically and in sport
My academic aspirations are to study Law at University and become a Solicitor. This is something that MPW has made a real possibility. In sport I would love to go back to triathlon if I go to University. In the medium term it would be great to represent Great Britain at the age group World Championships over the Olympic distance (1500m swim, 40k ride, 10k run). However, my ultimate goal long term goal in sport is to represent Great Britain at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.