An Interview With Long Distance Runner Charlotte Purdue
Written By: SportsShoes
Freaking out so soon before the marathon? There is nothing to worry about with a little preparation. SportsShoes have caught up with professional British long-distance runner & Nike athlete Charlotte Purdue to share advice for anyone looking to complete a marathon this year on how to prepare for a marathon mentally & physically and find out about the best kit to take.
How did you get into running?
I got into running through my secondary school Farnborough Hill. My friends put my name forward for the school cross country and I was 4th in my year group. Top 6 went to the district schools, and that’s where I met my first coach Mick.
You started at grassroots level all the way to an elite completing several distances in that time – do you find that has helped you to be the athlete you are today?
Yes, I think the fact that I’ve been running for so long is a benefit, as my body has adapted to being a runner over the years. I started with the 800m and worked up to the marathon distance.
For some runners, the morning of a marathon can be stressful, what do you recommend one does the morning of a race?
I always plan out the morning of a marathon ahead of time so that it’s not stressful. Make a list and plan out everything that you need to do so that you’ve thought through everything when you aren’t nervous!
For someone who wants to run a marathon shall they run half marathons and 10ks before or just do marathon training?
It is better to start off with 10ks, half marathons before jumping straight into the marathon as you can give your body a chance to build up to the mileage gradually rather than jumping straight in to the full 26.2 training. The shorter distances are also good for working on speed before you start building up.
How often do you take on gels and fluid during a marathon?
I usually take on gels/fluids every 10km during a marathon. If it’s a hot day I will go for every 5k.
What shoes do you run the most in and why?
How does the Zoom family help contribute to your training?
I love the Zoom Fly the best, they are light but also supportive enough to wear for long marathon type sessions and are great and really responsive on the road.
24 hours out from a race how do you prepare mentally and physically?
I just like to relax! Nothing special, just chilling out and not really doing much, getting ready for the next day!
How important is S&C/gym work around training?
I do gym work twice a week, my sessions aren’t particularly long as I’m running about 120 miles per week during a marathon build up so I like to keep them short, but effective. When I’m not doing specific marathon training I will make my gym sessions a little longer.
Nutrition – are you strict with what you do and don’t eat?
I think that nutrition is very individual. I’m not super strict, I just try to make sure I’m eating good nutritious food 80% of the time throughout the week.
Are there certain food groups to avoid around marathon training?
I don’t cut anything out. I just avoid anything that gives me a bad stomach when I’m running!
What are the hardest parts about being a professional athlete?
I love being a professional athlete, the only negative is being away from home all the time. I love travelling but sometimes you miss home and family, and my dog! I mostly love travelling though!
If there was one piece of advice you could give a first time marathon runner what would it be?
One piece of advice for new marathoners... get some Nike VaporFly 4%!!! No seriously, if you do the training you don’t need to fear the race. Get a proper training plan and stick to it.
How does the 4% help you? Do you feel a clear difference compared to the Pegasus for example?
The 4%s are great, I like to save them just for racing. They are light and fast on the road surface. They just make me feel fast when I put them on!
A marathon is a long way, do you think about anything when you are running?
When I’m running during the marathon I don’t think about anything in particular, just when I'm going to get a drink, looking at landmarks, concentrating on splits...
What is going through your head in those last few miles of the race?
The last few miles I just try to get to the end as quick as I can!