Most runners measure their runs in terms of miles or kilometres, Emily Beaumont measures them in crossings or circumferences of National Parks. As well as answering the two questions that immediately spring to mind, “Why”? and, “How”?, Emily tells us how she got into running in the first place and how the speed work is helping towards the shorter distance of the marathon.
1. How did you get into running and why?
I had done Race for Life a few times in prior years, but didn’t really train for them. Inspired by one of my sisters doing triathlons and 10k’s, me and my older sister decided to do something about our own fitness and started exercise classes. I was doing 8 classes a week and dropped 2 dress sizes. I got a new job and was asked to join some colleagues in the gym; I was impressed with my own fitness on the treadmill. So in 2012 I started incorporating running into my weekly schedule, along with the classes and the gym, to maintain the weight loss and still be able to eat what I wanted (mainly anything chocolate).
2. What kept you going when you first started running?
At first it was the new routine and the challenge of upping my distance that kept me going. Then I booked my first race, a 5 mile run, and was hooked. I made sure I had a race every month to keep me motivated.
3. How much training do you typically do each week?
At the moment I am doing a run-every-day streak, so I’m running every day, but some days are just steady miles to keep the streak going. Mondays are SRG with Up and Running, this provides a great recovery run after the racing weekend. I try to get to club once a week and a faster pace run (usually parkrun) at least once a week too. My mileage ranges from 25-40miles each week, but often more if I’m racing a longer distance. I don’t train specifically for the longer races, as I tend to have one or two races a month which provides training for the next race.
4. Be honest, do you enjoy training?
As I’ve started incorporating club runs more regularly into my routine I have found speed, which I am enjoying. The days when I am feeling a little fatigue or if I have had a busy day at work, they are the tough one’s where I wonder ‘why the hell am I doing this?’ – but to be truthful those days aren’t very often.
5. Do you manage to fit in any other hobbies?
The rest of my time when not running or working is mainly spent with my family. Although as boys get older, the less they want to do with me. One activity that we do as a family is snowboarding, we try to go every other month and hope to organise a trip away for some snow fun.
6. Tell us about some of the races that you’ve done in the past
In my seven years of running I have done many, many races as I am addicted to them, and always like to challenge myself and go further. In my first year of running I did the Great North Run half marathon – everything went perfectly and I ran the full distance without walking. To this day that remains my half marathon PB time. This inspired me to book my first full marathon for the following year, Edinburgh. I got round but not as fast as I hoped as I struggled in the second half in the heat and on tired legs. After that I wanted to do another marathon, having completed some trail races in that year I decided to enter a 30 mile trail ultra. My training proved a struggle, and on a whim I got an entry on the day for a trail marathon (2013). My first hardmoors! It was a shock to the system, tough, tiring and painful but absolutely loved being out on the moors the scenery was fantastic. I immediately signed up to do all 6 marathons the next year. I am a hardmoors groupie and have done so many of their races now, right up to completing the 110 (actually 112 miles), following the Cleveland way, three times. The Hardmoors have a real family feel to it, I have made many friends. Although the events have grown in size and popularity since I first started, I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I have done other trail races mostly anything marathon distance and over. My marathon and ultra count currently stands at 64!
7. What’s your current running goal?
I have starting speed training to get some pb’s as all my fastest times were in my first year of running. I have already achieved a parkrun pb and a 10k pb this year, and want a half and full marathon pbs also. I have entered an ultra race which is further than any other races that I’ve ran before, but that one is top secret so wont share any details yet.
8. What is your favourite race/distance/terrain?
I prefer running anything trail that is marathon distance or over. My favourite race has to be the Hardmoors 55; I have done this race 5 times. This race follows the Cleveland Way from Guisborough to Helmsley or vice versa depending on the direction the race director decides to do it. Weather has been challenging the last few years but that is what makes it all the more interesting.
9. What are your proudest running achievements?
I have a few; completing the Hardmoors Grand Slam (4 ultras), then the following year completing the Hardmoors Super Slam (5 ultras – one new 80 mile race never ran before); then receiving a Special Merit Award at the latest Quakers Awards for completing the Super Slam. I have also received a Golden Man from the SRG awards for being ‘Wonder Woman’. But my proudest moment was completing the Lakeland 100. This race has a 50-60% finisher rate and runs through two nights, to complete this challenge knowing that other brilliant athletes haven’t, is an amazing feeling – I am very emotional about this one. Maybe one day I’ll share my race report with everyone.
10. Anything in your running experience you regret?
My running journey and experiences have all lead to me doing what I love doing now. My only regret is that I wished I had start it sooner.
11. How many pairs of trainers/ running shoes do you have and do you have a favourite pair?
I currently have one road pair and two trails that I use most often. I do still keep a few pairs of older shoes, which I wear every now and then. I do have a few pair which are broken, but as they hold a lot of memories I can’t face myself to bin them.
12. What’s your idea of running heaven?
A full day of running on the moors or in the lakes, on a cool day full of tranquillity, just me, the wildlife and the surroundings.
13. What’s your idea of running hell?
Road running on a hot blistering day
14. Any advice to newcomers to running?
It does get easier, persevere and don’t limit yourself, try new terrains, routes and distances to find your happy place.
15. What keeps you going when the going gets tough in a hard race?
My stubbornness, it’s usually my own determination that gets me to the end of a race. And of course the thought of eating some cake.
16. How do you relax/reward yourself after a race?
I don’t do anything specific, after a race I would treat myself by eating chocolate or cake and drinking cider – but I do this when not racing so it’s not really a reward 😊. I normally get post race-day blues, so often reward myself after a good race by looking for and usually booking up another race.
17. If you could run anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Too many places, I could never possible choose one. As you’ll have gathered, it will be any trail; Grand Canyon, Amazon Rainforest, Sahara, Australian outback, and Alps just to name a few.