Q&A: James Talks Entering BMC

James Spooner's highlighting his non-sporty past with Big Marathon Challenge

How did you get into running?

Back in 2012, I decided I should do something to get fit, and figured running was an easy way to go about it. I started with Couch to 5K (nhs.co.uk/livewell) and, to my amazement, having never been a sporty person I found that I actually really enjoyed running. From there I just became more and more obsessed! I did the Bupa 10K in May of that year and just sneaked under 50 minutes, which was my goal.

When did you first realise you had a talent for running?

I still don’t think of myself as particularly good! For me, I just think I’m a good example of the fact that even if you’re not super sporty, if you keep at something and put in the effort you can become good at it. That’s what I love about running: you really do get out what you put in. But the past couple of years have been when I’ve really started to take training seriously and put in the miles.

You regularly run 100-mile weeks…how?!

When I first started doing marathons my mileage obviously increased, and I found the more I ran, the more I improved. So I would do 50-mile weeks and then 60 and then 70, and I found my body could just cope with it, so at the start of 2017, training for Brighton Marathon, I decided to go all in and run 100 miles a week. Most days that means doubles sessions: running before work and then at lunch or in the evening.

Do you ever do any cross-training work or is it all running?

I try and do one or two bodyweight sessions a week: with squats, lunges, planks etc. I don’t use heavy weights at all, because I’m a typically scrawny runner! But that helps with staying injury-free.

What inspired you to enter BMC?

I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to work with a coach and also just because, like I said, I never used to consider myself a sporty person — and until recently didn’t think of myself as a runner — so I wanted to share that with other runners.

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