Training for the Great Birmingham Run Women's Running Magazine

Training for the Great Birmingham Run

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  September 22, 2015

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As a 33-year-old trying to juggle a busy work life with my love of running (and cake), I’m following a simple training plan, and hoping to stay injury free in order to complete two half marathons next month.

I was bitten by the running bug two and a half years ago, after spending the first thirty years of my life taking part in team sports and feeling unfit compared to others. The best decision I ever made was joining a beginners group at my local running club (Redway Runners) in April 2013 and I have never looked back. My initial aim was to complete one 5K parkrun without stopping, and 80 parkruns, eleven 10K races and seven half marathons later, I am well and truly hooked.

I ran my first half marathon in Milton Keynes in May 2014, and the main aim was to complete the distance without stopping. It was a great course, with brilliant support all the way around and a fantastic finish into the MK Dons Stadium. My finish time was 2hr 15mins and I was so proud to have run all 13.1 miles – even with the pesky slope after mile 10, and a stitch after drinking too much Lucozade!

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I am really looking forward to taking part in Great Birmingham Run 2015 as I loved the event and support around the course last year, and it was only the second half marathon I completed. This year I am keen to beat my course PB of 2hr 4mins (I was ecstatic to take 11 minutes off my first half marathon). After spending twelve years living in Birmingham, I was pleased the half marathon course went around my old student haunts of Broad St, Moseley and Selly Oak – I even liked the hills near Harborne. This year my boyfriend will also be running the Great Birmingham Run, as his PB is over 30 minutes faster than mine, I will be expecting a nice cup of tea and a big hug to be waiting for me when I cross the finish line! Hopefully I will get a new PB and finally break the two hour barrier.

Currently I try to run four times per week, which can be difficult when juggling training in with work, boyfriend, family, friends and volunteering commitments. All of the four runs I do weekly are very different; Monday is a 4 mile ‘social run’ with friends at a steady 9:45 minute mile pace, and Thursday is ‘interval’ training, alternating between hills, sprinting, mile repeats or relays. Saturday is now formally known as ‘Parkrunday’ and wherever I am I try to take part in the 5k parkrun, aim for a PB and look forward to tea and cake afterwards – I also love to plan in a bit of ‘parkrun tourism’ when visiting friends and family. Finally, Sunday is always a ‘long run’, which can be anywhere from one to two hours (10-minute mile pace) and includes plenty of loop backs.

Over the next month or so I will be building up the long Sunday runs up to 11 miles, and will make sure I plan in some tapering to be ready for the Cardiff Half Marathon (my 8th half) and the Great Birmingham Run (my 9th half) in October. I am chuffed that both of the races will be televised on the BBC, so watch out for me!

Author: Angela Mulligan

Women's Running Magazine

NMA’s 2020 Lifestyle Magazine of the Year, Women’s Running provides expert advice on gear and training, motivation from your favourite runners and the latest running news.

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