Skating legend Jayne Torvill caught the running bug late in life. It was only two years ago when she ran her first obstacle race that she realised how much she loved it. Now she’s hooked on running and hopes to one day run a marathon. She talks to Christina Macdonald about training for her first half marathon, the Royal Parks Foundation Half, on 12 October…
When did you start running and what made you take it up?
I’d done the treadmill before but the first actual race I trained for was the Survival Of The Fittest in 2012 where I did 7K of running and the rest is obstacles and crawling through mud. I didn’t realise how much I enjoyed running until then to be honest. I came to it late in life and I’d obviously been very fit most of my life with the skating, but it was something that I wouldn’t have thought of doing before. It was only when I was working with a personal trainer at my local gym that he suggested I give it a go.
You’re doing the Royal Parks Half on 12 October. How is the training going?
It’s been going well. What is good with running is that you can do it anywhere. You don’t have to go to an ice rink. You don’t have to find a space. I have been filming in Nottingham recently and I found myself with a chunk of time and I went down to where the local river was and ran along the river and back into the city. I did one of my best times.
Are you running the Royal Parks for charity?
Yes, I’m running for Children With Cancer UK. They’ve obviously got a lot of people entering on their behalf and that’s the one I wanted to do. Fortunately I haven’t been affected by cancer for personal reasons but I have done a lot of work with children’s charities before.
Do you have a time goal for the race?
No I just want to finish. I hate it when I don’t finish something so I don’t want to give myself the extra pressure of ‘I’ve got to do it in this amount of time’. I just want to do it because I’ve never done one before and then obviously if I do another one (half marathon) I will want to get better at the time. But this time I just want to be able to finish.
Would you ever consider doing a marathon?
Yes that’s one of my goals. Every year when the London Marathon comes on I think ‘I would love to do that’. Someone asked me maybe six or seven years ago and I said ‘Oh no, I couldn’t do that’ but that was before I got into running.
Do you prefer trails to road or don’t you have a preference?
I’ve been trying to run on trails lately. I run from my house about 1K to the local rugby pitch and have been running around there because I know I am going to be running more on grass than road during The Royal Parks. It’s slightly more gentle on the body but it can be uneven as well so it’s a bit of both really.