English marathoner and full-time nine to fiver Ben Moreau talks animals, avoiding heavy drinking sessions and...Paula Radcliffe.
The highlight of 2010 was running a personal best of 2hrs 16mins in London. I knew I was in good shape, I’d been away for three weeks just to focus on my running, which I’d never done before, and it all came together. I ran the race I wanted to.
I also knew that if I just did that bit extra and stopped going out on a Friday night, just meeting people midweek instead it would help. I focused on getting good rest and it made the difference, unfortunately!
It’s not the drinking that makes the difference it’s the sleep and the recovery and not getting really drunk when you’ve got a big session the next day. Now I don’t put myself in that situation. I didn’t want to give up everything for not much gain but I have found that it helped.
I head up a department in social media advertising in London. They’re really flexible with my running but I am in the office from 9am until 6pm, Monday to Friday.
I run twice a day. I live about eight miles from work, so I run to and from the office and that’ll be my training, or I’ll run before work. I get up at 6.30am which isn’t too bad; people get up earlier than that to commute. That’s the good thing, I don’t have to go to the gym or pool or river, I’ll be up at 6.30am and be out the door 10 minutes later and do nine or 10 miles in an hour.
I don’t avoid much in terms of food. I don’t count calories, I eat a lot of carbs to keep me going throughout day - we’ve got a toaster at work so I’m always making toast. It’s a fairly normal diet. I don’t avoid chocolate or ice cream, and I can have the odd McDonald’s. If I get the good stuff in and have it on top of that, that’s fine.
Delhi was weird. There were no spectators allowed on the Commonwealth Games marathon route for security reasons so we pretty much ran at 6.30am in silence. The only other living things I saw were a chipmunk, a stray dog and a monkey that jumped down from a tree on to the road. That was pretty cool.
My advice would be always build up your training. People look at us and think they have to do 100 miles a week. I’ve been training since I was 16 and increased it bit by bit every year. It’s not like I’ve jumped in to marathon training, it’s about being progressive and getting used to training volumes. Build up slowly or you’ll get injured, your body needs to learn to cope with training before it can do it.
My running hero would be Paula Radcliffe. Watching her do that 2hrs 15mins time in London was amazing. She was basically on her own for the whole race, battering it out. I was in the top five times in the UK or so last year and she’s still run quicker than me. It’s so much easier to identify with her. She’s so obsessive about it, with her attention to detail, I definitely look at that and think: “She’s doing it the right way.”