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Susan Partridge's 'low mileage' approach (averageing 100 miles per week)

by Supemum Cally
Friday 27th March 2015
Tags  Susan Partridge   |   PUMA IGNITE   |   PUMA   |   IGNITE   |   PUMA IGNITE UK   |   IGNITELONDON   |   Steve Jones

Interview: Run247's Supermum Cally talks to Susan Partridge

Interview: Run247's Supermum Cally talks to Susan Partridge

I was fortunate to be on Susan Partridge’s team at the launch of PUMA IGNITE, where we ran a treasure hunt around East London whilst testing out the IGNITE shoes.

I caught up with Susan a few weeks later and asked her how she had found them.

Susan Partridge (SP): I’ve used them quite a lot, I’m impressed. They are more for my steady runs and I find them really comfortable. I tend to wear my FAAS 300 or 500’s for my faster runs though.”

RUN247: Do you still work full time and how do you fit training/racing into your life?

SP: I actually work 25 hours a week. I am fortunate that I live close to my work so I can run in the morning and the evening. The people I train with also live locally, so I can meet up with them. My job is also quite flexible, which helps. I can take unpaid leave for a few weeks when I need to go to Boulder to train. I do enjoy having a job though that challenges me in a different way and not only having to focus on running 24/7.

RUN247: On the morning of the Reading Half you put on Twitter ‘First morning race in about 6 months tomorrow! Looking forward to getting back onto the roads…’ Have you been injured recently?

SP: I’ve had an Achilles injury, which is related to a problem with a disk in my back, it didn’t stop me running, but as you get older you start to realise that things like this will bother you to the end of your career. I had two months off just before Christmas after an intense few years, particularly in 2013 when I did spring and Summer marathons. I decided I needed to give my body a complete rest before ramping up again for this year.

RUN247: Was your result at Reading what you expected?

SP: I knew I was not 100%, but I did expect to be a little quicker. It’s hard to say if it was just down to that day in particular or if I’m taking a while to get fit. Part of doing Reading was to get back my racing legs and in that respect, it was a start.

RUN247: What are your goals for 2015/1016?

SP: I’m planning on lots of track this summer, I’ve been doing a lot of marathons, so I’ve either been building up to them or recovering, but this year I want to do some 5k and 10k’s on the track and some shorter road races. I’m trying to work on my speed, which will help with the marathon. I’m planning on an autumn marathon, possibly Chicago. My coach, Steve Jones, ran his World Record there; I just need to make sure that there are some athletes that I can race against there this year, so that I’m not running on my own. I’ll probably decide within the next couple of weeks.

RUN247: At 35 have you given much thought to how long you can continue at the elite level?

SP: There are lots of examples of older runners running well in marathon distance races. A lot of it is to do with how long you’ve been running and at what level. My main motivation now is to try to qualify for Rio 2016 as I’ve not been to the Olympics yet. If I did the Olympics then there are the World Championships the following year and then the Commonwealth games the year after that, so I’m not sure I would want to give up then. If I don’t qualify for the Olympics, then I think I’ll have to ask myself why and, is it that I can’t quite get the training in?

RUN247: What one or two things do you currently do in your training that you feel are key to your success?

SP: I think where I differ to other runners training for marathon distance is that I tend to train lower mileage, but higher intensity. Most people who find their marathon time slower than they would like tend to react by doing more mileage, but they end up just as slow and more tired. I do tend to average 100 miles per week, but I focus on shorter, tempo runs of 20-25 minutes at a high intensity and then my long Sunday runs. I would encourage people to be brave, cut their mileage and do higher intensity. That is what has enabled me to set off and stay with the pack and given me confidence that I can deal with any pace rather than constantly checking my watch. This approach does depend on your level though and there are good reasons to be even paced, but once you’ve done a few marathons you can push it a little and run according to how you feel.


About The Author

Supermum Cally

Run247 has got its very own Supermum joining the editorial team. Cally Shanley has just got back into running after a six year break, during which time she has had two girls (Amber, five and three quarter years old and Melody, one and three quarter years old) and started a new job

We are looking to get Supermum Cally to try out some of the latest products, review some of the races and generally tell us all about her journey back into the world of running.

You can follow Cally on Twitter @runsupermum


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