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Rich Maciver/Nike

Charlotte Purdue talks Reading Half and beyond

by Paul Hayward
Thursday 9th March 2017
Paul Hayward talks to Charlotte Purdue, who is running the Vitality Reading Half on March 19th.
1. As a Berkshire girl, do you feel some romance with competing at the Reading Half? Have you ever run it before and what are your thoughts of the race? 
Despite being born in Windsor, I have always lived in Hook in Hampshire. So growing up I’ve always run for Hampshire. I’ve always wanted to run the Vitality Reading Half Marathon as it’s a great, fast course and just down the road from where I grew up. I’ve never run it before, this will be my first year and I’m really looking forward to running a local race where my friends and family can come and support me! 
2. How does the race fit in your training for London this year, and what are your hopes / aspirations for 19 March 2017? 
The race fits in perfectly with my London Marathon preparations this year as I have always run a half marathon in my build up to a marathon distance. I always use a half as a marker for my fitness and it is a good chance to practice my race-day routine for the big 26.2. My hopes are always to run as fast as I can! 
3. You set your personal best in 2014 at the Great North Run of 1.14.43, and then smashed this again in 2016 at 1.11.43. How does your form compare at the moment in 2017 and are you doing anything different in the build up to this race?
I’m currently training in Melbourne with my group, Melbourne Track Club, and coach Nic Bideau. I’ve stayed in Melbourne a little longer than usual this year to really focus on getting some good training in before flying back to race in Reading.  My form is good, I recently ran 50 seconds faster for a 10k in Tasmania than I ran last year in the same race. 

Images courtesy of Rich Maciver/Nike

4. The elite women field has been released for London 2017, how are you feeling for London and what are your aims? Who do you think are the main ones to watch?
I’m really excited to run the London Marathon this year, last year was a little scary as it was my debut marathon. This year I’m going into it with the qualifying time for the World Championships so I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do on the day. 
5. There is a lot of debate at the moment about running, strength work and downtime - can you take us through a "normal" training week for you? 
A normal training week is pretty full on for me. I do two sessions, two gym sessions, yoga, core workouts, a long run and have physiotherapy and massage. So it’s quite busy but I do have plenty of easy runs in there too. I usually run 90-120 miles per week depending on what phase of training I’m in. 
6. Finally, for those taking on Reading this year, what are your top 3 tips pre-race week?
My top 3 tips would be:
  • Stick to your routines. Whatever works for you pre-run/training, do the same for the race day. Don’t change anything!
  • Have a race plan and stick to it. Don’t get side tracked by what others are doing. 
  • Focus on yourself.Have confidence in your training and preparation and give it 100% on the day!
Charlotte will be racing at the Vitality Reading Half, taking place on Sunday 19 March. For more information visit www.readinghalfmarathon.com

About The Author

Paul Hayward

I am 33 years old and spend the majority of my life within an office environment. Whilst I played football, I never really took an interest in sport let alone athletics. In 2011 I joined a gym as I was slightly concerned about my weight. However I was, like an awful lot of my colleagues, coasting and I considered spinning three times a week a workout.
This changed when I took up a circuits class and found myself entering Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest London in November 2011. I was assured by my friends that this was a good idea and would be a “challenge”.
I had never entered any form of competitive event before and training for this run changed me. I listened to my personal trainer, who assured me that if I quit drink I could be dangerous, and sorted out my diet, stopped drinking so much and focussed my training. I completed the race in just over an hour and I was instantly bitten by the racing bug, I loved the challenge the event offered. 
Nearly two years on I have completed a half marathon in 1hour 49 minutes, came 6th in the Rat Race Horseplay 5k event and usually come within the top 30% at Obstacle Course races. I am also a part time triathlete and I am lucky to find myself in a running club where we have a great coach and the focus is on members. If I am honest - I came to running through these events and I am not alone.
My aim through Run 247 is to promote, discuss and publicise Obstacle Course racing. It is becoming huge and over the coming months we will cover all of the major races and the new competitors entering the scene. 

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