Alex’s Marathon Interview

February 27, 2024

Meet Alex Walker, Analyst here at Bluebox. We sat down with Alex to learn more about his upcoming London Marathon. In this interview, he gives an insight into his training, the Charity he is raising money for and much more…


Tell us a bit about your Marathon and your motivations for wanting to run one?

I would say that this is Twofold. Firstly, the idea that with running, progress is almost completely a reflection of the work put in, I find quite motivating.  I started running towards the end of last year and needed a goal to really commit to, and I think that running a marathon ticks that box.

Couple this with the opportunity to raise money for the Royal Free Charity and potentially change the lives of some of the most in-need members of society, meant that the London Marathon is the perfect platform to achieve both.


What is your training plan currently?

Given the fact my previous ‘training’ attempts consisted of running 5km a few times per week as fast as I could, I had to rethink my approach for a marathon. I now follow an online training programme that splits up my runs into shorter, faster runs, as well as interval training sessions and one long run per week that gradually increases in length.

So far I would say that the training is going well, although the length of the long runs in my training plan are beginning to ramp up, so that could quite quickly change!


What is your charity for the marathon, and how is the fundraising going?

I am running for the Royal Free Charity, who fund vital research, equipment and projects in the NHS and, together with their team of over 300 volunteers, make a tangible contribution to UK care centres.

So far I have raised £660, accounting for one third of my target. Thank you to everyone that has donated so far and any further donations to my page would be greatly appreciated.


What are your top tips for somebody who wants to get into running?

Without trying to sound like a fitness influencer, I would recommend new runners to not pay too much attention to their pace as running slowly is more effective at building endurance (according to fitness influencers). It is really easy to try to run a 5km PB on every run, like I did, but you will probably end up injured.


What keeps you motivated the most when it comes to running long distance?

Strangely I haven’t found the long runs too difficult to stay motivated for. This is probably due to the fact that I intentionally run new routes on a Sunday afternoon, and they actually prove quite leisurely. It is also satisfying running a new ‘furthest distance’ each week.

On the other hand, the shorter runs after work on a Tuesday or Wednesday, in the dark, whilst it is raining, prove to be more difficult from a motivation perspective. What keeps me motivated is knowing that if I don’t force myself to do these runs, I am going to be in a world of bother come race day.


Have there been any setbacks in your training journey, and how have you overcome them?

Towards the beginning of my training, I was finishing my runs with a lot of knee and hip pain, which was concerning to say the least.

Given I am not really in a position whereby I can take a few weeks off to fully let my body recover, I reduced the pace that I was running at, and used ice packs once I had finished and it seems to have helped.


What is your biggest piece of advice to anyone starting their marathon journey?

I would definitely recommend following an actual training plan. Not only has this helped me know how frequently to run, but also incorporates various types of session each week which keeps running more interesting.


Do you have a goal running time in mind?

Realistically I won’t be joining the sub-4-hour club so I haven’t really set myself a target time. Finishing in one piece would be good enough for me.

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