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Interview with Marigold

fetcheveryone asks: What could I improve in the training log to help you with your running?

Marigold says: Not a lot Fetch! Even a stats obsessed man like myself is struggling to come up with more functionality than you already have to be honest..... It's an awesome tool and I'm very grateful for it!
Velociraptor asks: At what point in your life did you realise that you might have a bit of a talent for running?

Marigold says: Although I didn't start properly running till I was 33, I had a brief spell at university when I was single and trying to lose weight and did a month or 2 of running. I found then that I was able to go out for quite a long time jogging even though I was overweight so I realised I had some natural running ability. It didn't tempt me at the time to stick with it though but when I felt the need to start losing weight again aged 33 I knew running would probably be my best option as I could do it for long periods of time and burn lots of calories!
paul the builder asks: Congratulations Steve. Or Steve (former 16-and-a-half-stone, 38" waist, 20-a-day smoker and fat bloke) Way, to use your full-on media name ;-). What has been different in 'Ultra Training' compared to your previous Marathon Training? And do you know what/why it's made you a faster marathon runner as a result?

Marigold says: You noticed the new name as well then, I guess I'll just have to live with it! The main difference between my marathon training and 100km training was the weekend runs. They both consisted of a big speed session on Wednesdays which was mostly based around marathon pace and up to 20 miles total with 80min of effort. Were as with my marathon training where I would normally do a long run on Sunday up to marathon distance which had quite a lot of marathon pace work as well, the 100km training just consisted of very long runs at a steady pace. Some of these weekends would be back to back long runs (26miles + 40 miles) or just a really long run on Sunday (up to 50 miles) check out my logs here on fetch or on my blog www.steveway.co.uk for full details!
Curly45 asks: Drat PtB asked my question ;) Who inspires you and why?

Marigold says: All the runners I see that hold down full time jobs and families that are just like me, putting in thousands of miles training to try and be the best they can be. I appreciate the talent that the true elite marathoners show but its easy to put that level of dedication in when you are getting paid to do it and getting lots of attention for it! Its the 1000's of unsung road warriors on fetch that inspire me :-)
monsenb1 asks: do you prefer road or off-road running (especially at ultra distance)? Will you run the Comrades marathon?

Marigold says: I am definitely a "roady" at the moment but that's more to do I with not being very experienced or good over technical trail. Something I aim to work on in the coming years! Current plans may involve targeting Comrades for the "Up" in 2015
socks up to asks: How do you manage to keep the weight down? please note im not asking for a full on diet sheet here! but do you count calories; just lay off the fat; eat what you like but healthily, all of the above, or something else? :-)

Marigold says: I have to admit I still struggle sometimes with my weight. Whenever training isn't going well or I am having some down time I have been known to go back to being the binge eater I used to be before I started running. When I want to lose weight now I tend to just stick to eating a "normal" persons calorie intake (around 2500 although I'm not that's trick about counting it) and let my high mileage do the rest. I do tend to try and stick to low fat foods apart from when I'm doing my carb depletion phase for a big race (last week during the taper)
STOOSH asks: When it comes to training, realising you do very high milage - do you have pre-planned rest days and how often would you have one if you do or can you get by with doing a recovery run for example?

Marigold says: For my marathon training I used to have one complete day off every 3 weeks but more recently I have got into the habit of not actually having any rest days and instead just throwing in the odd very easy 6 mile jog days instead. I think my body seems to appreciate that more and it is something that I will probably incorporate into my next marathon training plan
Nelly asks: Congratulations Steve, obviously this is your highlight of the year ;-) but if in January you were offered a 2:16 marathon or the British 100k road record which would you have preferred?

Marigold says: Very good question and one I'm not sure I can answer!! Even though I personally think the 6:19 is a better performance, I probably would have gone for the 2:16 as due to my age I would have thought time was running out for a big marathon PB so I should take it while I can ;-)
_andy asks: Many congrats Marigold - you've had some pretty good results recently. Let's go for a bucket-list and ultra question: what are the top three races that you'd love to do (or choose more if you want, this is your party after all) in the world? And would you pop up to Scotland to run the West Highland Way Race at some point please? It's a bit further than 100k, but has a lot less tarmac.

Marigold says: To be honest I haven't really looked into many non road Ultras yet so I'm not that sure what is actually out there.
What I do know for sure though is that before I start moving onto the trails, I want to do the World 100km Champs in a GB vest and Comrades. Once those 2 are done I won't have much left in terms of road ultras so will be looking for my challenges elsewhere, will certainly look into the West Highland Way!
The Terminator asks: Congratulations on your amazing year so far and all the best for the Commonwealths. Has Mo been in touch?

Marigold says: I think he is probably a bit too busy eating quorn ;-)
Boab asks: Firstly absolutely delighted for you, 2:16 and british 100k record is just phenomenal. I remember racing Simon Pride (the former 100k record holder) a few years ago and he shot off like a bullet at the start. A clubmate of his turned to me and said you'd have to be African to keep up with him!!! Anyway, I listened to your MarathonTalk interviews and I was interested in your training approach, have you ever thought about coaching?

Marigold says: The wife keeps asking me that question as well :-) it is something I would like to do in the future but I think I will probably wait until I'm slightly less focused on my own training as I would like to commit 100% to it and it the moment I sometimes have to be a bit selfish with "me time".

I do do some informal coaching with my club putting together some of our training plans and I have gained immense satisfaction in seeing my clubmates improve so it is definitely something for the future!
Fat Dave asks: Congratulations, Steve. It's a brilliant achievement, and well deserved (and the 2.16 marathon and 100k record aren't bad either). I think your blog has touched more people that perhaps even you realise. Anyway, to the question... I'm a bit ashamed that you're about my age and have been running less time than me. Did you always take running seriously from the start or was there a moment you made a decision? If so, what prompted it, and what have you sacrificed?

Marigold says: I've always been a bit of an "all or nothing" kind of a person to be honest so when I committed to training for the 2008 London marathon I took it seriously from the start and followed the "P & D" plan I had committed to for the full 24 weeks not missing a single session! I guess I really started to allow running to start being one of the major aspects of my life after my 2:25 marathon in 2009. It was after this point that I no longer had a career and instead based my jobs around if they fit in with my training! It has cost me a lot of money with my "job" now paying less than half what I used to earn with my "career" but it was all worth it! My wife and I decided along time ago we didn't want kids so that has made things a lot easier with our finances being "flexible"!
Jon_T asks: Huge congratulations on a great year so far. It was a real pleasure to watch you at the 100k. Did you set out to smash the record, if not when did you know it was on?

Marigold says: Wasn't sure about "smashing" it but I committed to going for it after the first lap out of 48 when I weighed up the course, weather and how my body was feeling on the day. Check out my race report for the full details on the decision steveway.co.uk
HappyG(rrr) asks: Many congratulations. We all nominated you and voted off back of VLM, but to get the British 100K road record too, just brilliant. Fantastic to have such a talent here in our very own Fetchland. I want you to tell everything - were you sporty as a kid, how did you get fat, how did you get back to fitness, how did you go from beginner to good to elite, what is best training at all those different stages, what motivates you, who inspires you, what have you enjoyed most, what are your next goals. But as the Fetch rule is one question I'll have to summarise all the above as: How do you do it?! Congrats again and best of luck for continued and even greater success. :-) G

Marigold says: 7 years and 25000 miles of consistent training..... Simples ;-) before 33 I had never been sporty at all an days school was always the fat kid who got picked last and put in goal for football. I was even know for hiding in the bushes for lap 2 of the school XC!!
Craig_ asks: Congratulations on the incredible/mind-boggling achievements Marigold - Absolutely fantastic - I just wondered if you could sneak a "Hello to all the Fetchies out there..." into your post-race BBC interview when you beat Mo in 2015..?

Marigold says: If I beat mo in 2015 I'll do whatever you want me to!!
Carpathius asks: Awesome achievements Mr Way! How has ordinary life changed after VLM and the British 100k record?

Marigold says: Not a lot I'm afraid! My social media has gone a bit bonkers but in the "real world" it was back to the office on Tuesday morning where most people only know about "The Marathon" and want to know who i was raising money for. The 100km just confuses the shit out of them with questions like..... Why?
Bru-Bru asks: Congratulations on the 100k record and your fantastic run in London. And MoTM is, of course, a huge honour, too(!) Where do you go from here? Any particular Ultras on your bucket list?

Marigold says: First thing I have got to do is wait and see if I am in the Commonwealth Games marathon team, that will determine short term plans for sure!
DuncanG asks: So, back in the lardy, smoking days, did you actually do any exercise at all or is this really a couch-to-top running bloke story and do you have aims for Rio in a couple of years' time? Well done BTW

Marigold says: No exercise at all apart from some brief moments when I was trying to lose weight in the past. No long term goals other than to strive to be the best I can be ….. where that takes me is anyones guess ;-)
Dave A asks: Top stuff Steve. I've followed you for a while and your training alone is awesome, never mind the recent races. I don't know your race plans, but would a sub 2.15 be doable?

Marigold says: If asked before VLM if I thought a 2:16 was doable I would probably have said no so I think we better just forget about the top end limits and just keep training hard and see where it gets me!
minardi asks: Many, many congratulations for your stupendous achievements but especially for MOTM ;-) Do you feel you could have gone faster at London if you were wearing your own contact lens or are odd borrowed ones the way forward?

Marigold says: Having the "spirit" of my cousin in the left eye and the wife in the right eye was a definite advantage I reckon….. the way forward for sure ;-)
Huntsman asks: At what point did you realise you had a real talent for running?

Marigold says: I'm going to have to be really lazy and point you to velociraptors question who asked the same thing!
Lalli asks: Congratulations! What niggles / injuries do you find you mostly have to deal with and how do you deal with them?

Marigold says: My weakest areas are my hamstrings and flutes. Pretty much every injury I have had has been one of those 4. It comes from having a weak/wonky pelvis due and having one leg considerably longer than the other (due to breaking one leg in 3 places aged 3!) To keep the risk of injury down I have to just focus on my glutes as part of my core exercise routine and do lots of single leg squats, side planks etc..... all very boring but necessary!
BaronessBL asks: Many congratulations on these awesome achievements - you must now be a running hero for many people, especially fetchies, but who inspired you as a new runner and as an international and record breaking athlete is there a runner who still inspires you?

Marigold says: See my answer to Curly45 :-)
Bazoaxe asks: Congratulations ,you really are an inspiration. Most of my questions have been covered already or in your MT interviews. One question troubling the sub 3:15 thread though - time in the bank, even pacing or negative split - whats the best approach to achieving your best possible outcome. Oh, an dhow do you decide upon what that pace is

Marigold says: I personally would say that if I did a 15 second positive split on a even course where the 1st and 2nd halves were the same difficulty, I would classify that as the perfect marathon getting the best out of myself. A tiny bit of slow down in the 2nd half shows I had no more to give but I didn't lose significant time by going off too fast. Deciding on the pace, no easy answer for that - experience/comparing training paces to previous campaigns/HR data/ perceived effort on the day/ gut feel ...... all of the above - if it was easy , so many people wouldn't get it wrong every time ;-)
The Bogman asks: congratulations - what a month! what was your re-fuelling strategy for your record 100k run? All the best for the future!

Marigold says: didn't go quite to plan actually. Only took on around 1000 calories in the form of 1 cliff bar and 4 packets of cliff shot bloks. I wanted to take on more proper solid food but found it too hard getting the bars down me. Since then I have been experimenting with the flapjacks that these guys have www.chiacharge.co.uk Lots of calories in each one and I'm finding them easy to eat, really "light" . I also put the "Elete" add-in into all my water which I take during the race.
Nellers asks: Congratulations and well done! What's the best thing about being selected to run for England at the Commonwealth games? Is it the money, women, power, celebrity status or perhaps somethng else?

Marigold says: The KIT ......apparently we are going to get almost 40 items for each athlete - so excited I could explode!!!
baz p asks: many congratulations on VLM14, 100k and commonwealth games selection.

Whats the plan for the commy games, are you going to structure your training for the marathon, or go with what has worked recently?

What one part of your training would you say has helped you over the years?

Marigold says: Still working on that one, as soon as I have a plan it will be up on my blog so watch this space!
Goofee asks: Huge congratulations on all your achievements! One of my proudest running boasts is that you finished the Bournemouth XC just ahead of me this year. I try not to mention that I still had another lap to go... Anyway, if the race vs. pace vote on your pre-London blog had come down in favour of pace, would you have followed that suggestion?

Marigold says: Nah ;-) I had pretty much already made my mind up to be honest but was just interested in what others thought.... and I thought it made a good bit of interactiveness for the blog :-)
The Duckinator asks: Huge congratulations - may I ask the details of your carb-depletion phase prior to a big race? Do you have certain foods you will always eat?

Marigold says: Yes, follow a very similar routine every time actually - details are in the bottom of this blog post
and if you want to see what I have for carb loading then this one should help
Night-owl asks: Congratulations much deserved. When you look back and see how far you have come, can you truly believe it and as you look to the road ahead where do you see yourself (say in 10 years time)

Marigold says: still in a state of shock even now to be honest....... 10 years time - either a happy V50 runner or an injured fat bloke back on the ciggies - hopefully the former!
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