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Ian Williams aka Fetch
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Member of the Month - postieboy

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pedroscalls asks: Congratulations Postieboy, my question is, if time and money was no object is there any race or route you'd love to do.

postieboy says: Thanks Pedro, a good question, and I have three races I'd love to run. Boston Marathon because it's qualifying only, the Marathon du Medoc for a big piss up or the Commrades in South Africa, the one ultra that has always appealed to me.
Night-owl asks: Congrats Postieboy Whats next for you any aspiring ambitions now you've got your sub 3

postieboy says: To see how good I can get within the constraints of what time I can give to running without annoying my family too much. I've still got a few good years left in me so watch this space. :)
puzzler asks: Well done Postie, on motm and on some major improvements to your half and marathon times. You followed your training plan to the letter in the lead up to London, does your job help or hinder that?

postieboy says: It undoubtedly helps. My unique working hours means I'm finished by mid-afternoon at the latest and gives me a good window to run in before dinner most days. Doing so much walking in my job is excellent supplementary training as well. Up to 8 miles a day if you believe the pedometer I wear.
Huntsman asks: Congratulations on your sub 3 at VMLM. Brave decision to go for it as the majority of your training was geared towards a slower marathon time. Great stuff! My question is did you get any niggles/injuries during the marathon training leading up to London? If you did what did you do to overcome them. If you do didn't get any what did you do outside of running to prevent niggles occurring?

postieboy says: I was completely injury free throughout my London training. I've been mainly injury free since the early days and I put that down to a good warm up and cool down. Dynamic stretches and an easy first couple of miles at the beginning with a series of static stretching and using a foam roller on my glutes, hip flexors and ITB band post run.
Bintmcskint asks: Totally awesome training for and actual running of VMLM made you an obvious choice for MOTM for me and I'm sure loads of people are going to ask you proper running questions about how the hell you did it so I shall ask you what I ask everyone (because I really want to know :-))...You are stranded on a desert island. You can take one type of food, one book and one Fetchie. What and who do you take and why?

postieboy says: Toughy that! Food has to be chocolate. It might be bad for me but at least it would cheer me up! Book would be the DaVinci Code, it's one of the few books I can read again and again and which Fetchie? For the sake of everyone's sanity, none of you because being stuck with me would be cruel. I drive myself nuts at the best of times!!!
Bazoaxe asks: Great and well deserved race at VLM - well done.

You have always been a strong runner with great times at shorter distances bit didnt manage to convert at marathon. Then BOOM, your breakthrough came.My question is what do you think led to this.

postieboy says: Thanks Baz. Following two back-to-back P&D schedules religiously. I put faith in a tried and tested training plan for the first time instead of muddling together my own schedule and then let it do the work for me. When I finally broke sub 3:15 at Abingdon with the 55 mpw plan, I decided to up the ante and try the 55 to 70 plan for London. The rest is history. :)
HappyG(rrr) asks: Many congrats postie. Cracking VLM. My Q is what do you like best about running? E.G. getting race times or exploring new places or running with friends etc. Well done again. :-) G

postieboy says: Thanks G, running gives me a sense of achievement that I've never had before. Running long distances, posting fast times, it's a serious hobby that makes the grind of everyday life otherwise bearable. It makes me a better husband and dad as well. I have lots more energy, makes me happy and I like to think my family reap the benefits of that. The only downside is my time can be limited for them because of it! I'm also a lone ranger when it comes to running. It's my time and no one else's and it gives me space to think. I enjoyed running with other people to begin with but as the years have gone by my attitude has changed in that regard.
Autumnleaves asks: Congratulations - I feel I should probably know this, but what made you take up running in the first place? :)

postieboy says: Initially in order to get fit for a six-a-side football team set up at work. I started to enjoy running more than the football and ended up ditching football due to my embarrassing lack of talent for it. A friend of mine had just run the 2008 London Marathon and noticed I was running occasionally. He challenged me to take part in a local half marathon a month away even though I'd never run more than 5 miles. I took it on and puffed around in a respectable 1:50. It was bloomin' tough but I caught the running bug there and then.
Ness asks: Congrats, postie. What tips would you give to a runner who has run many half marathons but wants to step up to a full marathon? (i.e. me ;))

postieboy says: Thanks Ness. :) With quite a lot of HM's under your belt, I'd say you're in a better place than most to start marathon training. You could probably get away with a 12 week plan if you're currently at HM fitness. Keep the increase in miles gradual (I believe in the 10% per week rule) and try and get in some long PMP runs to get a good idea what you should be aiming for on race day. Knowing exactly what pace you can run at is key to a good marathon imho.
runnerbean asks: Huge congrats Postie so well deserved. Now then what time do you believe you can achieve if everything goes exactly to plan with training ? And also do you believe that removing fear gives you the freedom to run relaxed ? 2 questions I know but I'm special !!

postieboy says: I'll answer the second question first as that's easier and that's a yes. Using London as the prime example, I had it in my mind that sub 3 wasn't the be-all-and-end-all of it. I knew if I paced it sensibly, I'd get a time that would do my training justice. That probably answers the first question as well!
Doctor K asks: Which runner most inspired/inspires you? Also how the hell do you keep motivated to put in a great marathon effort whilst holding down a day job like yours (and not get exhausted)?

postieboy says: I started to notice athletics in the mid 80s and watching Coe, Ovett and Cram in their prime and their exploits got me interested in running even though I didn't take it up until 2008.

Getting motivated to run a good marathon despite my job? Personal pride. I've always wanted to achieve something that gets respect in a sporting capacity and a sub 3 marathon does that. Being a postman for many years has given me a very good base level of fitness so exhaustion doesn't come into it. That and looking after myself properly with a decent diet and knowing when to rest.
Nelly asks: Congratulations postie, very well deserved for a great training block and fantastic PBs at VLM and Silverstone HM. You changed your VLM target on the back of that great run at Silverstone. Given you'd had a fantastic build-up prior to the HM, do you think you'd have been "brave enough" to target sub-3 at VLM without that result? If not, what time do you think you'd have ran at VLM, and/or when do you think you'd have got the sub-3?

postieboy says: Cheers Nelly. I definitely wouldn't have contemplated sub 3 without smashing out that 81:57 half. If everyone remembers, it took me a couple of days of ooing and aaahing to take the sub 3 leap. A slight sub 1:25 half, I might have aimed for a sub 3:05 in London, anything slower, I'd have stuck with sub 3:10 which was my original goal back in December. I'd all but given up on the dream of a sub 3 until Silverstone, I never thought I had it in me until that point.
mushroom asks: Congratulations. If you knew you only had one PB left in you, which distance and/or event would you choose to achieve it?

postieboy says: A marathon, once more in London. I would love to get well under 3 hours in my favorite race. It's the distance that has always held the most romance for me and completely smashing it would be the crowning glory from a personal perspective.
DuncanG asks: If you could go back and run any race differently, which would it be and why?

postieboy says: Easy one that, Rotterdam Marathon in 2011, it was a total disaster. I was too hyped up for the race and ran like a headless chicken for the first 16 miles, completely blew up and didn't break 3:30 on the day. I'd like to go back to that, stay relaxed in the build up and pace myself sensibly achieving a time of around 3:10 for which I was in the shape to run.
stewartC asks: Congratulations, Which session do you think has been the catalyst to the improvement in your marathon performance

postieboy says: I wouldn't pinpoint one session, more taking on a challenging schedule and reaping the benefits of an overall increase in the quantity and quality of my training
B Rubble asks: Great achievement at VLM and on MOTM. How much of the sub 3 do you think is down to the increased training miles (Jan-Mar were your highest ever)?

postieboy says: A lot. The big increase in miles was either going to make or break me. I'm glad it's turned out to be the former!
donran asks: Congratulations on the fantastic PB at VLM and winning MOTM. What are your top three tips for a successful marathon?

postieboy says: First tip, train well and get in some really tough sessions that will help with the mental side of things on race day such as a few miles at PMP effort at the end of long runs or long PMP runs. This will help find out how fast you really should be running in your marathon itself. Secondly, try and get into a relaxed frame of mind for race day. Wasting too much energy because you're so nervous will do you no favours. Finally and most important, pacing. My best two marathons have come with negative splits because I had the balls to start slowly. The first two miles were effectively a warm up and I didn't really start pushing on until 9 miles and then even more at 17 miles. Look up MARCO pacing for those who aren't familiar with it. It's a bit extreme but the fundamentals are sound.
Captain S asks: Well done on your brilliant PB at VLM. Top work. Have you decided what your next challenge will be?

postieboy says: PB's at all distances below a marathon. I haven't tested out my new found abilities on shorter distances yet bar a half marathon so I want some quick times from them in the short term. Sub 3 again at next year's VLM to prove this year wasn't a fluke and after that, who knows? I'll go with the flow but it will be running challenge for sure.
Corrah asks: Many congratulations on MOTM. Thought I would ask a more obscure question, so if you could be any kind of animal which animal would you be and why?

postieboy says: A sloth. Despite my running successes of late, I'm naturally lazy and a sloth's lifestyle would suit me perfectly!
McGoohan asks: Well done that man! I see almost everyone is, understandably, asking running-related questions, so instead I will ask which is your favourite:
a) book
b) album
c) movie
and why?

postieboy says: Book - Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. Album - Definitely Maybe by Oasis. Movie - I'm going to cheat a little and say The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. All three must viewed as one humongous opus IMHO.
clare1976 asks: Congratulations on your awesome races at Silverstone and VLM, a well deserved MoTM win :-). Your job must be very active, involving a lot of walking carrying a heavy bag... Do you think this 'cross training' helps your running? Do you ever jog your round?! Do you wear running trainers for work? (I'd assume you need comfy shoes!)

postieboy says: I'm a rural postman Clare so I work out of a van meaning I don't need to carry a heavy pouch of mail with me. That's for the townies, the benefit of long service is getting the pick of easier deliveries! Getting in and out of an old Vauxhall Combo is great for my core strength, probably the equivalent of performing 150 squats a day! Running round is frowned upon but I do walk at a very brisk pace. As for footwear, Royal Mail shoes are almost like trainers plus I have to wear them for health and safety reasons.