Our preparation for the 2019 London Marathon

Over the past two years, the Stride’s Architecture team (now urban) has forged a strong relationship with The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.

They have participated in challenges such as the National Three Peaks Challenge and walking from our Portsmouth office to the charity’s base in South East London, a distance of 75 miles in 25 hours. This year, three members of the team have been given the opportunity of a lifetime – to run the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon to raise funds for the charity for the third year running.

Charlotte Northam, Alistair Wilson and Mark Nagle are now on week five of their training for the London Marathon, so the time seems ideal to catchup with them on their progress for the event on Sunday 28th April 2019.

The challenges of training for an event such as the London Marathon are primarily related to building the required levels of fitness and maintaining training discipline throughout the coldest, darkest and wettest months of the year – battling niggles, that extra Christmas body weight, colds and the lure of comforting winter food.

Mark Nagle, Operations Director, commented:

“The three of us have always dreamed of doing the London Marathon. It is an event that is notoriously difficult to gain entry to, is considered the best marathon event in the world and is watched by over 1bn TV viewers each year; what’s not to like?! The chance to (truthfully) say, “I completed the London Marathon” is something we have always wanted. Better still, the opportunity to do it whilst raising money for a charity partner we believe in so much, makes the event even more special.

We all started our training from different fitness stages and with no marathon experience. Charlotte, a former Personal Trainer, begins our training as the fittest member of the group. The two old-timers, myself and Ali, generally consider exercise to be a dirty word and recognise that this is going to be the biggest physical and mental challenge that we have ever taken on.

With the three of us living in different areas, and with contrasting commitments and responsibilities, our training plans have been primarily running solo, but in the spirit of collaboration and simply driving each other on, we are meeting on the last Sunday of each month to complete an LSR (long steady run).

Sunday 27th January saw our first run together and longest so far, with 10.35 miles around the coastal areas of Bursledon and Hamble in Hampshire, negotiating 3 miles of coastal shingle, long steady hills and pot hole covered roads. It was a typical British January day; the coastal weather was blowy, with the windchill temperature hovering somewhere below zero, although surprisingly, it did stay dry.

Pushing one another along and enjoying the beautiful views of the River Hamble and surrounding area, we completed our run in a steady, yet respectable, 1 hour 37 minutes, with energy still to burn. We felt pleased with ourselves until the grim realisation set in that in less than 3 months we will have to be running 3 times as far!”

If you would like to sponsor Charlotte, Alistair and Mark to run the London Marathon, please donate on our Virgin Money page.


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