Athlete Insight – Charlotte Purdue

We caught up with Charlotte Purdue, British Marathon and Half Marathon Runner, on her race goals for 2019 and to get an insight into how she trains.

What are your goals for 2019?

I’m currently training for the London Marathon in April and then, for the rest of 2019, my goal is to make the World Championship team for Doha in October.

Currently I’m out in Australia training. I’ve been here since December, so quite a long time, but it’s been good to get to get away from the cold weather in the UK and get a good block of training in with my group, my coach and all the athletes over here. It’s been great and I feel like I’ve really progressed.

What’s your training schedule like?

My training schedule is pretty hectic. I do a lot of running (obviously!) and run about 115 miles per week on average, when I’m marathon training.

The last two months I’ve only done about 110-100 miles per week because I’ve been training for a half marathon predominantly, but since my half marathon, we started upping it ahead of the marathon. We’ve been doing longer sessions and I think I’ll hit about 115-120 (miles) for the next couple of weeks before I come home. I’m doing The Big Half and then I will go back and do more marathon training for the remaining eight weeks before London Marathon.

I do a long run on a Sunday which varies in distance and speed, going up to about two-and-a-half hours maximum. I don’t really run for distance, I usually run for time. Sometimes I run quick and run further but sometimes I just go for an easy two-and-a-half hours.

The other two key sessions are interval sessions, usually one longer (maybe threshold or low reps) and then a shorter one on the track. In between that I try and fit in one session of strength and conditioning, lots of stretching and a massage once a week. 

Have you had to overcome any injuries?

Yes! I’ve had six stress fractures. I’ve also torn my plantar fasciitis and had a few muscle injuries. Last year I got a virus and I had a bad injury, so it was a pretty terrible year. Injuries are always going to happen because of all the training that I’m doing and I have to accept it is part of the sport. Every time I get injured, I try to focus on what I can do to come back stronger and not have that issue again.

Last year with the illness, I learned a few things about recovery and making sure that I’m eating correctly, sleeping a lot more and just looking after my body, because you can’t do all the training and expect not to get injured or sick – you have to look after your body.

What key things help you prepare for a big race?

I think because of training so hard, that helps me prepare for races, because I know I’ve done the work in the training. I think if you believe in your training and you’ve trained hard then the race is the fun part. You should just go and enjoy it and have fun! That’s how I stay motivated as well, races are fun and it helps me improve for the next race. I’m motivated to train hard and race well and then it just brings you forward in your career.

How do you like to recover post-race?

I like to recover by relaxing and having a few days of easy training. Especially if I’ve done a marathon, I take a few days completely off – usually about 10 days no running and then start back with some really easy runs.

For a half marathon I take a little bit less time but still have a few easy days and then get back into running.

You recently set up Purdue Performance, your own coaching programme. Could you tell us a little about what it is and why you set it up?

My partner Adam and I started Purdue Performance in August last year. We started it mainly because over the past few years we would always get people asking us for training advice leading up to their races and they just wanted a running training plan. I was doing a bit of personal training on the side anyway, but it was more just general fitness and I wanted to just focus on running really, because that’s what I enjoy. We decided to make a more formal thing and came up with the idea of Purdue Performance and we love it! The last few months have been great and all the athletes on our team are great. We really both enjoy doing it and it gives me something to focus on apart from my own running.

I know we’ve got a few of our Purdue Performance athletes who are part of LDN Brunch Club and I think it’s really awesome what you guys are doing!

We want to thank Charlotte for chatting to us. We’re really excited to see how she gets on in this years Big Half and London Marathon and will be looking out for her at our cheer points bot both races!

If you’d like to follow Charlotte’s journey to London Marathon and (hopefully!!) Doha please give her a follow.