Ahead of this weekend’s London Marathon we speak to Jade Harrison who is running in aid of The Myton Hospices Jade lives in London and is an Events Manager, her mother Debra Holley is a nurse at our Coventry Myton Hospice.

What inspired you to run in aid of The Myton Hospices?

Having seen palliative care first hand with family members I have experienced how much of a positive impact Hospices have on patients and their families. This, combined with my mum being a nurse at Myton was enough cause for me to start fundraising right away.

I am in awe of what my mum and her team do, their jobs are incredibly hard but it is inspiring to see how rewarding they find their work. I am delighted to be supporting such a worthy cause.

What kind of experience do you have as a runner?

I ran a marathon four years ago and have done five half marathons in the past too. Running for me has mainly been in conjunction with fundraising activities. Whilst I am physically fit, running doesn’t come easy to me so having a strong sense of purpose with the fundraising really pushes me to keep moving.

If I have learnt anything over the years it’s that running is a mental game. You can be any level of fitness but if you are not mentally prepared it can be hard. The best way to over come this is to train with friends or listen to upbeat music while you run.

I am also fortunate enough to work on the London Marathon Elite Athlete Events in the lead up to the marathon so have welcome their expert advice. It is amazing to see how chilled they are and talk through all the training they have done. Speaking to them has really motivated me through my training.

How many times a week do you run when training for a marathon?

I have been doing one long run per week and tried to fit in as many small runs as possible. My long runs have been hard to fit in around my busy work schedule so I have found that these have worked best en route home from work. I am lucky enough to be able to run along the Thames and through London parks to get home which is great as it takes the mind off the task at hand! Choosing routes that are new and with plenty of things to see has been a great motivator for me.

Using an app such as Nike Run Club is also a great way for me to track my progress and monitor my pacing. I would strongly recommend that anyone doing any sort of running based training should use an app for support.

Do you have to adjust your diet when training and if so what kind of foods do you eat?

The only times I adjust my diet is before and after a long run. Beforehand, I carb up for at least 24 hours to give me the slow releasing energy. Foods such as pasta, sweet potatoes and brown rice have all proved to be great options. After the runs I try to have some sort of protein within an hour to help replenish my depleted muscles.

I have already started carb loading for Sunday which is one of things I really enjoy about marathon training! One thing is for sure, when I finish on Sunday I will not be worried about diet at all.

Jade Harrison London Marathon 2017 Blog header-min-min

When you “hit the wall” what pushes you forward?

Last week I visited my mum at Coventry Myton Hospice. My last visit to a Hospice was to see my Auntie for the last time so it was pretty hard for me to go back but I am glad I did as it’s inspired me more for my marathon. My mum showed me the amazing facilities and introduced me to some of the team. I was humbled to meet such wonderful people and thrilled to see where my fundraising efforts would go.

When it gets to ‘the wall’ on Sunday I will think of how far I have come and what a worthy cause I am running for which will keep me moving past that finish line.

Do you have any advice for first-time marathon runners?

Pace yourself, don’t start too quickly. Vaseline is your friend – put it in any areas where you might chafe. Pack your bag the night before to avoid rushing in the morning. Have your name on your top as the crowds will cheer you on. Remember how far you’ve come…. In the last few days it is normal for nerves to kick in. Remind yourself of all that you have achieved so far and how this is merely the final hurdle for you to overcome Think of how amazing you will feel once you have crossed that finish line and stay positive!

What are you most looking forward to about marathon day?

I haven’t done the London Marathon before so I am fully expecting it to be an overwhelming day. The route is incredible and the crowds are huge too. Running that last mile through Westminster and down The Mall will be a once in a lifetime experience that I am sure I will never forget.

How is your fundraising going? Have you done anything special to try and raise money or held any events?

Fundraising is going great! I have already beaten my target and hope to continue over the next few days too. I have been keeping friends and family up to date on my training through social media which has aided with achieving my target. Images of my mum and her amazing work were all received really well and motivated people to donate. This, combined with two half marathons I have done in the lead up to the marathon have all really helped me gain sponsorship.

Has Jade inspired you to take on a challenge of your own?

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