Friday, April 30, 2010

mzungo exclusive: Andi Jones

2:16:38, Top 10 and 2nd Brit home - you can be pleased. Are you?
Very pleased with position. No secret about it, I wanted to break 2.15 and knew I was in shape to do it. The very fast first seven miles will have effected things, but you have to do these things. Aim was to get selected for the Europeans and Commonwealths and I achieved this. These will be my first major championships having already represented GB at the World XC and World Half Marathon.

What is more important for you? Scoring a new PB, which you didn't, or finish high up in the ranking?
Scoring a PB. A PB is personal and we all set ourselves personal targets. Mine was to break 2.15 and I didn't do this so it means I will be back and refocusing on breaking the 2.15 mark.

Please give our readers some background on your career, how it all started etc.
Started when I was 18 and I entered the London Marathon. Aim was to break 4 hours so with no training I went off to London and ran 3 hours 58mins. Things went from there and I entered more races and eventually did the Tour of Tameside and finished first junior. Then I joined local club East Cheshire Harriers where I got loads of support and coaching before joining Salford Harriers. I joined my coach Bob Merrell at Salford Harriers who has coached me since then and helped me achieve the successes I have had so far.

You are still working as a teacher and have a family to maintain. How do you manage your weekly training? Please give us a example of a typical week 4 weeks out of a goal race.
I work full time as Head of Design & Technology at Falinge Park High School, Rochdale. I love my job and have the opportunity to work with many great students. I also have a young daughter who is two years old. Time is tight and between working, training and having a family it doesn't leave much time for anything else. But this is our choice and what we want to do. We also have to fit my wives training in which is very different to the training I do with her being a 800m runner.

Typical weeks training in the build up to the marathon consists of running every day. Two runs Monday 5am and 10pm. Tues- 5am and track session pm. Wednesday, 5am and 10pm, Thursday 5pm, Friday 5am and 5pm, Sat session in Heaton Park usually at 5pm, Sunday long run up to 24 miles. (Full build up training for the London Marathon can be viewed on the Power of 10 website)

Have you decided on what to race next? Any plans for going Sub 2:15 in the near future?
Not sure what my next race will be but I have been selected for the European and Commonwealth marathons so I am sure there will be some racing in the build up to these races. I want to go sub 2.15 but can not see this happening in either of the two marathons later this year due to the conditions these races are held in. Spain on 1st August will be hot and New Delhi will be humid and hot.

What would you suggest a 2:30 guy who wants to become a sub 2:20 guy?
Read what others have done. Many good books out there like Charlie Speddings book and there are loads of people who have ran these times who will be able to give great advise.

What keeps you training hard day by day?
The determination to reach ones goals. I want to run faster than I have before and this drive to keep getting PBs keeps me pushing on and training hard.

Are you training on your own or do you have running partners? If the latter, who are you training with and what level are they at?
I train on my own and in the good group that has developed at Salford Harriers. The group is a mixed group level wise with athletes breaking 30mins for 10k or running 32mins for 10k. Sometimes it's just good to have a group around all training hard and having the same focus of pushing themselves as hard as possible.

What shoes are you training and racing in?
I train in Asics and race in the Asics DS Racer. Asics have been sponsoring me for a little while now and the quality of the shoes is second to none. The range of shoes they design and make for runners of all styles and abilities is excellent.

What's your favorite training session?
I like the session of 6 x 1mile off two minutes recovery, but equally like my Thursday night long 15 mile good pace runs.

What's your favorite running route?
I love running straight out of my door over the moors and not seeing anyone for miles and hours, but recently have been keeping off the moors and sticking to the low level paths and canals as this means I can run that little bit quicker and am not beating the legs up on the down hills. I like running up over Alphin and Chew Reser because once on the top you get to see for miles around.

List the five races you want to do before you die.
An Olympic Marathon!
New York Marathon
Mountain races

Do you support a football club?
Oldham Athletic

What's on heavy rotation on your iPod or car stereo?
Any CD that the wife leaves in or Radio 1.

Who wins the World Cup in South Africa this year?

Of course. Thanks for the interview and best of luck at the championships and for breaking that 2:15!