Bethan Male has been training hard for her next big race the UTMB Nice Cote d'Azur 100km at the end of September.
● What inspired you to start running?
I ran a bit of cross country at school, relying on my swimming lungs at the time. I took up running at uni for fun but that didn't last long after a skateboarding injury meant I couldn't run for 2 years. I was told by a consultant that I'd never run again - don't tell me I can't do something . Once I could finally run again I realised just how much I'd missed it and will never take it for granted.
● What advice would you give to aspiring runners looking to improve their performance?
Set some achievable goals / pick an event to work towards. Possibly work with a coach, but definitely look to add some structure to your training. Oh, and slow down your easy runs!
● How do you adapt your training and racing strategies for different weather conditions?
I will make sure I train in the conditions I will be racing in - especially if I know a race is going to be hot. I will then prepare for those conditions on race day, making sure I have all the tools I need to stay warm or cool. Either way, make sure I stay dehydrated, it's easy to underhydrate on colder days.
● Can you discuss your pre-race rituals and routines?
Before a race, I will make an Excel spreadsheet to help visualise the race and plan timings and nutrition. I will cut out foods that I know are likely to add to any GI distress (for me personally) in the lead up. I will always have porridge for breakfast if it's a morning start.
(Beth chasing herself around the track during a session in Chamonix. Photo: Geoff Lowe)