Local Heroes #1 – Andy Burn
Andy Burn, from Jarrow and Hebburn Athletics club, has had a tremendous start to 2013.
In 2013, Andy has achieved the following….
Harrier League Grand Prix (3rd position)
Blyth 10K 7th April (2nd position)32:34
Sandancer 10km 34:28 (2nd position)
Half Marathon of the North 71:50 (2nd position)
1. Andy, How long have you been running and what got you started?
My first experience of running was at Comprehensive School where I tried some Cross Country races. I knew from P.E. that I had good stamina and ran well when we did some Athletics. This carried on when I went off to college but I was never a member of an actual club. At this time I didn’t enjoy the wet, cold and mud and only took part when asked! My passion at this time was Tennis so any running was just to keep fit. Since then I have ran on and off by myself just to maintain my fitness. In 2010 I decided to get in good shape to do my first ever half marathon (GNR). It was something I wanted to do for a while as I was brought up just a stones throw away from the finish line! I managed a very respectable 1:30 and got a massive buzz from the whole experience. The following April I entered the Sandancer 10k (again on my doorstep!) as an unattached runner and managed 18th position! During the next few months I would compete in Durham County Council’s Trail Race series which I managed to win the overall prize. It was from here when people started to tell me to join a club to see how much I could improve, and in the August I did just that and I have never looked back!
2. You’ve made massive progress in the past year – what has been your secret?
I cant put my progress down to one thing as I think it’s a combination of things. I have worked hard with my group and coach during the winter season and have had to brave the rain, hail, sleet and snow. I think I have gained a lot of strength and stamina from the Cross Country season. I raced every harrier league fixture and also competed in the Northern Championships in Knowlsey and the Nationals in Sunderland. I have also been very fortunate to not suffer any setbacks due to injury (touch wood!) . If I feel a ‘niggle’ I will rest and get on my foam roller.
3. What would you say are the most important things in your training and lifestyle?
One of the most important things for me is routine, and a commitment to that routine/schedule. If I know I’m training with the club on a Tuesday and Thursday, and get my long run in on a Sunday, it makes it a lot easier to plan other sessions and rest days. I generally lead a healthy lifestyle and very rarely drink alcohol these days. I would much rather go for a long run on a Sunday than have a hangover! I am very fortunate to have great support from home. My dad in particular attends nearly every race and it really helps to have someone there to travel with and talk to (and to bring you a coat and coffee after those freezing cross country races!)
4. What advice would you give to people that are looking to get faster over the 10km and half marathon distances?
My advise would be to get used to racing. The park runs are an excellent way to experience competition without having to feel too nervous about it. I also found my local trail race as a great stepping stone into competition. Don’t feel guilty if you feel you need an extra rest day. You could work on your core or flexibility instead. Try and get into a routine with your training and you will be less likely to miss a session. The long runs are very important when leading up to a half marathon so try your best to fit it into your schedule.
5. What would a typical week of training look like for you?
Mon – 8 tempo 6 min/mile + core work
Tue – Track (4 x 200metres, 2 x 400metres, 1 x 800metres, 2 x 400metres, 4 x 200metres)
Wed – 10 tempo + core work
Thur – 4 steady + Hills or park session
Fri – Rest
Sat – Race or 8 mile @ race pace
Sun – 15 easy
6. You’ve ran some brilliant local races in the past few months. The Sunderland Half Marathon has got to be a highlight. How did you feel before, during and after the run?
Yes this is definitely a highlight for me. I don’t think I have been so excited for a race before. I think this is because I knew I have been running well and was full of confidence. I have only ever raced this distance twice before so I was unsure of what my potential was. I had a split time written on my hand and would have a check at 7 miles, I was just under this and knew it could only get better. During the race I have never felt so relaxed. After 3 miles, I caught up the athletes who were in 3rd and 2nd and ran as a group for the remainder of the race. I felt as if they were working harder than me and I was confident I would have a faster finish. In the closing stages I kicked with 150m to go and this was enough to take 2nd place. Afterwards, I was pleased that my tactics had played out like I hoped they would and couldn’t help but think that there is more to come in the near future!