We caught up with Andrew on how his training for the London Marathon has been going despite his limited running experience.
Name: Andrew Lawton
I joined London Sport as a Communications Officer in September 2018. Previously I was a journalist, where I covered everything from grassroots to the very elite end of sport and this has proved to be the perfect foundation for helping London Sport with their aim of getting more people active in London. Away from work, I enjoy cricket and skiing – depending on the season.
What is your background in running?
I wouldn’t say I have a background in running – at all. The number of Parkruns I’d completed when I signed up to run the Virgin Money London Marathon was (and still is) in single figures and the idea of running any further was not really on my radar.
The shock and surprise on peoples’ faces when I explain that I’ve never run a 10k let alone a full half marathon prior to signing up was always quite amusing. However, the realisation that I had a lot of work ahead of me soon struck home. I don’t think I could have started from a lower base level of running experience.
What are the benefits that you gain from running?
Having studied Sport Science and Mathematics at Loughborough University, I am certainly no stranger to the benefits of exercise – something that has only been reinforced during my time at London Sport.
Physically, I feel like I am losing weight, which is a great sign, as well as the training improving my overall fitness. Mentally, running has given me time to get away from the stresses of everyday life as well as allowing me to spend more time with my girlfriend Sarah who is running the marathon for Water Aid. In many ways, this journey to April 28 is one we are completing together and it’s great to have that support every step of the way.
Why did you choose to run the marathon to support London Sport?
Being active has so many benefits – far too many to list here – that cover every aspect of life from physical and psychological to social and economic. I believe that deaf and disabled people should be given the same opportunity to experience these benefits, and I know that any money I raise through my fundraising efforts will go towards achieving this.
I hope that by running the marathon for London Sport it will raise the profile of the great work being done in the capital to get more people active.
How have you found the first few months of training?
Training has been a real rollercoaster and I’m only a few months in. I started as soon as I had confirmation of my place because I knew I had a lot of training to do. I had a tricky time over Christmas with a bit of soreness and tightness in my lower leg but thankfully a physio appointment and a new pair of trainers appears to have helped sort that issue out.
I never thought an inability to get out running would have such a negative impact on my mood but I was very grateful when I was able to get back out in the New Year. Since then, things have progressed nicely in the main and I managed to complete my first ever half marathon on Sunday (February 10).
Are you feeling more confident now having completed your first race?
I completed the Half in 2 hours and 15 minutes which I was really happy with but the final three or four miles were really difficult. It really highlighted how much training is still required to complete 26.2 miles around the capital on April 28. It’s a nice box to have ticked but I don’t feel like I’m able to sit back and relax just yet. I fear this is only the start.