Q&A with Freya Murray, British Olympic Marathoner

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Freya Murray with the 2013 Running Calendar

Freya Murray with the 2013 Running Calendar

Freya Murray was the first British woman home in the 2012 Olympic Marathon in London. She qualified for the race after a nail-biting wait to see whether Paula Radcliffe would compete. Her time of 02:28.10 in the Virgin London Marathon was followed by 2:32:14 in the Olympic competition.

What are your memories of your two big marathons this summer?

The crowd support was brilliant at both. In the Olympics there were hardly any points on the course where you could hear yourself breathe, or your footfall, it was amazing, definitely one of the best days of my life.

Will you be sticking with the marathon distance or training back into 5K & 10K?

I am planning to concentrate on the marathon, but I still want to do some shorter races too. I still think I can go quicker at 5k and 10k.

How do you juggle training for races in between your work as an engineer?

Since the start of November this year I have been a full time athlete and I am really enjoying not having to rush around so much. I was really lucky that Cundall (the engineering consultancy I worked for) were a very supportive employer, they let me take time off for training camps and races, and I worked a 25 hour week. However, it was difficult at times trying to fit in all the training, recover properly and work, I had to be very organised. I did quite a lot of running to and from work, and I don’t mind getting up early which helped!

Do you train when you are on holiday?

Yes, I really like running when I’m on holiday, it’s a good way of exploring a new place.

Who do you train with?

I like to have company sometimes, but I also quite like training on my own. I’ve just moved back to Scotland and haven’t got a new training partner or group yet, but my husband Michael quite often joins me for the first part of a run, or sometimes comes out on the bike. Michael and I met through the University athletics club, so we used to train together all the time, he doesn’t train as much anymore but he is very supportive of my running. When I was in Newcastle I had a great training partner in Josh Dixon who was studying at Newcastle University, training with him gave me someone to aim for, and I hope that having me on his tail helped him too.

Where are your favourite training routes?

I’ve got a few favourite places, it depends where I am. When I was in Newcastle I liked going to the Rising Sun Park and then along the wagonway. From my new home in Stenhousemuir I like going to Callendar park. My coach (Steve Jones) lives in Boulder and there’s loads of great places to run there, but one of my favourites is one of the routes from his house which he calls the snake trail. Finally, I grew up in Midlothian and my parents still live there, I like it when my brother John and my sisters Keira and Nicola are there at the same time as me and we can run together round Gladhouse and Rosebery reservoirs. I’ve got a great family, we all support each other and they all came to watch me in the Olympics which meant a lot to me.

What are your plans for 2013?

I’m not sure, but I’m looking forward to going back to Boulder for February and March, and hopefully that will be ideal preparation for a good spring marathon.

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