As a teacher and busy mum-of-two, our Tour of Tameside competition winner Abigail Jones is squeezing in her training in preparation for all four races as and when she can!
Mum to Aubrey, aged eight and Elwin, aged seven, 40-year-old Abigail was overjoyed to win a coveted free place in this year ‘s four-day festival of running from 15th-18th June.
She’ll be tackling the X-Trail 10k, the iconic Hell on the Fell, The Hero Half Marathon and The Dr Ron Hyde 7, a challenging finish to a gruelling four days.
But as a previous Tour of Tameside entrant, she knows exactly what is in store!
Last year Abigail landed the 3rd female spot in the X-Trail, was 3rd overall in her category and took the Tour’s 12th female position.
Juggling work and family life Abigail tries to run every day, averaging around 20 miles a week.
“This year I’ve not done the same amount of running due to ‘life’ so I’m there for the fun,” said Abigail.
“Each week I’ll do a run with my friends – mainly to chat! – then run on my own.”
“I walk when I can – gives me a chance to catch up on my true crime podcast – and then swim to stretch out.”
Bringing swimming into the training mix, which is a non-impact form of cardio, is a fantastic cross-training exercise ahead of a running event.
Swimming uses several different muscle groups including the core which supports the spine – very beneficial for maintaining your posture and stabilising the hips during distance running – and works the heart harder than any other exercise.
Abigail says she’s particularly careful to keep hydrated during her training, ensuring she drinks plenty of water.
This will be a key focus for all the runners taking part this year if the warm weather continues.
As a vegetarian, she’s also making sure to up her protein intake.
Looking ahead to the event itself we asked her what it is about the Tour of Tameside that keeps her coming back for more and how she’s feeling ahead of the event.
“I love the support you get during the Tour of Tameside – it’s such a smiley race,” she told us.
“I also love that each race has its own character – truly something for everyone!
“I certainly won’t be getting a prize this year and won’t be looking at last year’s time to avoid any pressure on myself. It’s such an amazing feeling to cross every line because every race has its own challenges.”
“One of the things that motivates me to run is for better mental health. It’s so important to get fresh air and switch off.
“However hard it is to get my trainers on sometimes, I always feel better after it.
“During the races, hearing my two kids shout, ‘Go mummy!’ is the boost I always need. And hearing the tannoy to indicate the end is close!”
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