As announced last week, Huddle has a team running this year’s London Marathon in aid of IT 4 Children in Hospital (IT4CH).

The aim of IT4CH is to provide all children who are sick, disabled or underprivileged with access to ICT. This is a very worthy cause, so please get giving – every penny helps! http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HuddleMarathon

In the next few weeks, you’ll get to know more about the people on the team and why they are taking up the opportunity. Stepping up for five minutes of fame this week is Colin Grossman:

Previous running experience (races, PBs etc)?

I’ve been running for about nine months and am completely, hopelessly addicted!  I’ve completed a 5k race, two 10k races, and a half marathon. I did my most recent 10k in just under 42 minutes. I’ve just completed my first half marathon at Bexhill on Sea in a little under one hour 38 minutes.  It was pretty tough going and a scary insight into how hard a full marathon will be.

What training have you done so far?

I’m up to around 30 miles a week. My longest training run so far was 15 miles. I tend to run first thing in the morning before work. Luckily, my wife is pretty tolerant of the alarm going off at 5.45am.

Reason for entering the marathon?

I’ve always been dreadful at sport.  At primary school, I celebrated like Usain Bolt the year I came second last in the egg and spoon race. Even as an adult, 10 minutes of five a side football and I’d be calling for a sub. For whatever reason, though, I’m doing OK at this running lark, and really enjoying it. I guess I want to see how far I can push myself. My Dad is a runner too and he got into marathons at about my age, so there may well be something in the genes.  Also, the opportunity to train and run with a group of friends from Huddle is really exciting.

Training plans or tips?

I love my gadgets.  I progressed from a decent running watch, to the Nike+ ipod system, to a Garmin GPS watch.  The GPS watch is fantastic, and I have no doubt that collecting and analysing data about each run is pushing me to run faster and further.  For the marathon, I’ll be following a 16 week schedule, which means I started on Boxing Day.  That was interesting!

Target time for the marathon?

My Dad’s PB is around 3:43, so I’m keen to beat that. Just between you and me, though, I’d love to break 3:30. I think the hardest part for me will be avoiding injuries. In nine months of running, I’ve hurt my right Achilles, my left calf and both my iliotibial bands!

What do you eat before /   after training?

My midweek runs are at 6am, so I usually just drink some water. For my long weekend runs, I’ll have an energy bar and some energy drink.  After a long run I’ll often have a big bowl of porridge with lots of dried fruit.  I’m looking forward to “carb loading” in the run up to the marathon. I think I’ll be good at that bit.  I’ve also been drinking a pint of beetroot juice a day. You get used to the taste, but you never quite get over the shock every time you go for a pee!

Thoughts on IT4CH?

They do amazing work.  The systems they provide make a real difference to the day-to-day happiness of sick and under-privileged kids.  They also help the hospital that looked after me on several occasions as a kid.  Most importantly though, I’d love to meet their patron, Carol Vorderman.

Any fun or interesting facts?

My mates call me ‘Pingu’ because I (allegedly) run like a penguin.  Hopefully, come 17 April I’ll be able to waddle round the 26.2 miles in a respectable time!


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