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Preparing for the London Marathon hat-trick: Paul’s story

April 21 2016


For most of us, the thought of running 26 miles sends us quickly into retreat, but Paul Goodman is gearing up to run his third marathon for Livability, inspired by the work of our very own Victoria Education Centre.

How did you first hear about Livability?

I first heard about Livability back in 2012 when one of my good friends decided to run the marathon for them and asked me run too. Livability runs Victoria Education Centre for young disabled people, close to my work.

I was given the opportunity to visit so I have been able to see first-hand the great work the charity does. I’m not exaggerating when I say I was bowled over by the enthusiasm of the staff and the happiness of the students.

Can you tell us a bit about your preparation and running style?

I’m flying solo this time. I often find it easier to focus when I’m running on my own as I can run my own race, at my own pace. It also means I can pop my headphones in and lose myself in the latest poptastic tunes that my iPod has in store for me.

I’m following the Intermediate 17 Week Training Plan – previously racking up 25 miles a week but this has since increased rapidly.

In terms of mental preparation, I find it important when training to visualise running the marathon – imagine the feeling on the day. It really is an incredible experience.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and how does the whole experience differ from your first marathons?

The hardest thing is definitely waking up. I’ve had to do some of my runs at 6am to squeeze in work and the rest of my life. I was not built for early mornings. However, I’m getting married this year and my fiancée has been piling on the pressure for me to get in good shape for the big day. The marathon training has obviously helped with that!

[x_blockquote cite=”Paul Goodman” type=”left”]”The easiest thing has been the knowledge that I have done it before and I know what I’ve let myself in for.”[/x_blockquote]

I was on the tube to my first marathon with two friends who were also running it for the first time and we were estimating our finish times. A seasoned runner leaned over and said ‘is this your first marathon? …Just finish it!’ We all laughed, but he was right; you can’t be fully mentally prepared until you’ve done one.

In training you have a clear road ahead of you. The first time I ran I was getting so frustrated dodging in and out of people for the first seven miles without realising if I had reserved energy and stayed in the pack I probably would have completed the race in a much better time.

Apart from your ‘poptastic tunes’, what will keep you motivated on the day?

I’m really looking forward to mile 16 and running past the Livability cheering station! The first year I waved like crazy but nobody spotted me so I’m hoping to get a real racket from everyone this year!

My biggest motivation to finish is making everyone proud of me. I’ve got a really supportive fiancée who will be cheering me on the day and a 10 year old daughter who seems impressed whenever I run the marathon – it’s the only time I’m seen in the same light as the One Direction boys!

How have your family and friends supported you? What value has that brought you?

I am very lucky to work for a fantastic company (LV=) who are so supportive. They’ve helped me arrange charity days, quiz nights, raffles and all sorts! I also wrote a blog last year to raise awareness. The Facebook community has come through for me too.

The things that they all have in common is that when you complete something like the marathon, people genuinely appreciate that you are giving up a huge chunk of time to do it – it’s about six months in total. I think the fact that I can demonstrate that it helps a local cause is a massive factor too.

What are you hoping to achieve by running this year?

I’m completing the trilogy. I’ve raised over £3,200 for Livability from my previous two marathons and I’d love to hit the £5k mark and hang up my running shoes having won the marathon (by won I mean ‘complete in a half decent time’).

Ultimately, I’d love to see the stories of people’s lives that have been improved on the back of the money that I raised. There’s something incredibly humbling about visiting a school and meeting children of all ages with varying levels of disability and the only thing that they have in common is a smile on their face.

Paul Goodman is Team Manager for LV=. Paul works in in Bournemouth close to Victoria Education Centre – a special needs school for young disabled people, run by Livability. This is his third London Marathon, having run for Livability in two previous years.

[x_creative_cta padding=”25px 25px 25px 25px” text=”Show your support for Paul and Team Livability with a one-off donation” font_size=”28px” con=”mail-forward” con_size=”48px” animation=”slide-top” link=”https://www.livability.org.uk/donate/making-a-one-off-donation/” color=” bg_color=”#0098c3″ bg_color_hover=”hsl(193, 98%, 33%)”][x_gap size=”25px”]

You can also read about other ways to support Livability or become a regular donor here →

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Why not run for #TeamLivability at the London Marathon?

  • Training support and fundraising pack
  • Kerb crews on M-day to cheer you along
  • Post-run party complete with masseurs