4 Speakers, 1 goal : better marathon”Perform”- ance

Listening to the advise of four knowledgeable people, in very pleasant surroundings, who look at a topic from different angles, must be quite rare. Our subject for the night was “Marathon Talk” with the venue being the recently built Hilton hotel, which is part of Hampshire Cricket’s Ageas Bowl complex. Our speakers were, in order of appearance,

  1. Dan Young : Head of Sport & Exercise Medicine at Perform, (Ageas Bowl)
  2. Jo Meek : Team GB ultra marathon runner
  3. Kyle Pepperman-Hackett : Clinical Sports and remedial massage therapist
  4. Louise Damen : 2014 Commonwealth marathon athlete


I’d received an email from a non marathon running friend who’d suggested the talk would be right down my street. Once I’d asked if I could attend I then found myself in the pleasant position of being able to invite some running buddies too. I chose a handful of people that I’ve run most frequently with and who’ve helped me with my Blog so, in a way, it was a thank to them. It was funny to meet up with everyone in jeans and t shirts rather than trainers and running kit 🙂

Once we’d arrived and been served with our tea and coffee I popped “back stage” to pass on Kyle’s 3rd place trophy from the Chilly Hilly 10K that he’d run with some of us the previous day. As I was passing Kyle his trophy this also meant I could say hello to Jo Meek as we both have Blogs and follow each other on twitter, “small world” !!

Around 70 of us took our seats and Dan’s 25 minutes revolved around training errors, leg pain, shoe selection (pronated, neutral, supinated) and that 90% of running injuries are “over use” related and usually consist of several related factors. Dan’s advice on avoiding injury came from his Perform sports medicine centre background who treat the public as well as the cricketers. Reducing the number of training days you loose to injury keeps us running for longer and avoids those “grumpy injured” days that both us and our partners can relate to !!

Jo Meek’s section of the talk revolved around her ultra marathon experiences. It was very interesting to hear about her preparations for the MDS with heat chambers and back to back runs which resulted in her being the second lady and 20th overall in 2013. Jo’s ultra races have taken her to both Europe and America with solo achievements as well as being part of the GB gold medal winning team at the 100K world championships in 2014. Jo runs locally for Winchester and even though she has a 2.45 marathon pb she can still be found running competitively in local park runs trying to keep ahead of the young Winchester whippets.

Kyle was up next, he treats club runners and up to international level. I mentioned his 3rd place earlier, that also goes with a 10K 31.20 pb so he “understands” performance at the top level but, as he said, all runners are ultimately looking to get quicker whatever their pace and that’s exactly what he talked about. Biomechanics consist of your foot strike position, knee flexion, hip stability and arm swing. His video analysis of your running gait can be done frame by frame so all in all a visit to Kyle for a running MOT would make you faster and more efficient. Kyle’s practical demonstrations also brought home what he was explaining.

Our evening was rounded off with Louise Damon (2.30 marathon pb) her topic was marathon day preparation and her experiences at the Commonwealth games. I was particularly interested to hear that Louise will run 40K about 5 weeks before a major marathon. She mentioned caffeine as being part of her preparation and the fact that she would reduce her twice a day running down to once in the last week. She mentioned taper and the fact that what you do in the last two weeks won’t impact on your fitness. The three day countdown of Olympic village food choices was another interesting slant on our marathon knowledge. Finally I was heartened to hear that even Commonwealth runners use Vaseline on their toes too 🙂

Naturally it’s tricky to sum up a two hour talk but suffice to say everyone in the room left with food for thought and golden nuggets of advice from all four speakers.



4 thoughts on “4 Speakers, 1 goal : better marathon”Perform”- ance

    • irunoffroad February 13, 2016 / 7:19 pm

      It was very interesting to hear all the different speakers Fiona. Who knows they may well do another, where are you in the world ?

      Liked by 1 person

      • fionajarrett February 15, 2016 / 2:44 pm

        I live in Ireland and unfortunately there really aren’t that many running events or talks of that kind here. It’s a pity because running has become pretty big here and I think there would be a good demand to attend these kind of events. Hopefully we’ll start to see some soon!


    • irunoffroad February 13, 2016 / 7:20 pm

      Do you think the running awards video works ? Short but to the point 🙂


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