Athletics

Plymouth man hoping to go from couch potato to marathon runner in six months

Alan MeyrickA PLYMOUTH man is hoping to go from being a self-confessed ‘couch potato’ to a marathon runner in just over six months.

Alan Meyrick was persuaded to do the Plymouth 10k earlier this month by a friend, who wanted to run for St Luke’s Hospice.

Alan has since caught the running bug and completed last Sunday’s Tavy 7 and is now entered for the Bath Half Marathon and the London Marathon, where he will be raising money for the Action on Pre-eclampsia (APEC) charity.

The 31-year-old wanted to run for that particular cause as his wife nearly died from Hellp syndrome in 2011 after giving birth to their first child.

“I got persuaded to do the Plymouth 10k by a friend and we ran that for St Luke’s,” said Alan.

“But I wanted to continue to get a bit fitter and lose some weight.

“My wife said ‘why don’t you do something for APEC in the future? I said to her may be next year, meaning 2018, but I was laid in bed and I thought if I don’t do it now I will probably never actually do it.

“So I sent APEC an email and the next morning they offered me a place in the London Marathon.”

Alan knows he has a lot of training to do between now and April, but so far it is going okay.

“I am enjoying it,” he said. “I’m going out running a far old bit. I have got a bit of a dodgy toe at the moment which is annoying, but when I was doing the training for the Plymouth 10k and Tavy 7 I did really enjoy it.

“What I enjoy the most is the peace and quiet and being by myself, to be honest. The pain is not so much fun, obviously, but it has been good. It is just keeping the motivation up to go out in all weathers for the next six months.”

He added: “I used to play football locally for quite a few years and a bit of badminton and things like that. But I got injured and hadn’t done anything for a couple of years.

“I had just become a bit lazy with the kids, work and university and the combination of being injured. I essentially became a couch potato. Apart from going for walks, I used to just sit around and watch TV.”

After doing the Tavy 7, Alan is planning on doing a number of other races in the build up to London.

“It gives me something to aim for,” he said. “My biggest fear is I that will chill out and think I can catch up next week, but that then becomes the week after and the week after.

“I am pretty near the back in races, but it’s just about having a continuous race schedule. I’ve got the long-term goal but it’s about having short-term goals as well. That just adds to the motivation.”

Alan ran the Tavy 7 in a kangaroo outfit to try and raise the profile of his cause, but he says he won’t be running in that costume again.

“It was extremely painful to run in,” he admitted. “I shall not be doing it again in a hurry.

“I will probably do London in some type of fancy dress, but nothing that restricts my legs like that did. It was like wearing a set of resistance bands, to be honest.”

When asked if he was confident he would complete the 26.2 mile course in April, Alan said: “I wouldn’t go that far! But I will certainly finish it, however, whether I finish it in a day or a week is another matter.”

To sponsor Alan or to read more about his story, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alanmeyrick

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