Paul has been chasing PB's for years and trying to pick up the pace, and now he spends his time trying to help others achieve theirs. As an official pacer paul has helped thousands of people achieve PBS and hopes to continue doing this for years to come. Paul is also one of racecheck's most valued reviewers, sharing invaluable feedback about events with the community. You can check out his race calendar and reviews here
What brought you to running? Do you think that a sporting background as a child is important in orderto be competitive in racing?
I was always active as a child, and this is something I would encourage, but I don't think this is the key to being successful. Of course it gives a head start, but anyone can become competitive, and it is what you put in.
I have been running on and off my whole life, but never really classed myself as a runner, I ran for other sport and to train. It was after uni that I took on my 3rd Half, 3 years after the last and my fitness levels concerned me. So I started running to improve, and just kept pushing.
Where do you live now and what benefits and/orlimitations does your area have for training?
I live in London which is great for events in the south. There is a lot of choice which is great. I do however find a lot of my training routes are limited. Full of roads, and often not very scenic. I tend to head towards a park, but if I want to go further it's a little boring. I grew up in a seaside town, and this is really before I ran. A great opportunity missed, as I would love to have the seaside on my doorstep now to run.
How many hours do you train per week? How do you manage to balance work, parenting and training?
When I'm on form, and all is going well I probably run 3-4 lunch times a week, and then an event on the weekend, so up to 5 hours a week.
Fitting everything in is hard at the moment, new job, working long shifts, and a busy family life with 2 young kids makes it really hard. I'm not in the best shape of my life, and couldn't hit a pb right now, but I know what I need to do to get this back. Ideally I would run 3 times a week at lunch time, mix in some strength training, but this hasn't been happening lately. My saving grace is that I Pace a lot. By not pushing to my limit I am able to do more races, and I use my pacing as my long training run.
Do you feel that running eats into your social life?
Haha running is my social life. I work, I look after my family and I run... I am very active on social media, particularly Twitter (@paul_addicott). I love the running community vibe, you get this to an extent in Facebook running groups, or instagram (@pauladdicott) but on twitter there #ukrunchat and #visorclub communities are amazing. It's full of motivation and inspiration, that I am proud to be part of. Just over a year ago I joined #visorclub and I'm now an ambassador for #ukrunchat and to be honest I can't remember the last time I didn't tag @ukrunchat in a post. My twitter is full of running talk, this is my social. How on earth can you even think that running means I have no time for a social life :D
Was there ever a time when you were close to quitting? What keeps you going through the tough times? (injuries/bad performances etc)
I've been injured a few times, I've found things hard, but I have a determined personality, so setbacks strive me to improve. Last time I was injured I had a serious sprain, I thought I broke my ankle, my response was to enter an Ironman. I couldn't weight bare for a while as I couldn't really run I started to swim. First time I had swam for years, and after doing just a few lengths of the pool I entered my first triathlon, Ironman Weymouth. When you have setbacks it is within you to decide how you deal with them. Of course sometimes it is out of your control, but if it's possible I turn setbacks into challenges. During a race when things get hard I just keep telling myself to put one foot in front of another. Pain is temporary, pride is forever. I always share banter with those around me to give people a lift as we are running. Feeling positive and happy really does make Running feel easier.
Do you have a pre-race specific routine?
I always get up early on race day. I am always very nervous and have to visit the toilet a few times. I like to get to the event start early, usually too early, so that I feel prepared. This is usually fine as fits in with my social nature.
How do you spend your off-season? Are there sports that you enjoy doing that you feel compliment running?
I used to have an off season, but now I fill that with races. I like to do triathlon but don't get the opportunity to train for my potential right now, but I will one day.
What is your favourite race and why?
I love the London marathon, it's just a fantastic experience and I look at it very differently now I Pace it. So many happy runners with me and so many happy memories... first marathon, and I was dressed as a rhino, my pb course and first marathon I paced.
Share with us any unexpected/funny events that happened during racing or training?
I once paced a marathon that had a relay too. After about 15k a lady who said the furthest she had ever ran was 10k asked when the half turns off... at this point I had to break it to her that unless she had someone to take over from her she was running a marathon