Stopsley Strider Club Member Profile – Mark Layzell
I work at the University of Bedfordshire at Park Square, Luton as a Technician/Demonstrator in The School of Media and Performance
Did you do sport at school?
Not very good at school sports and did not try too hard neither, which looking back was a great regret!
When did you start running & why?
I started running on our clubs 2014 beginners course as I wanted to get fit enough to run that years Luton Half marathon in October.
What made you come to Stopsley Striders?
Quite simple it is the closest running club to me and I heard they were a very friendly club to join!
What is your favourite run/course?
The revised 2015 Luton half marathon course that runs around the beautiful Luton Hoo estate and finishes in the town centre!
What is your best run?
The Finchley 20 not in relation to time but I completed the 20 miles distance that was the most important achievement for me after all the training that went in beforehand.
What was your worst run?
In the Silverstone 10k race in 2016 I struggled with form and a plantar fasciitis injury. The time was so bad that after the race I felt like giving up running but glad I didn’t.
What was your most memorable run?
My last Greater London parkrun at Pymmes, Edmonton that completed my capital challenge of running all 47 London parkruns in a year for charity! It was also great to celebrate this milestone with some of my friends that come with me from our club!
Do you like cross-country?
Yes but only done one race for the club that I plan to rectify that in this year three counties cross country league.
Assuming you have spare time, what are your other hobbies/interests?
Love watching live sport from both Luton football and rugby clubs and in the summer Middlesex County Cricket club at the iconic Lords ground London
How many times a week do you run?
Going to start running 3-4 times a week now my challenge is over.
What is your average weekly mileage?
Hope to get back into running between 15-20 miles a week
Do you do speed work or specialist training?
Normally coach on the speed work sessions on a Thursday, but going to have to add more personal speed work sets into my own training as I am looking to improve my PB’s over multiple distances from 5K to 10 Miles!
Do you follow a diet regime before competing?
Try to cut out all the unhealthy foods but I would be lying if I didn’t say it wasn’t difficult.
What piece of your kit do you think is the most important?
Trainers for me as they need to be both comfortable and support your feet for the long periods of time while running!
Who is your hero?
Mo Farah that with all the setbacks he has had in his life shows with his hard work and determination managed to become one of the worlds best middle distance runners of all time!
What do you like about the club?
It is a very friendly club that is inclusive to all runners and not dependent on ability, plus has a great community ethos about it!
What would be your advice to a new club member?
Seeing as at the moment I am the person who looks after the new members contact email, I would say all the coaches are available to help you out and don’t be afraid to ask that running question even if you may think it could be trivial to us!
What is your running song to get you over that line?
Sorry don’t listen to music while I am running especially on the roads/footpaths, it’s a safety issue for me!