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Alison Walker Ambassador XMiles Running Runner

Alison Walker - Ambassadors during Lockdown

I began ultra running in 2019 having read a book “Running up that hill” by Vassos Alexander and was intrigued by ultras. Spartathlon also grabbed me, so I signed up for my first 100 mile race in March 2019 with an aim of a sub 22 hour time to qualify for the lottery. Whilst the weather wasn’t very kind with 86mph gusts, I managed to achieve a sub 22 time and thought that this ultra thing really suited me!
I prefer ultras as the atmosphere is far less tense than the marathon and marathons stress me out. I enjoy running at an enjoyable pace all day... can’t tell you why, but I do! 

What are your personal bests?

Marathon: 3:17, 6h: 66.3km; 100k: 9:40, 100 miles: 19:41; 24h: 186.9km

What have you been doing during lockdown?

I have maintained my base during the early stages of lockdown, doing 100-mile weeks and one strength session. The intensity of my weeks at the early stages of lockdown was low with only one big speed session a week. In the latter stages of lockdown, I completed a few FKTs (quite lucky to have 4 starting at my doorstep). I also did a Virtual Backyard Ultra which ended prematurely due to an accident in the park - I managed 26 laps with much more left in the tank, so I definitely want to do another Backyard Ultra format in real life once COVID is over.

I am a keen baker and have been making lots of sourdough bread (a hobby I picked up pre-lockdown) but have progressed to ‘sourdough art’... I have also made my own kombucha and lots of cooking... Makes me realise how much snacking I do in the office now that I have to provide my own snacks!!

Did COVID-19 affect many events / training?

All my events from March to October have been cancelled/postponed... I was due to run the London Marathon, Crawley 24h (after my first 24h race fuelling disaster), Suffolk Backyard and the Cameron Ultra... So yes, lots of that has been canned! However, I’ve been working on my form with Shane Benzie (movement specialist) as it is really hard to work on fundamental things when you’re trying to smash out hard sessions.

Running at the start of lockdown caused a little bit of stress with the 2m distancing... and being very self-conscious and aware of what people thought. So, I went on my runs really early or really late or ran into the ghost town of central London. It was a very weird and surreal time...

How have you found being an ambassador for XMiles?

Haha, it’s only been a week! The process of becoming an ambassador for XMiles was not too stressful a process and the team have made things very clear and simple, which I really appreciate. I have also found being a Unived ambassador being really great - the CEO of Unived is sending me a package of stuff and am really impressed with his engagement with Unived athletes.

What do you have planned for the future?

I am planning a big FKT in a month’s time as my Suffolk Backyard Ultra has been postponed to October and I really want to do the Gloucester 24 to fix my errors on my first 24-hour race. So hopefully that will go ahead. 

About the Author
XMiles Ambassador -
Follow Alison on Instagram: @_alisonwalker_
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