Runner Profile:  James Trainor

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This months ‘Runner Profile’ is a young athlete that I have watched progress steadily over the last number of years.  James Trainer, a regular at the Queens parkrun in Belfast, were he has been ‘first finisher’ no less than fifteen times, and a podium finisher at the ‘Run in the Dark’ and Greyabbey 10k in 2014, has been in fantastic form over the last twelve months.  Despite a recent injury setback, the 4:48 miler hopes to retain his fitness and achieve his goals for 2015.

Name:  James Trainor

Current Category:  Male Open

Associated Club:  Dub Runners of Belfast

Personal Bests:  Half Marathon – 1:21:51, 10k – 35:33, 5k – 16:54, 3k – 9:44, Mile – 4:38

What is your favourite running event in Northern Ireland?  It is hard to choose but I always enjoy the Queens Round the River 5k. It’s a great location for a road race and I like the big events and testing myself against a really good field.  Also I did the Armagh road race for the first time last year and I am really looking forward to that one again. Although it’s a ‘timed run’ and not a race, I have to give a mention to Queens Parkrun. PTI is always good too.

When did you start running?  I enjoyed cross-country and athletics at school but I really started the running in 2007-ish and began taking it a bit more seriously 2/3 years ago when I joined Dub Runners.

Why do you run?  I got back into it because there was a spell where I wasn’t doing any sport at University and started running as the training was flexible.  I did my first 10k at the ‘One World Run’ in 2007 and after that, I was hooked!

You have been in good form this year!  You must be happy with this!? Can you put your finger on any particular reason for this improvement and good form?  I have been training with North Belfast Harriers for their tempo session and that has helped.  Until recently I had had a good long stint free of injury getting a good consistent block of training. Unfortunately now I have developed a groin tendon injury – I have taken a few weeks off entirely and I am slowly getting back into the running now -I kept running on it for too long at the time of the initial injury and paid the price.

You won the Run in the Dark 5k recently, running 17:39 over a tough course.  How did that race go for you?  Apart from having to re-tie my shoe it went well; once you get up the main driveway at Stormont the rest of the loop is pretty fast. It’s a well-organised event and it would be great to see more club runners at it next year.

What does a typical week’s training involve?

Monday:  Easy run (distance varies) or day off.

Tuesday:  Speed intervals with Dub Runners.

Wednesday:  Easy run (which includes a chip from the Sphinx in Stranmillis).

Thursday:  Tempo run with North Belfast Harriers.

Friday:  Easy run.

Saturday:  5k parkrun/hills.

Sunday:  Long run (occasionally Dub club-run).

In saying this, at the minute I am in the garage on the turbo trainer trying not to loose too much fitness until I can run properly again. I gave aqua running a go this week and quite enjoyed it.

What is your favourite training ‘session’?  I enjoy shorter intervals, e.g 400m on the track or 1 minute sprints up a hill. Something like that.

What is your next race and what do you want from it?  I would love to do the Armagh International 5k road race.  I didn’t have a fast enough time last year and did the 3k in 2014 instead but since then I have got under the required 17 minutes entry level for the 5k at the QUB race round the river last year.  Although I would love to enter the 5k race, I’m not sure I will be fit in time following this recent injury – I don’t fancy trailing round last by more than a minute, which might still be the case in that race, injured or not. If I do decide to run my goals will be: don’t be last and don’t get lapped.

What is your favourite pre-race and post-race meals?  I don’t think I have really cracked pre-race nutrition. I would have cereal and malt loaf about 3 hours before a race. If I’m in work and it’s an evening race I have a John West light lunch french style tuna salad. Post-race mainly consists of crisps and chocolate.

What would you consider to be your greatest achievement in running?  My best performance was probably your NiRunning Mile at Mary Peter’s track: 4 mins 48 secs in the rain, no spikes! I beat a few people I wouldn’t normally get close to in longer races.  Winning the Portaferry ‘Mixed Relay’ with my sister-in-law Maeve for Dub Runners also stands out.

What is your running ambition?   don’t really set long term goals, I just aim to break personal bests and look to finish as high up as I can. I want to break 35 mins in 10k this season and have a go at a few more track events at 800m/1500m.

Are you interested in any other sports away from running?  I play softball (yes, that is a bit like rounders) for Belfast Sliders and although I am notmuch of a cyclist I have had a go at a couple of duathlons recently. They have been on closed motor-racing circuits with transition in the pit-lane. I will watch pretty much any sport on TV! Anything from snooker to athletics, but rugby and road cycling are probably my favourites to watch at the minute.