Top marathon tips from DJ Rocky (X-Press 2)

(Photo credit: Justin De Souza, www.iamfreshtodeath.com)

This week's marathon Q&A comes from DJ Rocky, one third of legendary house trio X-Press 2. X-Press 2 have been having hits since 1992, with their first single Muzik Xpress making waves on the underground, but the trio are perhaps best known for their number one single, Lazy.

I had a chat with Rocky over a ginger beer or two, and got the lowdown on his 2010 marathon experience.

X-Press 2 - Muzik Xpress

X-Press 2 featuring David Byrne - Lazy

Name: Darren Rock AKA. Rocky
Age: 43
Home: London
Career: DJ and record producer for 23 years

How did you get into running?
I started running around seven years ago but only got properly into it in 2009, mainly due to a friend of mine - Matt, who’d been doing the odd 10k and half marathon. At first it was just a fitness thing that attracted me to it.

What made you decide to run the London Marathon 2010?
Again, it was down to the friends that I was running with. I was quite happy just doing a couple of miles a few times a week, but then the possibility of a charity place came up in October 2009 and I decided to go for it. I had my mates to train with so I was looking forward to it.

Can you tell us a bit about your marathon experience?
The actual marathon itself was amazing. The buzz that you get and the encouragement that you receive on the way round is the thing that keeps you going. Make sure you get your name printed on your vest/shirt!! The main thing I would have done differently would’ve been not to walk at 16 miles!!
I was gutted afterwards as I knew I could’ve run the whole distance. Physically I was fine; it was my brain that stopped me.

What was your marathon time?

My time was 5 hrs 17 mins.

Which charity were you running for?

The charity was called Contact a Family. They offer support for families with disabled children.

Who is your marathon inspiration?
I think the inspiration for me on the day itself was the charity, Contact A Family, which I was running for. At my lowest points, I was thinking how much help I was going to provide with my achievement.

What was your trick to integrating your training into your already busy schedule?
To be honest, I didn’t find it that hard. Most of my work is at weekends as a DJ, so I was able to put loads of time in during the week. It was a little more difficult for the rest of the guys as they all have ‘proper’ jobs. I did find some of the early Sunday morning long distance runs a little bit tricky!

What is your marathon mantra?
Don’t fucking stop.

What is your pre race ritual?
Carb load for four or five days before and keep well hydrated. Porridge on race morning and again keep hydrated, but be careful and don’t over do it with the liquids before the race.
Make sure I’ve filled out the reverse of my race number and got safety pins to attach it to my vest before leaving.

Can you name your top three tracks on your marathon playlist?
Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill

Free – Alright Now

Airto Moreira – Celebration Suite

What is your marathon top training tip?
Follow a training plan; don’t just decide how much you need to do. You need to vary the training with intervals, hills, fartlek etc. I found cycling and swimming helped me a lot as well. There are loads of training plans available online or through your gym/trainer.

You can hear more from Rocky every Thursday 6-8pm on Ministry of Sound Radio
Thanks Rocky! x