Top marathon tips from writer, Candice ‘Candie’ Brown Brathwaite

Candice is a model, baker, writer and runner.
I first encountered Candice as a fellow Team Bangs On The Run 2 team member, and her forthright manner and those long long lashes struck me from the minute I met her. She’s dynamite – if ever I’ve seen it!

Like me, Candice is not a practiced athlete. That was, until she decided to run seven half marathons – one in each continent!

Beginning her journey in Jamaica in 2011, she has since run in races in Paris and Amsterdam, and next month sees Candice’s marathon debut - as she takes part in the London Marathon 2012.

Candice is training hard, and has often already completed a multi mile run by the time I’m waking up. So, I asked her to divulge her top marathon training tips, and this is what she had to say…

Name: Candice ‘Candie’ Brown Brathwaite
Age: 24
Home: Saff Landan!
Career: Writer

How did you get into running? It started in the winter of ’10. After my Dad’s untimely passing and a few other personal things going on, I needed something to focus on. I was so embarrassed, I would arise at 4:30 am every morning and run in the shadows! Not the safest thing to do but as a first time runner, my confidence was non existent.

Is this your first marathon? Yes this is my first. I have signed up to two more this year, so I better like it!

What made you decide to run the London Marathon 2012? It was me testing the powers that be. I was in a running rut and wondering if I should hang up my kicks and source out an overpriced gym membership.

I entered without telling a soul. ‘If I get a ballot place, I am meant to continue running.’ I said aloud, as I filled out the online entry form. Two months later, the Gods have spoken and I’m still running!

Are you enjoying your training? Which aspects particularly? My relationship with my training plan is much like that of an old married couple. It gets on my nerves but we are in it until the finish! Sometimes, no I am fatigued ALL THE TIME. But some days I’ll go out and have a run that makes me confident in my abilities.

The aspect I have enjoyed the most, is feeling myself get fitter. I can now talk through a half marathon. That is unbelievable to me. I also enjoy shopping for new kit!

Who is your marathon inspiration? My marathon inspiration is a lil' guy that went by the name of Fred Lebow. He was the creator and race director of the NYC marathon. I fell in love with him after watching ‘Run For Your Life’ a documentary about how he escaped war and became a prominent figure in NYC’s running community.

What I loved most about his story was the fact he was a slow runner. He averaged at 12 minutes per mile. I too am part of the slower set, and I used to think it was an embarrassing disadvantage. But knowing that 'Slob Bow' created THE marathon, takes the edge off any embarrassment.

What has been your trick to integrating your training into your already busy schedule? Just understanding that this may be the only time in my life, I have to dedicate to running. Knowing that sacking off training days, cost me in the long run. Literally. I have to be my own worst critic and reverent cheerleader.

There isn’t a trick! I’ve had to turn down nights out (or in!) to make sure that I’m at my best for the long Sunday run. Although sacrifice has played a great part, I have also made sure that I don’t immerse myself in training totally. Its about balance. If I’ve ran hard for a week, I treat myself to a bit of play!

What do you tell yourself to beat the wall? If ever you’ve hit it! I have yet to hit the physical wall. I think I had a taste of it on my 18 miler and by golly, it wasn’t pretty. Mentally, there is always a wall! I always think I can't do it.

My trick right now is ‘One More mile’ from the moment I begin the run, whether long or short, I deal with it one mile at a time. If I think about the fact I still have ten to go, I’ll return home and eat macaroons!

Can you name your top three tracks on your marathon playlist?

Kanye West- All of the Lights

The Roots- The Fire

Linkin Park- Robot Boy

What is your pre run ritual? Force myself to have breakfast. Double check I have safety pins. Tweet and pray!

And your post run ritual? Use a wet wipe to de-salt my face, take a picture with my crew, then immediately find somewhere to eat!

What is your top marathon training tip? Training plans do not factor in real life. You won’t always be able to do as it says. Make adjustments, but try to follow it to the letter. Training plans are there for a reason. Have fun. You are about to undertake one of the most self revealing tasks of all time. Embrace it.

Can you tell us your goal time? 4:45!

Whereabouts do you run? Do you prefer running in or outdoors? I run in the hills of south London! And if not there, East London, with my crew, RunDem. I much prefer running outside. The routes you get to explore and the characters you encounter make indoor running appear so boring. Plus a treadmill could never compare to the secret incline of the road.

Pre marathon training, how often did you run? Before I began marathon training, I was running three times a week.

Do you vary your training? Between mileage and speed? I do vary my training. Depending on the mileage of my long Sunday run, Tuesdays effort with RDC is when I up my game a bit. I also love throwing in hills or stairs. Not track though. The ring of fire has burnt me off once too many times!

What has been your most memorable run to date? The Jamaica half marathon has been my most memorable run to date. So much so that I’ve signed up for the full this year! It was such a blessing to be running in my fathers hometown. The crowds and volunteers were magical. Paradise.

Do you prefer running alone or with a partner? I prefer running with a partner. They are able to keep me going, when I really think I have nothing else to give.

Has running had an impact on your life? Physical or otherwise? Physically, the changes have been slight. But mentally, I have been taught about an esoteric endurance. One that can only be hinged on what you have been through. And being able to come out the otherside. Turning pain into profit. It all ends. You may as well give it your best shot!

A lady of exquisite taste – Candice says run like ‘elle

The task is huge, but the slogan simple: RunTheWorld. SackTheStigma - and I can’t think of anyone better to do it.

To support Candice’s cause and sponsor her, please go to her Virgin Money Giving page.

You can also follow Candice’s progress at thetortoisewithnohair.com

Thanks Candice, and I can’t wait to see you pass us on the marathon course next month.

Now DO THE TING and run like ‘elle! x