Paul Martelletti: Conversational Pace

Paul Martelletti is a prolific racer who has competed over distances from 800m to 100km. Paul is a regular on the parkrun circuit and holds a number of course records in the UK and abroad.

In 2014 Paul represented Great Britain at the 100km Championships in Doha. In the same year he won the UK leg of the inaugural Red Bull Wings for Life race, where he outran a chaser car for 69.37km to place 5th in the global rankings.

Paul recently completed a win streak of four out of four half marathons, topping the podium at Wokingham, Watford, Brighton and Bath. The lovely people of social media sent us some great questions to put to the man behind the beard.

‏@Peter_Gettings : What was the longest training run you did before the World 100k?

The longest training run was just over 35 miles. That may seem a bit short but it was a good quality run with a 9 mile warm-up followed by a 2:39 marathon. I already some decent miles in my legs in the week before.

Do you do a long slow run? If so, how slow / what pace?

It really depends on what I’m training for at the time. A typical long steady run would be 20-23 miles starting at 7xx pace and getting quicker as the run progresses.  It would probably work out to about marathon pace + 90 seconds on average.

@cookstaar : Yes you are a good runner, but are you manly enough to win Sports Beard of the Year?

SBOTY? Hmm, I’m not sure I’m hairy enough for that one.  I have ok growth in places but I’m lacking the overall consistency to challenge the big (hairy) boys.

 @Lamey83Do you wear a watch during races or run by feel?

I always wear a watch but I’m pretty good at running by feel too.  I set my half marathon PB this year with my watch covered up on purpose so that I was focused on racing rather than the clock.  A watch can hinder you sometimes but I also find it can be motivating. A quick check on pace can give you the motivation you need to get a move on.

‏@Secret_Marathon : What’s the best advice you’d give to someone about to undertake their first ultra-marathon?

Don’t do it!  Oh, you were looking for positive advice. If you must tackle an ultra, make sure you put the relevant training in and don’t over think things.  If you take 100km as an example, well, it’s a freakin’ long way!   You won’t cover that in a training run so there will always be an unknown element at some point in the race.  It’s when the going gets tough that your mental strength and attitude will help you to the finish line.

‏@maz1ngw5 : Which is your favourite parkrun course ?

My favourite parkrun venue is Mile End.  It’s my home course and it’s slightly undulating which mixes it up a little. In fact, I like it so much that I often use it for runs or sessions and my record is six times (which is 12 laps of the course since it is a two lap course).

‏@SharkeyJon   How does breaking the BAC track record for Chunder Mile with a 5:37 rate in your list of achievements?

It definitely ranks highly and is possibly worth the most street cred.  I’m glad there is YouTube footage of it. (Note from the Ed: you can watch it here.I’m pleased I held my form while downing my last beer. I held my alcohol too and didn’t do what it says on the tin – i.e chunder!  I’m looking forward to completing one fresh as I’d run 3 track events beforehand so there’s plenty of scope for improvement.

Paul Martelletti competing in the beer mile
Down in one before the final lap.
@jruskin1 : Are you naturally very resistant to injury, or are you very good at detecting the onset of an injury, or are you just very lucky?

I think it’s a combination of all really.  My body seems to be able to cope with higher mileage.  That was down to a bit of luck initially, as I didn’t know what I was doing and just increased my miles.  This now means my body is better adapted and stronger which makes me a bit more resistant. I’ve gradually learnt when to back off or be careful.

It’s often hard to accept that you are injured or need a break which results in some time off.  Luckily that has only happened a few times.  I’ve found in the past couple of years that the frequency of niggles has increased which actually helps to not overdo things. This can be frustrating as it often means you can’t train at 100%.

Mary A (via Facebook) : Is it easy to maintain a happy marriage when you are so busy training / racing?

I’m lucky that my wife Karen is very supportive of me and puts up with my running.  It is quite difficult at times to balance the amount of training and racing I do with work and home life. Any spare time I have I could quite happily just sit on the sofa and do nothing!

Thanks Paul! You can follow Paul Martelletti on Twitter at @marders 

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