Member Mention: Tom Cassidy

By 22 March 2016News
Tom Cassidy, Fierce Grace Brixton member

Sun’s out, trainers out!

One man ahead of the game is our very own Marathon Man, Tom Cassidy, who is running the Brighton Marathon next month.

For a post-run cool-down Tom took a moment to tell us about how yoga helps him through and can do the same for you! Thanks for the fitspiration Tom!

What has inspired you to do the marathon?

“I have known for a long time that I wanted to do a marathon eventually. And watching two of my good friends complete the London and Brighton marathons respectively I decided that this would my year.

I have been running for a few years, but nothing of any significance, just to keep fit and I enjoyed the rush you get at the end of a good run. A lot of people have talked about how it can be meditative.  I find that I always hate the first twenty minutes; my body is wondering why I am doing this. Once I find a bit of stride and rhythm and I relax into it, I end up quite enjoying it. Then once I finish and I am having a shower I feel amazing, always clearer and with great outlook on the day.”

What’s your training schedule like?

“I have been training for about four months, which has been pretty simple. I joined a running club on Sunday mornings, so that covers my long runs. The training idea is that you train your muscles to get stronger through short runs. Then with a long run once a week, training your body to use your long-term fat stores. These have been getting longer by 15 minutes every week. This week I am up three hours.

I recently competed in my first race, the Brighton Half Marathon as preparation for the big day, and it went really well. So exciting to have supporters cheering, roads closed and water stations along my normal long run. I got a great time and got a taste of how it may be on the real thing.”

How does yoga work alongside all that running?

“Yoga has been a brilliant addition to training. The first thing I learnt when I started training was the need for rest and stretching. You can’t run everyday and I was going far too long and too often in the beginning. Yoga helps to rest, recover and stretch the key muscles.”

What main differences do you think it has made?

“I have found two surprising benefits: firstly, the strength conditioning I get from the balancing and standing series is amazing for my running posture and alignment. This is critical for good running, especially for the time I am doing it, otherwise injuries can happen.

Secondly, the relaxation and breath control I get doing yoga is excellent to practice when I am running. A lot of ultra-marathoners talk about running with your breath – a very similar nasal breathing to yoga. It’s perfect for oxygenating the blood even when my heart-rate is up.”

Do you have a favourite posture?

“I love the pigeon postures. Stretching deep into my glutes and hamstrings is amazing. Also the core work is fundamental to running and I feel much stronger over time.”

What’s next?

“There are two objectives now for my preparation – get to the start line uninjured. And get to the finish line uninjured! I am not too fussed abut the final time I run it in. Getting it done will be a big achievement. Yoga is key for that. After the marathon I can continue to work on my flexibility in class and go back to having relaxed Sunday mornings!”

Best of luck Tom! If you see Tom around the studio, don’t forget to cheer him on!

If that wasn’t inspiration enough, come along to our Runners’ Workshop on Saturday 2nd April 5.30pm – the SOB class with special focus on deepening that stretch, protecting your muscles and preventing injury.

FREE to members, £5 to non-members.

PLUS pre and post class talks on what your body needs for you to perform at your best, including optimum levels of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Plus learn how to speed up recovery and repair so you can maximise the benefits of your work-out.

Book now >