Focused Nutrition Powering Katherine For The Long Run

Focused Nutrition is delighted to announce that it will be supporting endurance runner Katherine Wood with fuel and encouragement! Katherine is working towards her dream of representing England, with an ultimate goal of selection to take part in the Commonwealth Games.

Staying fuelled up with the right nutrition is absolutely vital for distance running success. We are pleased to be in a position to assist Katherine in a practical way by providing nutritious flapjacks to keep her going. We caught up with Katherine to discuss her journey so far.

Can you explain to the uninitiated what endurance running entails?

Endurance running is any distance of three kilometres or more. I specialise in half marathons, full marathons and ultramarathons. An ultramarathon is a distance that’s longer than the standard 26.2 mile marathon distance, and includes things like the 50K and 100K.

That sounds absolutely terrifying. Where and how do you train?

I live in Manchester and I’m a member of Sale Harriers, Running with fellow club members is what it’s all about, but that is only part of my training regime.

I’m lucky enough to have an amazing coach in Liz Yelling. She represented the United Kingdom in the marathon at both the Greece and China Olympics, as well as bringing a medal home from the 2006 Commonwealth Games, so she’s a great inspiration.

My training plan is very intense. As well as a mixture of long tempo runs, interval and threshold sessions and easy recovery runs, I also do a lot of cycling, swimming, weights and strength and conditioning work. Oh, and Pilates, too.

Tell us about your achievements to date

My current PB is 75:25 for the half marathon. I set that earlier this year as a course record and winning time in the 2019 Maidenhead Half Marathon. My best marathon time is 2:41:33, which I achieved when I won the 2018 Yorkshire Marathon.

I also won the 2018 England Athletics Half Marathon Championships. This year’s achievements have included coming first in the 2019 Irish Athletics Half Marathon Champsionships, coming 8th in the 2019 Stockholm Marathon and 18th in the 2019 Dublin Marathon. Not bad given that I’ve been struggling with injury and illness.

What happened?

I ended up getting a double stress fracture in my foot right before Berlin so didn’t get to run, and did the Dublin marathon in 2:43:10. That’s a respectable time for someone with two partially healed fractures, particularly as I tore a hamstring at the halfway point!

I have also recently recovered from RED-S, which is an energy deficiency that is very common among young female athletes. I’ve taken the opportunity to raise public awareness of this disorder, by contributing blogs to sports websites like Fast Running and Momentum Sports. I also spoke on BBC Radio 5 Live on the Stephen Nolan show.

So what’s next?

Going forward, my aims for the next 12 months are to run sub-75 minutes for the half marathon and break 2:38 in the full marathon. I’d love to be selected to run in the England team for a selection marathon, and possibly reach Commonwealth Games qualifying standards.

Finally, can you tell us a little about yourself outside running?

I studied Biochemistry at the University of Oxford as an undergraduate and I am a full-time PhD student at the University of Manchester, doing research in the field of Genetic Medicine. I’m also in the middle of organising my wedding (scheduled for March 2020). When I’m not training or busy in the lab, my other interests include baking, animals (looking after our pet snake Simon!), and reading and writing.