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“Well, Mike, you’re a marathoner now.”

I’m sure I still had a big smile on my face, shaking my head in disbelief, “Yes, I guess I am.  Wow!”

Mike finished his first marathon in 2018 at the Sunshine Coast Marathon,

Like many runners, pacing was definitely a challenge for Mike. It was that feeling of struggle at the end of his past half marathons that was one of the reasons he joined intraining Runners School.  

In fact, there were 3 reasons that Mike was wanting to change with his training

  1. His past 3 half marathons were all a struggle and he knew if I was going to improve, he needed a new stimulus
  2. Training alone, his sessions were becoming very repetitive and uninspiring
  3. He wanted to give a full marathon a go, and he couldn’t see me getting there on my own.

Well, I’m very proud to say that Mike has nailed it.

Not only is he a marathoner, but he has become a Master Pacer and can confidently support other runners to pace their way to PB’s. Screen Shot 2020 06 20 at 12.35.57 pm

This did not happen overnight and he joined the intraining running groups  to surround himself with all the support possible. 

But…  I’m going to let you Mike tell you the rest of his story. 

Enjoy Mike’s run story below and see how possible it is to become Master Pacers,  whether you are a beginner or an experienced runner. 

Most importantly, being in a running community has a positive impact on all aspects of your life.

It becomes a lifestyle. 

Happy Running


P.S.  Click here to find one of our training sessions near you.  

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The intraining Pacing ‘Bus’ lead by coaches Laura Speed and Ant Hutchins at the 2019 Sunshine Coast Marathon.  intraining Runners Schoolers Sibo Miphosa, Mike Dickson,, Kay Toy and Karen Lee all successfully finished their first marathon.

“Well, it’s hard to beat running your first marathon!  I was pretty proud. “

Mike Dickson

After running Sunshine Coast last year, Steve Manning who is also my Tuesday night UQ coach, said to me, “Well, Mike, you’re a marathoner now.”

I’m sure I still had a big smile on my face, shaking my head in disbelief…   “Yes, I guess I am.  Wow!”

I’d never ever viewed myself as a long-distance runner, so now to be finishing a two, three or four-hour run is immensely satisfying.  What I really enjoy is that period in the long runs where you zone out and lose yourself in your rhythm and breathing.  Plus,  the post-run adrenaline high is addictive!

Training for half marathons is something I had been doing for a few years.  I had been pleased to achieve my previous goal to run three half-marathons in 2018.  But, I have to admit,  they were all a struggle.   I knew if I was going to improve, I needed a new stimulus.  Training myself, the sessions had become very repetitive and uninspiring.  I also had the thought that I might like to give a full marathon a go, and I couldn’t see me getting there on my own.

I guess in a nut-shell, I didn’t just want to ‘survive’ running a half any longer.  I wanted to finish and feel, ‘That was great fun’.  To do this, Ineeded to learn how to run properly, how to train and prepare properly, and of course, how to pace.

This is when I joined intraining’s Runners School. 

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Mike with Runners School buddies, Kay Toy, Helen Davidson and Keith Brewster after the 2019 Brisbane Half Marathon

What was different about being in the Runner’s School was that I just had so much stimulus.  The training groups shared insight from the other members of the school in the Facebook group, the method of learning ‘how to run’, and being in the intraining community. 

I guess what has happened to me in the year and a half I’ve been in the program is that I have learned a method, had plenty of opportunities to test and practise it.  I’ve learned to trust myself to run with control and learned to trust the coaches and trust the program.

I have really benefitted from the insight that you get from others on the Facebook pages.  I’ve found it a big help, really encouraging, educational and supportive.  I feel like I have learned so much and will continue to learn so much more.  Facebook really shines when used as an educational tool.  Steve & Margot’s lessons are always timely, always bang-on, and don’t you love their passion!

I really enjoy the training sessions.  The buzz of hard-work & achievement is really inspiring.  You find pace groups to run the Sunday Long Runs with and it’s sociable, fun and always interesting to chat with people about life.  You almost don’t notice how far you’ve run!  In fact, I learnt so much about running on those runs.  You meet so many new people, which otherwise is quite hard to do at my time of life.

I also should mention the buzz of support you get from all the other ‘intrainers’ when you’re running.  It is phenomenal, and especially when you’re running a goal race.  The cheering, the shout-outs…  it really pumps up your tyres.  Being in the intraining community, you get to see how it works for others too, and that gives you confidence.

I’m very proud to be part of this community.  Now, more than ever, community matters.

Now, This is what I learnt about pacing…

Runners School comrades… Mike celebrating after help pace Victoria Shepherd to another PB.  May & June 2020 was a defining moment for Mike as he shifted from honing his own Master Pacer skills into supporting other runners to master theirs.

My running strategy was always my parkrun strategy of ‘go out fast and try and hang-on as long as you can.’  But now, after being in Runners School and intraining’s groups,  I’ve learnt the value of pacing.   I can go out for any distance and really enjoy the feeling of building up my pace through the run and always finish really strong.

At training I try to be consistent with my pace, which means, I guess, running with ‘feel’.  Over the last year and a half, I can proudly say that I am a ‘Master Pacer’.  I am pretty good at trying to run a pace and see that it was right when I checked my watch.  That is very reassuring. 

It is still difficult not to be gung-ho but having others to share the same pacing philosophy really helps.  I do a lot of my running with my Thursday Toowong coach, Laura Speed, and as I write this I do have a very strong mental picture of her reigning in me in as I pushed too hard!

I’m really pleased that my PB’s at all distances are improving.  Best of all I know there’s still heaps of improvement to come.  I still feel I need to get out of my own way somewhat to perform at my best.  But I love the journey and I love the people I get to share that journey with.

Mike Dickson, intraining club member, and intraining Runners School 2019 – 2021, 

Have your own great year of running.