Run Anglia: How does she do it? Marathon queen Dani Nimmock on how she juggles a full time job with being an elite athlete
Dani Nimmock made the running world sit up and take notice of her after victory in Manchester as she explains to Run Anglia editor Mark Armstrong
All runners have been there.
The temptation to hit the snooze button on your alarm is sometimes too much when you’ve got a morning run planned.
By the time you know it another half hour has gone and you have to shelve your running plans.
The hectic nature of modern life and the demands placed upon many can make it very difficult to fit running into your routine.
Dani Nimmock has all the stresses and strains of holding down a full-time, high-flying job in London. However, she doesn’t let it interfere with her training…fitting life into her running, rather than the other way round, is her biggest challenge.
The 28-year-old made the running world sit up and take notice earlier this month by taking victory at the Greater Manchester Marathon in a time of 2-38:22 – almost three minutes clear of her rivals.
What many people won’t have known is that she managed to pull off this win whilst working full time for the London Marathon as a Publications and Stage Show Events co-ordinator.
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So how does Dani manage to work full time and train as an elite athlete?
“I have to be super organised – sometimes I run to work but I’ve had to remember the day before to take extra work clothes with me to change into.
“I get my running kit all laid out the night before and I don’t even really think about it.
“I don’t really see it as a sacrifice – as long as I’ve got something to train for then I’m committed to it.
“I run before and after work and I don’t even think about it.
“If I didn’t have an event to train for then I might be tempted to give myself an extra bit of time in bed but I don’t see it as a sacrifice really.”
Over the past 12 months Dani has gone from being a very good club runner to producing the times of an elite athlete. Her sub 2-40 marathon will have surprised a few people, but not Dani.
The groundwork for such a performance had long since been laid thanks in large part to changing the way she trains.
Under the guidance of her coach (and husband) Mark Burgess she decided to cut back on some of the speed sessions that had formed such a large part of her training.
MORE: Nimmock gets reward with senior international break
Nimmock would instead increase her weekly mileage and give her body more time to recover with less intense sessions.
The results speak for themselves.
“The win in Manchester wasn’t a total shock,” said the City of Norwich Athletic Club member, who is prevented from taking part in the London Marathon due to her work commitments.
“I got a PB at the Vitality Half so based on that I knew that I was capable of running a sub 2-40 marathon in Manchester.
“I was happy with my form going into the race but I knew that everything would have to click into place for me, which fortunately it did.
“I’ve been upping my mileage by doing more quality, steady running rather than focusing on speed sessions and tempo running.
“I was doing three speed sessions a week and with working full time I wasn’t giving my body enough time to recover between sessions.
“I kept getting niggles all the time but since we’ve been doing the new training programme I’ve not had any time off at all.
“I’ve also been making time every other day to do a core routine and focusing on my calves and glutes, which have been areas of weakness in the past.”
Dani’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed as she has been selected to represent England in the Lillebaelt Half Marathon in Denmark next weekend.
After this she is targeting another marathon PB in the autumn in either Frankfurt or Berlin.
“It will be the first time that I’ve represented England as a senior – I knew that if I could perform how I was in training then it (an England call-up) might be on the cards.
“After that I will be looking at doing some shorter races in the summer.
“I want to work on my speed for the shorter races so that my marathon pace can feel easier.
“My pace at Manchester was six minutes per mile and I want to get that down to 5:50.”
So how far can Dani go?
“My ultimate dream is to compete in a marathon at the Olympics in either Tokyo or Paris.
“I just think you’ve got to aim high – that’s why me and my husband are happy to keep trying and making the sacrifices to work towards that.”