We enjoy a Q&A with Russell Bentley, Noble Pro ambassador
Who you are and what you do?
My name is Russell and I live in Snowdonia, Wales. I’m a coach and athlete, training for mountain and road races. Running in the mountains is my favourite thing to do in the world, but there is still something that keeps pulling me back to road marathons too. At the the Dragon’s Back Race last year (6 days, 236 miles, twice the elevation of Everest, over every major hill in Wales) I came runner up. I have the FKT for the Winter Paddy Buckley Round. I’ve also run a marathon in 2.20 and 10km in 30.14.
I hear you use your treadmill for mountain training! How do you manage to do this?
The NoblePro treadmill is an essential component of my training. I would be lost without it. The winters here are very tough. We have no pavements or street lights, so running before or after work in the rain and dark can be very dangerous. Also, all the running here is very hilly and and sometimes you actually want quite a flat run to get your legs moving quickly without interruptions.
I have two kids and my wife works, so sometimes I can train on the treadmill while still ensuring the kids are OK. Without the treadmill, I would inevitably lose some runs. Another major thing is I love watching NFL, but my wife hates it, so I can watch the highlights to my heart’s content while I’m doing my easy runs on the treadmill.
Any handy tips for people on working out a training programme?
So many cliches to throw at this one. Consistency is King is the main one. Don’t do anything today that will jeopardise tomorrow. Make a plan that looks a tad on the safe side, a bit easier than you would like. Those are the plans you are more likely to stick to. The best training schedule in the world is the one you will stick to. There is no secret sauce. It’s doing the simple things, again and again, that works.
What’s your favourite hill workout on the treadmill?
There’s the classic 5 x 1 mile with a 3min rest. This is brilliant to do on a treadmill because you don’t need to run back down the hill and take all that pounding on your quads and knees. It’s really simple to set up on the Kinni app so, you don’t even need to think, and thinking gets too hard when your heart rate is high.
What percentage of hill training do you do on actual hills?
It depends on what the next A goal is. At the moment the next big goal is London Marathon, so I’m not doing much, maybe 10%. I’m doing a lot of my training on the treadmill at the moment to keep it relatively flat and specific. I still do a few hill sprints after my easy runs, and I hosted a fell running camp a few weekends ago. Fell and mountain running can keep your body robust and youthful, it demands a bigger repertoire of movements, preventing you from getting too stiff or stuck in a rut. I try to keep hill running all year round. Next year, I’m planning on being on the hills more, so it will probably flip; 80-90% hills.
What do you listen to when you’re training?
It’s the easiest pop I can find. Really simple stuff like Imagine Dragons, Beyonce or Taylor Swift. Not the same stuff I would listen to in the house!
What are you currently training for?
Any tips for hill running on the treadmill?
Take longer recoveries! Because you don’t have to jog back down the hill, the temptation is to cut the recoveries short. Don’t do it. Give yourself 3 times more recovery than you would for a flat rep of the same distance.
An interesting fact about you?
Left handed. Speak Swahili. Amazing at reverse parking. Much better looking in real life.
Your go to pre race meal?
Spaghetti Bolognese, with more spaghetti than usual!
What’s your favourite hobby outside running?
Playing guitar. Or just reading.
Russell is such an inspiring person and athlete in so many ways! We hope you can all take some inspiration from the amazing things he has achieved. This video below shows him ‘doing his thing’! Great work, Russell!