Lloyd Kempson Q&A
We wanted to tell you more about our newest Run3D Elite Sponsored Athlete, Lloyd Kempson, so we asked him a few questions to break the ice. Most of us at Run3D are distance athletes, but Lloyd is one of our first athletes who predominately runs on the track. He's pretty quick, and hates a sports massage. Read more to find out about his training and some life lessons that you could probably relate to!
1. As a track athlete, you compete across several distances. Which is your favourite, and why?
1500m. Because coming from an endurance background, I love the challenge of beating the speedsters of the game. I feel like there is such a fine edge of overcooking the half of the race but when you get it just right it’s the best feeling in the world. Like you’re floating! For a good 1500m you have to be able to have a huge engine which motivates me.
2. What is your favourite running shoe?
Nike Zoom Elite 9. I use these for anything from a track session though to a 30 minute volume tempo session. Their versatility is my personal favourite thing. They’re lightweight but come with a good amount of support throughout the shoe. For their price, I feel they’re miles ahead of some of the leading racing flats.
3. Do you have any big races coming up this year?
British Championships is my cup final this year. I want to be on the start line with the best 20 guys in the UK. On top of this I have a couple of races in Belgium to look forward to.
4. Any superstitions or racing rituals ( for example, a lucky pair of socks)?
When I race or train on the track I have to wear calf guards. If I don’t my calves cramp up and that’s the end of the road when that happens, people think I wear them as a fashion accessory but my soleus is made of paper, it’s just a coincidence that they look pretty cool. I look like I’m in the zone on race day but I’m very relaxed about it, I find racing the easiest part of the sport.
5. The race you are most proud of, and the race you are least proud of - what are they, and what did you learn from them.
The race I’m most proud of has to be my 31st at the National XC Championships earlier this year. I’d had a terrible winter season with illness and other factors so was really counting down the days until it ended. I put 8 weeks of high mileage and quality sessions back to back then found myself up the top end of the race jogging along. It was a surreal experience going past big names on the UK running scene but it made me realise that you should never give anyone’s reputation respect in a race, everyone has two legs and a set of lungs.
The race I’m least proud of has to be the Loughborough International 3000m last track season. I’d set a personal best over the distance in my first outing so I was excited to be in a stacked field so I could achieve a fast time. The whole occasion got in my head and I put far too much pressure on myself. By the time we got to the start line I was exhausted and had nothing to give on the track, I came last by a fair way. I’ve learned a lot from that race so I can take positives from a negative situation.
6. If you could run with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Eliud Kipchoge, he’s phenomenal. He makes it looks effortless. I’m also a massive advocate of his training ideology of always having an extra gear for race day and not leaving it out on the training track. I train hard, but you’ll never see me giving it 100% in a workout or on a run, that might surprise some people but I tend to race quite well this way.
7. What does your training look like in the course of a week?
During the winter season it consists of 90-100 miles per week which includes:
Monday – 50 minutes AM / 35 minutes PM
Tuesday – Grass interval session AM / 35 minutes PM
Wednesday – 50 minutes AM / 35 minutes PM
Thursday – Tempo session at Bushy Park / 35 minutes PM
Friday – 40 minutes AM
Saturday – Tempo and hills reps at Richmond Park AM / 35 minutes PM
Sunday – 15 miles
The summer season drops in volume slightly to 60-70 miles per week with one track session, one tempo based session and one grass interval session. All year round strength and conditioning sessions are generally done twice a week plus one hurdles drills session and one foot drills session per week. I’m lucky to have the incredible facilities at St. Mary’s University on my doorstep which I get to use every day as part of the EPACC athlete programme.
8. What is your favourite piece of kit?
It has to be my Oakley sunglasses. After living in Australia for a year, you get used to wearing them pretty much every single run you do so as soon as I see the smallest amount of blue sky I get them on! Also, they look legit.
9. If you could give advice to runners out there following in the same pathway you've taken, what would you tell them?
Never stop grinding. I was a pretty poor standard athlete from the age of 15 through to 18 and now I’m 23 and I have one hand on a national vest. I just kept on plodding on, suddenly I started to improve which kept me motivated massively. I’m not improving at a quick rate which makes me think that I’m a late bloomer which excites me. Secondly, train smart. Records don’t need to be set in training, do it on race day. Thirdly, if you’re tired, take a rest day.
10. Foam roller or sports massage? Which do you prefer...
Foam roller, every single time. A sports massage is horrendous. The thought of the pain make me shudder.
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