Meet the runner - Holly Rush
Holly represented Great Britain in the marathon before moving up to ultra-running. She works for Asics alongside her coaching business. Recently Holly has published some ebooks on strength training for runners and on key running sessions. You can find links to her website and her Asics page at the bottom.
As an avid MarathonTalk fan (a running podcast) I was delighted when Holly became a more permanent member of the team. She’s funny, a super-talented runner and pretty badass. I find her exploits in ultra-running and training really inspiring. She has that ‘just get on with it’ attitude. More recently I’ve marvelled at her pull-up abilities and her enthusiasm for the benefits of strength training have made me take it more seriously. I asked her some questions about her running and life.
I live in Frome in Somerset. I am the ASICS Frontrunner Community Manager and a running coach. My own coach is the legendary Alan Storey.
I got into running accidentally really. I watched VLM when I was a student and someone bet me to run it the next year and I did.
The transition to ultra-running happened because I got sick of running the same marathon time (2.37) and I just wanted to stop training so hard
I run anything between 65-85 miles per week, usually at the top end for a few weeks then I’ll have a lower mileage week. I do 2 quality speed sessions per week and these are usually a mixture of paces (I love sandwich sessions) and I rarely do the same session twice. I am not a 12x400m person. It’s too dull! I also do 3 weight-lifting sessions per week. I don’t do yoga or Pilates or anything like that (don’t ask me to touch my toes).
My pre-race meal e.g. breakfast is white toast, peanut butter and a ripe banana with a black coffee. Dinner the night before is usually something like gnocchi with pesto, cheese and salad or rice or a baked potato. Nothing makes me barf except I can’t eat lentils, they do something real bad! I swell up like Violet Beauregard in Charlie and the chocolate factory! Post-race is always a massive steak and chips and a pint of ale.
I eat everything and never restrict what I can and can’t eat or drink. I don’t take any supplements, just whey protein with my cereal. I probably eat too much, but I am fine with that. I love food too much and realise you really can eat a lot of food and not put on weight.
I should try to practice race nutrition in training. This is something that I am really bad at doing and must try more because I often have bad nausea in races. I just never get around to it.
If I had to race and train anywhere it would be Nepal and the Himalayas. I loved the Cotswold Way 100-mile race (Ed – Holly won!). Internationally Berlin marathon and Comrades marathon are pretty epic.
My running highlight was the European Championship marathon - 18th place and a Silver Team medal. It all came together on the day. I executed the race exactly as I wanted and came in as the third British woman out of six.
Overall my worst performance was at the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc in 2018. I suffered terrible sickness and diarrhoea from 30km in and just crawled round, but I finished. It was a miracle because I slept a fair amount in the medical tent at Champex Lac and had to take medication to stop me vomiting.
My running philosophy is to remember why you started.
Achieving good mental health motivates me today. I run to make me happy, that could be running fast, or far or not at all.
I love my ASICS Novablast shoes and my Suunto 9 watch.
My previous injuries have included seven stress fractures and clean bone breaks, the worst being my sacrum. I have an ongoing sacro-iliac problem, but I manage it with heavy strength work and physiotherapy.
My biggest influencers have been the various coaches I’ve worked with over the years.
I loved Once a Runner by John L. Parker Jnr.
If I was going to win any event at the Olympics it would be the road marathon.
You can contact Holly about her coaching and buy her ebooks at www.rushbynature.com.
You can also find her on Instagram @rushbynature.
Holly works for Asics – www.asics.com and you can find out more about the Frontrunner team @asicsfrontrunner on Instagram and find Holly @www.asics.com/gb/en-gb/frontrunner/profile?key=38787
She eats pies from the Vale of Mowbray (@valemowbrypies on Instagram).
If you are looking for some great sunglasses check out @we_are_sungod (again on Instagram).