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Meet the runner - Max Costley

I’m curious about the motivations of other runners and what compels them to train and race hard. When I started this blog, I wanted to interview runners and other athletes who were competing locally and beyond. My first interviewee is Max Costley.

Max is part of a running dynasty. His mum, Karen, has represented Hampshire, England and Great Britain and his dad, Peter, has competed for Hampshire and Great Britain as a master’s athlete. Sam, his younger brother, is a promising U23 runner at Loughborough University. The family are regulars at the local Hampshire races, either supporting their clubmates or racing.


I’ve been personally impressed by Max’s attitude to training and racing. He’s consistently at the front of the pack in most races and isn’t afraid to race hard and get the most out of himself. Max runs for Southampton AC and works as a duty manager at a school swimming complex. He is self-coached.

How did you get into running?

I got into running through my parents. Both fantastic athletes themselves, I grew up going to races and watching athletics, so it was a natural path.

Recent races before lockdown?

I ran the National XC in February and came 94th, my first top 100 in the Senior category. In March I ran my first 20 miler at the Essex 20. I was 6th in 1:52:35, pretty pleased with it for my debut. It doubled as a Southern Inter-County match where our Hampshire team won bronze.

What does a normal training week look like? 


Monday- AM 10 miles and PM gym session

Tuesday- PM 2 mile warm up, track session, 2 mile cool down

Wednesday- AM 8 miles, gym session, PM 4 miles 

Thursday- PM 2 mile warm up, hill session, 2 mile cool down

Friday- AM 5 mile, PM 5 mile

Saturday- AM 2 mile warm up, grass session, 2 mile cool down

Sunday- AM 16 mile long run

Favourite session?

Fartlek - 20x 1 min on, 1 min off.

Lockdown - how is it affecting you?

It is certainly different to the ordinary but I have continued training throughout. I have tried to maintain motivation by looking at the bigger picture and building for the future.

What has been your best performance?

In the 2018 track Inter-counties I came 6th in the 3000m steeplechase. I was very happy with my performance on the day.


Worst performance and what did you learn from it?

2016 National XC, I came 290th after going off way too hard and suffering. I’ve since learnt to judge my effort according to fitness and the course conditions.

Best piece of kit?

My track spikes, I wear Nike Zoom Victory Elites.

Top running book?

The long hard road - Ron Hill

Have you ever lost your running mojo? How did you get it back?

Yes. On occasions after a poor race or session I have lost motivation. To get back to it I look back at some of my previous results and races that I was proud of.

Do you follow a special diet? Take any supplements?

Eat as much as you like and then feel you need to train! I take iron, zinc and odourless garlic.

Do you have a running philosophy?

Enjoy the feeling of running free and don’t be scared to race. 

Are you passionate about any other sports?

I’m a massive cricket fan. I also enjoy watching football and basketball.

You can check out Max on Instagram @maxcostley

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