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Run4It Journal  •  Culture •  10.02.2022 •  10 min read

Real Runners: Match My Workout on their 100 Marathons in 100 days challenge

Two runners running in mountain valley

100 Marathons in 100 Days

Personal trainers Fay & Emma of Aberdeenshire-based fitness company Match My Workout have set themselves a huge challenge for 2022: 100 marathons in 100 days. Starting 19th February 2022, the pair hope to break the Guinness World Record of most consecutive marathons run by a female by running 100 marathons in 100 days.

Run4It are delighted to support Fay & Emma and will be following their journey very closely! Run4It's Flick caught up with them to ask about their inspiration and preparation going into the challenge…

To start off, please could you introduce yourselves and your epic challenge.

Fay: So I am Fay and this is Emma, we are two personal trainers who run an outdoor personal training company called Match my Workout and we are going to take on 100 marathons in 100 days.

Why 100?

Emma: So the current record for consecutive marathons run by a female stands at 95, so 96 just sounded a bit... not as good as 100... so we thought go big and yeah 100 marathons in 100 days sounds good.

What's your motivation?

Emma: Well we both have quite a personal motivation, but we have a few reasons for doing this. Firstly, unfortunately I lost my mum to cancer two years ago, and Fay just lost her dad in the last week to motor neurone disease, so we want to do it for them and raise some money for Macmillan Cancer Support and the MNDA charity.

Fay: Yeah and also just to inspire people as well. So we are just trying to push the limits and inspire people to maybe push their limits and give a big challenge a go and maybe see what they are capable of and doing it while they can, because Emma's mum and my dad had it taken away from them, so while you’ve got the chance, just give it a go.

When do you start?

Fay: So we are set to start on the 19th of February. So this means that after the 100 days, we finish on the 29th of May at the Edinburgh Marathon.

What training are you doing to prepare?

Emma: So we have been training for this challenge since October, but before that we had just done an Ironman so we had a good level of base fitness for a while. But the training running specific we’ve been doing about 100km a week, along with a lot of strength. 

Fay: Yeah the running, it's been slightly different to how we've trained before. We’ve had to slow the pace down a lot, get used to running super steady cause we are not trying to run fast marathons every day. So getting used to running at a slower pace and then adding in a lot of strength training, especially posterior chain, to try and strengthen any weaknesses we’ve got. To try and get robust enough for the challenge. And mixing up the training as well, like doing some hill runs, cross training, or different terrain, rather than just sticking to roads to get the miles in I guess.

Two runners running in mountain valley

What was your average weekly running mileage before you set upon the challenge?

Fay: So during the Ironman we focused on riding and swimming. So our weekly mileage was probably down around 30-40km.

Emma: We did the Loch Ness Marathon in October so we did do a marathon quite recently but we focused the training for the Ironman more on the swimming and biking, we were both quite competent runners and have done a lot of running. So yeah like probably 30km a week or something… not much.

Fay: I don’t think we’ve ever done 100km weeks actually!

Do you have to run the marathon distance in one go, or can you break it down into several runs throughout the day?

Emma: One go! So yeah start your watch, one marathon in one run. I mean you can like to go to the toilet and get food. 

Fay: Get a jacket on and stuff like that but yeah similar to how you'd run a race. So you can stop to go to the loo or grab some food or whatever but yeah you are in it and once you start your watch you're off and then you stop it at the end.

What sort of time are you aiming to run each marathon in?

Fay: So sub-2!! [Laughs] Nah we are not going to break any world records that way. We are going to look to try to be super steady each day. We are thinking, and we've been training towards, doing 5-6 hours. So trying to keep it not too fast but taking too long cause we obviously want the time to recover. So 5-6 hours.

What terrain will you run on?

Emma: Yeah so a lot of different terrain really. We’ve learnt especially in training that we need to mix it up and then it will use different muscles in our feet and ankles etc. So we will probably decide depending on how we are feeling. But yeah roads, trails like some hills just kind of a variety really. And then obviously weather dependent as well. We might go closer to Aberdeen, Stonehaven if the weather isn't great in Aboyne etc.

Two girls running

What's your go-to running shoe (or shoes)?

Fay: So this is a really interesting question because we haven't really been specific to any running shoes that we have stayed in for years, we've both mixed them up quite a lot. During the training we've mixed shoes and brands up as well, just to see how it goes. We’ve tried to be a bit experimental. We know over the three months we might need to switch up what trainers we are wearing and different types of trainers. I guess the top three that we've got are the adidas Ultraboost and the Nike Zoom Flys, the running ones with a bit more cushion, they’ve been ace. The adidas Terrex Speed Ultra for trail running we've used a lot and we really like those. And then we have just been testing out the Under Armour Machina 2s.

Have you planned different routes?

Emma: Yeah we’ve got a few routes in mind and we will vary our routes a little bit depending on weather, how we are feeling and where we need to be. But we’ve definitely got some go-to routes round Aboyne, Banchory, Loch Muick, Ballater, Stonehaven. Sometimes it might be nicer to do reps, rather than go on a big mission and then sometimes we might want to run out to Mount Keen and back and do it that way so yeah, mix things up.

Fay: Yeah and I think as well we were thinking of maybe doing a parkrun on a Saturday morning. Doing the 5k and just carrying on to just mix it up. Or if there is a 10k or a half marathon route we could jump onto, we might start and if we are feeling good we might enter some of those and mix that up into our training. Just to keep things exciting.

Can people track and join you?

Fay: Yeah so we are just in the middle of sorting out a tracker. So everyday, when we go out the link will be live and people will be able to track where we are, find us and join us for a km or 10km or join us for the whole run. Or just come and say hey, give us a wave and then head back.

How will you juggle marathon running with work, family and everyday life?

Emma: We are quite lucky that one of our jobs, working in the café, we will be able to take a bit of a break. And our other job with the personal training, we do a lot of online training and all our clients are really supportive, so they are kind of on this journey with us. They are also training for the Edinburgh Marathon at the end. So we’ll still do our outdoor session every Thursday, fingers crossed…That's the plan anyway. And it will be ace to catch up with them every week anyway. And then life….well…we will be together all day! Every day!

Fay: We don’t do much else, so that won’t change. Those nights out are gonna have to take a back seat but…

Emma: We are also very lucky that we’ve got very supportive families. So I am sure they will be joining us, coming to see us, supporting us, hopefully cooking us dinner. So yeah we are in a good position to give this challenge a good go.

What if one of you gets injured?

Fay: We did talk about this actually and we have been working with a sports psychologist, which has been really useful. But, we have decided that we are in it together and hopefully we will both finish, but god forbid one of us does get injured and that stops us from going any further, we will just support the other one to get as far as we can.

Emma: They can do the cooking.

What's your nutrition strategy?

Fay: Eat lots! 

Emma: Yeah, real food is probably the main thing. I don't think anybody could eat that many gels for 100 days and still have teeth. So, when running about 60g of carbs every hour. We are probably going to try and walk and eat to take on food to make sure..

Fay: We don’t just stop and don’t do it and keep going and then get into a deficit. 

Emma: So break it down and try to eat something every half an hour.

Fay: Fuelling before and after as well. We will probably take time before we run in the morning so we don't just go out under-fuelled. We will obviously fuel well when we get back with protein and fats but also lots of carbs obviously but making sure we get loads of micronutrients as well, vitamins, and recover in that way rather than just trying to get the food in. We want really nutritious food because we are going to try and last for three months. So it's not just one race so it's a very different concept of thinking. 

Emma: Yeah and we were gonna make a meal plan as well so that we know what we are eating that day or that week so then we can kind of like tick it off. So even if we don't feel like it we eat it and get it in. 

What's your recovery strategy?

Fay: So recovery wise, we have probably been working on this the most with the training really because, we kind of recognise recovery is going to be the key. We are not going to have a recovery day so our strategy is to try and give ourselves enough time to recover. Getting back, having ice baths. We are lucky that Emma's dad installed a hot tub, so I'm sure we will be sitting in there. We’ve got a sports massage, some dry needling, fuelling obviously.

Emma: And then sleep.

Fay: Yeah lots of sleep.

Emma: Yeah really important so being quite strict with that. Like giving ourselves enough time to wind down, relax, switch off and then get a good night's sleep before we start the next day.

What will be your mantra when the going gets tough?

Fay: So I think for both of us it is a very personal challenge as well as doing it because we wanna see physically whether it's possible. So, doing it while you can is a really big thing for us. I think the opportunity to be able to run just everyday is a huge privilege. To be able to just run and recover and run and recover and see whether we can do this. 

Emma: And just don’t give up. Anything is possible so just keep each other going and just keep running.

Donate here...

Fay & Emma have setup a Collection Pot fundraising page to split contributions raised equally between MND and Macmillan.

QR code for 100 marathons in 100 days collection pot fundraising page

Follow their journey here…

Live Tracker (to go live Saturday 19th February):
Facebook: Match My Workout
YouTube: Match My Workout

Photos by @57media_.

doing it while you can is a really big thing for us. I think the opportunity to be able to run just everyday is a huge privilege.

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