On Sunday April 21st, runners competed in the 33rd annual London marathon. One of them was Dr Paul Jarman
, Consultant Neurologist at The Physicians’ Clinic. Last year, he was delighted to run the 26-mile race in under 3 hours for the first time – reaching the finishing line in a very respectable 2 hours and 54 minutes. This year, he achieved a personal best, with a time of 2 hours 50 minutes.
Since the first London marathon, held on 29 March 1981, this event has become a national and international phenomenon. Over 900,000 people have now competed in the London marathon, many of them raising money for charity. “I did it for the challenge alone this year but a couple of years ago I raised £15,000 for the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery
” says Dr Jarman.
Why marathon running?
As a Consultant Neurologist with a busy NHS and private practice, Dr Jarman experiences the usual stresses of juggling a challenging medical role with home life and has found exercise and fitness to be essential to working effectively.
“I’ve never been a couch potato and I have always enjoyed doing sport. For many years I was a road cyclist at competitive level but that took up a huge amount of my spare time. I thought I was pretty fit and decided at the age of 45 that I should compete in at least one marathon before I was 50, so I entered one
Although he had a high level of fitness at the time, Dr Jarman admits that he underestimated just how hard running the marathon would be. “I didn’t really do much training, which meant I couldn’t run all the way. I had to stop and walk the last 6 miles, but I did finish and the experience didn’t put me off. In fact, it motivated me to start proper running training so that I could do bette
r” he remembers.
As many runners have found before him, Dr Jarman then got hooked. “As I built up my running stamina, I found that I enjoyed it and found running to be quite addictive. I certainly notice that I get very grumpy if I don’t run for a couple of days!
” Dr Jarman now runs 50-55 miles each week, moving up to 75 miles when training for a marathon.
Running as a time-efficient exercise
To fit in running with his medical commitments, Dr Jarman often runs to work and then home again in the evening. He is also a member of a running club and enters competitive events regularly. “Running is one of the most time-efficient types of exercise that I’ve done. You need to build up gradually but it’s fairly easy to build running into your day so that you don’t lose a lot of time. It can be lonely though and I think that competitions and clubs that offer the opportunity to run with other people really help to keep me motivated.
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