Welcome to ‘Getting to know…’ number 28. This week we find out more about Six Star Finisher Gabriella Waller.
I started following Gabi prior to the New York Marathon in 2017, as she was running it too. She has gone on to run some great races and is now tackling triathlons too. I had one of the ‘fangirl’ moments too when myself and Gabriella went to the launch party of the London Marathon. I plucked up the courage to go and say hello.
They were running a competition on the night, to win a place in the marathon and Gabriella won the place. I remember being very excited for her.
If you have missed any of the other ‘Getting to know‘ post, you can find them here. If you would like to nominate for someone to feature, or you would like to take part yourself. Please get in contact. (firstname.lastname@example.org)You don’t need to run fast to get faster. Gabriella Waller Click To Tweet
How long have you been running?
Since the end of 2015.
What made you start running?
One day my sister decided that we should run the Reading half marathon, and then she told me that she signed both of us up. Neither of us had run further than 5k before and we only had a few months to train for the race. We had no idea if we could do it or not, but our Motto was “ If we paid for it, we need to train for it”.
After that, I signed up for the 2017 London marathon, which was supposed to be my only marathon. 2 weeks after the race, I was missing the thrill and training so signed up for more.
Why do you run now?
Nowadays, I just run for fun. I’ve never really been a time chaser, but it turns out I can be much faster if I properly follow a training plan ( massive thanks to my tri coach ). I also love medals, so if I see a nice one I tend to sign up for the race.
What was your last event?
Dorney Lake Marathon in October. It was on the same day as the London marathon which turned into a virtual race. So in the end, I’ve ended up with 2 medals. Yay.
What is your next event?
It’s hard to say, nothing is for sure at the moment due to covid. But my first race in 2021 supposed to be Ironman Bolton in July.
Favourite thing about running?
I love the feeling when I get back from a run and I can say “I’ve done it”.
I also love travelling abroad to race there. Ohh and I can’t forget all the cake and coffee I can eat because of all the training. If you check out my Instagram you can see ALL the cakes and ALL the coffee.
Worst thing about running?
Getting out of the front door. Especially when it’s cold and rainy. But it always worth it at the end. Running or can say any kind of training is mentally hard, but as soon as you outside you know you can do it.
What one piece of advice would you give to a beginner?
Don’t give up and also don’t compare your journey to others. I know it can be crazy hard, but you should just concentrate on yourself.
Also, don’t feel embarrassed if you need to walk. I walk all the time, but I still class myself as a runner. Even for a 5k race, I run hard for 4mins and then walk 1 min. It does work I ended up with a marathon PB at the end of my Ironman back in August.
Best piece of advice given to you?
You don’t need to run fast to get faster. My tri coach told this to me last year when I started training with him. I have never run with HR before, so when he told me to keep it below a certain zone that meant that I had to walk. At first, I didn’t understand, like how can I get faster if I walk all the time. But I trusted him and it does work
Favourite race distance?
I love marathons, I’m not the fastest but loving the thrill for the long event. Probably that’s why I’ve done an Ironman back in August this year. Just to see if I can keep going for that long.
Funniest thing that has ever happened to you whilst running?
I love animals, especially dogs. So when I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2018 I was raising funds for a dog charity. They had dogs out from the shelter almost every mile, so I kept stopping to pet them.
Time didn’t matter, but to pet dogs, that did.
Most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you whilst running?
Hahaha.. once I tried out a new gel. I never had issues with others before. Went out for a short run, 10 mins later I had to pop into KFC to use their loo… 5 mins after that I was lucky to find a Sainsburys. That run had to be cut short so after that, I headed back home and gave away all those gels.
On average, how many miles do you run per month?
Erm miles? I still not the greatest with miles, I think I do about 130-150km when there’s a race to train for. If not it’s closer to a 100km.
Do you belong to a running club?
No. I’ve tried to be part of a tri club which was working for a while, but since I started train driving my shifts are all over the palace so can’t commit to the training sessions, unfortunately.
Do you do any other forms of exercise in addition to running?
I do swim and cycle as well. Supposed to do some strength training as well, but I usually skip those.
Favourite pre-race/pre-long run meal?
Pre-race is always some kind of pasta or pizza. Before a long run I usually just eat porridge.
Favourite post-run meal?
Well before I turned vegan it was chicken nuggets from McDonald’s.
Do you have any superstition?
What is your biggest achievement sport wise?
Probably that I’ve completed the World Marathon Majors (London, New York, Berlin, Chicago, Tokyo and the Boston Marathon ) in just under 24 months.
If you were granted one wish related to running, what would it be?
To be able to keep running till I’m old.
This or That
Early Morning Run or Evening Run
Tea or Coffee
Winter Running or Summer Running
Solo running or Running with Friends
Road Running or Trail Running
Dog or Cat
Miles or Kilometres
Run with someone chatty or run with someone silent
Run with no socks or run with no underwear
Run a hilly 5k or flat 10k
Run a hilly 10K or flat half marathon
Run a hilly Half Marathon or Flat Marathon
Run a hilly Marathon or Flat Ultra Marathon
Run as much as you want on the treadmill or only run once a week outside