🚧 NSCG | Q&A with talented runner, Jordan Thomas
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10th December 2021

We caught up with Jordan Thomas, a talented runner from Newcastle College who is hoping to fulfil his dreams of becoming a professional runner. Here we chat to Jordan to hear all about his success so far and his aspirations for the future.

Q. Which school did you attend?

A. I attended Watermill School in Stoke-on-Trent before choosing to study at NSCG.

Q. What course are you currently studying at Newcastle College?

A. I am currently studying for a Level 3 BTEC National Extended Diploma in Sport

Q. Where does your passion and talent for running come from?

A. I have always been into sport and wanted to challenge myself in something and before I started running I went for a few easy runs myself. I just wanted to become faster and hopefully run for a club.

Q. How old were you when you started competing?

A. I was 15 when I first joined City of Stoke Athletics Club and I have never looked back.

    Q. Guide us through your weekly training regime?

    A. I run 6 times a week starting on Monday where I do 9 miles at a steady pace, which I run at around sub 7 minutes miles pace. My first training session is on a Tuesday night where we do a road session to focus on endurance work at Keele University so I do a warm up session, then a cool down and also on a Tuesday morning I go for a 3 mile shakeout at about 7:20 pace which is a nice warm up ready for the session later.

    My run on a Wednesday is my recovery where I run for 9 miles at another easy pace which I try and aim for 7:15-7:20 pace. Thursday is my second session of the week and we go to Northwood Stadium on the track to focus on speed stuff. Again I do a warm up and cool down for 2 miles each and my session in between them. I once again go for a 3 mile shakeout in the morning to get my legs ready for the session later on.

    Friday is my rest day. Saturday, when it is not a race weekend I either do a session by myself such as doing a tempo or I just do a steady run as I do 5 sessions every 2 weeks. My Sunday runs are my long runs where I usually run 16-18 miles depending what kind of run I do, for example if I do 18 miles then I will just go out for a steady run and if I do 16 I will usually do 4 at an easy-ish pace, then 8 at a steady state, then 4 at an easy pace again.

    When it comes to weekends where I race and it is on a Sunday then on a Saturday I will just do a 3 mile shakeout with some strides and do my race on the Sunday. If it is on a Saturday then I just rest on the Friday, race on Saturday and my normal long run on the Sunday.

    Q. How has your performance improved since studying at NSCG?

    A. My performances have massively improved since I joined NSCG over all of the distances that I run such as 5k, 10k, Half Marathon etc. When I first joined NSCG my PB for 5k was just over 20 minutes and now it has gone down to 16:17. I just couldn’t run a 10k very fast as I didn’t really have the endurance or strength in me and could only run around a 42 minute 10k at best, but now my 10k PB is 32:22 and could get even quicker for when I do Telford 10k in a few weeks.

    Q. What has been your most memorable race fixture and why?

    A. My most memorable race is when I did Cheshire Half Marathon in September this year. This is because this was my first half marathon race and for me it was a big one and a race I have been training towards for months and I have wanted to race a half marathon for a while before but it was hard because of covid. Also, the time I ran that day was 1:12:40 which was quicker than what I was actually going for and this race has given me loads of confidence for races that I have done after that such as some of my 10k races recently what are worth mentioning as at the time of my half marathon my 10k PB was 34:30. Since then I have ran Cheshire 10k in 33:09 and Wilmslow in 32:22 and I also have Telford 10k in a few weeks, which could be potentially another PB. Also, the amount of support I got from everyone such as my family, friends, coach and all of my club mates has helped me massively for that particular race.

    Q. What has been your greatest achievement so far?

    A. I think achieving a 1:12:40 on my half marathon debut race. This is because one thing is finishing a half marathon but also to run it that quick which at my level of running I haven’t seen much better half marathon debuts and it was a much quicker time than what I was actually going for (1:14-1:15). But I will also say some of the 10k’s I have achieved this year as my PB this time last year was 34:58 and now I have ran a sub 32:30 10k and again I will be attempting to run a sub 32 10k which this time last year I could only dream of doing that. I have also ran for the county at Cross Country at the Inter Counties a couple of times due to good performances at the Staffordshire County Championships for 3 consecutive years and have also been considered to run for the county on road in 2022 due to my performances this year.

    Q. What are your hopes for the future in the sport?

    A. Turning professional and also racing for the country would be a dream for me for the future. I know that I am still young yet and have got loads more to give and can still get quicker but I always give it 100% in every race and always will and will work hard in the future. I would also like to run more for the county however, I have been told that I am definitely part of their plans for their 2022 races due to my performances recently so I hope that I can deliver in those races and make the county proud. Although I am very happy with the distances that I do at the moment and probably not ready for this yet, I want to run a marathon and aim for a specific time at around 2 and half hours or maybe below that but I’m not ready to take on that yet. I think that is for a few more years yet but it would be a dream for me to run a brilliant marathon.

    Jordan is currently on the look-out for a sponsor to help him fulfil his ambitions of turning professional. For more information, please email jordan.thomas1@nulcollege.ac.uk for an informal chat.