We recently caught up with previous four time Brighton Half Marathon winner and Brighton favourite Paul Martelletti.
How are you at the moment, well I hope?
Yes good thanks. A little older and a little slower than what I used to be but still running lots.
Where are you based currently and what’s the local running scene like?
I moved from London to Milton Keynes a couple of years back and I really enjoy running around here. There are lots of good running options with canals and lakes and over 200 miles of traffic free redways. I love a loop too so am quite content lapping the same loops to help build some mental toughness!
What have you been up to recently in terms of your running?
I guess my last major race was back in April where I ran for England in the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km. My training went really well for that but unfortunately the race didn’t but that’s how these things go sometimes. Other than that I’ve been trying to get some speed back and trying to run under 15 minutes again for 5km which I used to be able to do regularly but it seems old age is catching up with me so it’s much harder. I’m also dabbling in a bit of cross country for a bit of fun.
When you are not running how do you like to spend your time?
Watching trashy tv seems to be a good filler of time! There’s some great (dare I say it!) Aussie shows my Wife and I get into like The Block (home renovation/building) and you can’t go wrong with some mega drama on shows like Married at First Sight. Also a bit of gardening too now that I live in the burbs.
Can you tell us a little bit about your training routine? Do you train with a group?
Until the past few weeks, my routine was a bit lazy as I was only running 80ish miles a week with no real target to keep me focused. I’ve just done 3 weeks at 100 miles and I’m already feeling better for it so I’ll aim to keep the miles up and get a race in the diary so I have a target to train for. I typically do one or two sessions a week and often I’ll do those with one or more of my friends in MK. I find the faster running is much easier in a group setting as you push each other more and also there is some accountability to stick it out.
You ran the Half a total of 7 times (starting back in 2013) winning the race on four separate occasions – why did Brighton have such a strong connection for you?
Brighton always reminded me of Wellington which is where I lived in New Zealand prior to coming to the UK. It had a similar vibe to it and on a nice sunny day you can’t beat it. It also suffers from those windy days too which Wellington is famous for! I liked the course too, even though there is a bit of a hill in it and it can be hit by wind it’s still a fast course.
Do you have a favorite memory from those races?
I remember one year getting the bus down on a Friday night and upon arriving went to walk to my accommodation. I walked around a corner and literally got stopped dead in my tracks by a gale force wind. Luckily the storm blew through and race day was near perfect. Other than that, the last mile is always lined with loads of spectators and it was such a buzz charging down Madeira drive to break the tape at the finish line.
What’s been the biggest learning for you in terms of your running career?
On a similar vein to Eliud Kipchoge’s “no human is limited”, I would say don’t put limits on your own abilities. When I first started running I had no idea how good I would become or how fast I could end up running. A big factor in this, and to throw in another running related quote courtesy of Garmin this time, was that I was trying to “beat yesterday”. Literally trying to run faster pbs than I had run previously. And when I did that, train some more and try to do it again. This took a lot of hard work, dedication and many 100 mile weeks over the years but it was also a lot of fun too.
If you had one piece of advice to give someone starting their journey in the sport – what would it be?
Consistency! Running can be hard to start with but once you’ve got a certain level of fitness under your belt it does get much easier and less daunting so try your best to keep at it regularly. Running with others can be a good way get motivated to get out the door as often that is half the battle.
Are we allowed to talk Running Shoes – what’s your view on the whole “super-shoe” debate?
When the carbon shoes first came out I was very reluctant to use them and it must have been a year or so before I finally did. I like to call them “cheat shoes” but that’s a bit tongue in cheek as I now wear them for most of my races, as does every man, woman, dog, small child!! Some people respond to them better than others and they’ve definitely had an impact on performances over the years. I quite like that most of my pbs were set pre super shoes days as it makes for good banter when someone runs a similar “assisted” time! But they are here to stay and we are seeing some incredible performances in them with marathon and half marathon records tumbling. I’d love to know what these same record breaking or pb breaking athletes would run in the old race shoes but that’s easier said than done obviously.
What are your plans for the rest of the year running wise? Do you think we might see you in Brighton again next February?
For the rest of the year and January I’ll be aiming to run some decent miles and hard sessions to get back into 67/68 half marathon shape. I’d love to come back to Brighton so perhaps 2024 is the year to do it!
Once again Paul many thanks for your time, good luck with your running and we hope to see you back in Brighton next February!
The Race Team – Brighton Half Marathon