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For all you budding athlete stars!
Around the Academy:

Paula Radcliffe battles through the mud
There's nothing better than splashing in the mud!

Paula Radcliffe's coach Alex Stanton speaks to the Academy

Athletics is a brilliant sport.

If you want to be a good athlete you are going to have put in a huge amount of work.

But as Paula has shown, it can be all worth it.

The main thing to remember is, whatever you do, you've just got to enjoy it.

If you want to take up running then find a club.

Get on the UK Athletics website and find your nearest one from there in the "getting involved" section.

Try not to set your mind on "I'm going to be a good runner".

That's OK but it's so important to try other things at the same time. Some of the runners at Bedford will go to a meeting and do their own event.

Paula takes time out for a well-earned rest
It's not always bad to be selected from the bench

But they'll also do things like the shot put or jumping.

Some long distance runners end up sprinting or throwing, some go the other way round and do the longer distances with me. It just depends on what you enjoy.

It's also crucial to take things very gradually.

Paula's strength and speed has been developed over a number of years.

So try not to over-train. All your development will all add up in the end.

If you really push yourself too hard too early you'll burn out, you won't have the energy when you get older and you might even injure yourself.

So just take your time!

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Paula's facts
Age: 28
Born: In Cheshire
Club: Bedford and County

Did you know?
Paula's Dad was a marathon runner

And another thing about her parents.....
Her Dad was a brewery executive and her Mum was a teacher

:: Bedford and County Athletics Club
:: Sports Coach UK
:: UK athletics website

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