Hi and welcome to my blog.
I never know where to start with new blogs so I figured that the best way forward is to give you a little bit of information on who I am and my background.
So, I’m Aly (Alyson) Dixon and I’m a marathon runner. I now run for Sunderland Strollers having started off running as an 11year old with Sunderland Harriers. At age 24 I switched clubs to Chester Le Street AC where I spent 10 successful years winning many regional and national team titles culminating in the coveted National 6 Stage relay championships back in 2006.
Through my dad being a marathon runner I have been brought up with athletics as part of my life. As a child my weekends were often spent travelling around to watch my Dad compete at road races and track events and I would often participate in the accompanying fun runs which most road races had back then just to keep me entertained.
During school I enjoyed all sports but was never great at any of them. At age 11 I joined the local club, purely so that I could go on the club trip to Flamingo Land! At the time I regularly trained for gymnastics, swimming, hockey and netball but it was athletics that I loved the most. I started off wanting to be a hurdler or long jumper, but I quickly changed my mind when I tripped over a hurdle during training and hurt my ankle.
It wasn’t until I was at University that I won my first race, the British University Championships and this prompted me to start to take my athletics serious. From this point I enjoyed a lot of success on the regional and national stage over various distances and eventually in 2008, aged 29, 18 years after first joining an athletics club, I eventually got my first England call up (10k). This was quickly followed by my first Great Britain vest in 2009 (Half Marathon). I have since run for England on numerous occasions and in 2011 represented GB at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships (Marathon).
Unfortunately my performance was hampered by a foot injury which turned out to be 2 broken bones. This injury required 3 months of rest from running in order to repair. During this time I dedicated myself to a strict and rigorous cross training programme in order to make sure I was in my best possible shape when I was allowed to recommence training again. Five months after starting back running I competed in the Virgin London Marathon with the hope of making the qualifying time for the 2012 Olympic Games. Unfortunately this did not go to plan and I narrowly missed out on my target.
Since then I have switched coach to now be self-coached and I have lowered my PB over all my main distances. I have been very lucky to gain sponsorship from Adidas and this summer I claimed my first National (British and English) Championships over 10,000m and I represented GB at the European Cup 10,000m championships where we claimed the silver team medal. This summer I also ran the fastest road 5km by a British woman since April 2012. I am currently ranked in the UK top 10 across 7 different events so far this year.
My current PB’s:
- 5K – 15m.52s
- 10K – 32m53s
- Half Marathon – 1h11m21s
- Marathon – 2h31m08s
- Competed for GB at 2 World Championships and 1 European Cup
- British and English 10,000m Champion 2013
- Winner of Brighton Marathon 2011
- Age group winner ING New York City Marathon 2010
- 3rd British Half Marathon Championships 2009
- Twice winner of British Universities Championships.
So that’s a whistle stop tour of my background. My series of blogs will take you through what it is like to train and perform as an elite level marathon runner.
My main aim for next year (2014) is to make the England team for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. My plan for this has already taken one set back, I tell you more about this in my next blog, but things are still on plan and hopefully it will all turn out well in the end. One thing that you will see from these blogs is that I am a pretty tough cookie and I don’t let little things like injury get in the way of achieving my dreams.
I hope that you enjoy following these blogs and if you have any questions about anything relating to them, please ask and I will try my very best to answer them all.
Thank you for reading, keep running and keep smiling!