After his awesome performance at the Qld Marathon Championships in this year's Gold Coast Marathon, Aidan earned a free trip to compete in Kobe marathon in November thanks to Gold Coast Marathon and Queensland Athletics.
Check out Aidan's journey in this Q+A with Benita Willis from Qrun: We want to wish you all the very best over there! Ryan McDonald from Gold Coast Marathon will be going over there too as well as our women's Qld Marathon Champion, Tennille Ellis.
Benita Willis: How excited were you to win this trip to Kobe Marathon (thanks to GCM & Queensland Athletics) after your race at GCM in July?
Aidan Hobbs: It was pretty overwhelming at first. I haven’t competed oversees before so I'm really grateful for the opportunity to race in Japan. From what I’ve heard, marathon runners are treated like rock stars over there so I'm looking forward to the whole experience. The sister marathon relationship with Kobe is a great initiative to support developing marathon runners both here in Queensland and in Japan. I’ve already made a new Japanese friend who came back to Australia after GCM for a training camp on the Gold Coast in August. I'll catch up with him again when I arrive in Kobe. Luckily his English is better than my Japanese.
BW: How did you feel during your race at GCM? Did it go to plan? What was your favourite part of the GCM weekend?
AH: I went in to GCM really relaxed and not heavily invested in any outcome which worked out well on the day. We got absolutely drenched before the race but it passed over before the gun went off. Somehow I ended up on the start line in the middle of world class runners Benny Saint, Bernard Lagat, Zane Robertson, Liam Adams and DJ Gebreselassie. There was a pretty cool photo of it on the front page of the Gold Coast Bulletin the next day.
In the first few Kms I found myself in a group moving a bit quicker than my target pace so I made the decision to drop off at around 4km. From there I ran the rest completely solo, steadily picking off runners from around 15km in.
It helped having so many familiar faces along the course cheering me on.
BW: How has your training gone since GCM in your prep for Kobe Marathon? Can you give us a sample of a week’s worth or training or what was your favourite session?
AH: I’ve been able to get some really good, consistent training blocks in since GCM and it seems to be paying off with two strong performances in the half marathon at the Australian Champs on the Sunshine Coast and at the Melbourne Marathon Festival recently. I’ve had a small setback with a foot strain that has relegated me to the bike for the last week but it’s getting better now with help from Steve Manning at the intraining injury clinic.
My biggest week so far has been 170km. Much of my weekly mileage comes from running to and from work with a light backpack and going via the gym twice a week. On Tuesdays I do a hill workout which is the one I seem to dominate the most. Wednesday is a mid-week long run through the Mount Coot-tha trails. Thursday is track or a Mona Fartlek and then Sunday is a long run up to 35km with some tempo in the middle. I also get around a lot by bike which helps keep the legs turning over with less impact.
BW: Do you prefer to train in a group or solo and why?
AH: Over the last four years I've done all my sessions with Brendan Press and we’ve forged a pretty strong dynamic together during that time. He tends to run longer than most track runners and I run shorter than most marathon runners so we compromise and modify some sessions to meet in the middle. I've learnt a great deal from him along the way and we continue to push each other and stay accountable.
We have also been very lucky to have a strong network of support around us with Pat Clohessy, John Purcell and Paul C all coaching us out at UQ and Chris Weier from Fit Education guiding our strength sessions. It has also been great having you to turn to for advice leading up to Kobe as well. It's not often you get a coach to athlete ratio like ours!
BW: What are you most looking forward to at Kobe Marathon? Will you get a chance to look around?
AH: My wife and kids are coming to Kobe so we will stay in Japan for a couple of weeks and turn it in to a bit of a holiday. We are planning to do a short hike along the Kumano Kodo Trail if my legs are ok after the marathon.
BW: What are your goals for the race?
AH: 2:20. Other than that just settle in and run on.
BW: Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of running GCM next year?
AH: I think the most important thing is to know what the weather conditions are going to be like and adjust your race plan accordingly. GCM is a super fast course in good weather, but if it happens to be hot, humid or windy there can be a lot of carnage in the later stages so factor it in early on in your run.
Aside from that, take it easy at the start and just soak up the atmosphere along the course.
BW: Thanks for your time and good luck in Kobe!