Sarah Flinton

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Q. Who are you and what do you do for a living? 

My name is Sarah Flinton, but my close friends call me Flinto. I'm from Sheffield, Yorkshire but I've lived abroad for the past few years now. I have danced all my life and I studied musical theatre at a drama school instead of university. 
When I first started running I was performing in Disneyland Paris where I worked for a year and a half. Now I'm a touring actress with the White Horse Theatre Company in Germany; I play Desdemona in 'Othello', Billy in 'Billy's Friend' and Silvia in 'Two Gentlemen'. I'm touring Germany until July 2018, in these three plays. 

Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your personal life?

I'm automatically a very active person, alongside performing I am a qualified personal trainer so fitness is really important to me. I tend to have a schedule for a week in my diary and just work around life in general.
Whilst in rehearsals in Germany I got my cast to do a 'run club' in the morning, I think involving friends in exercise helps make it fun and more interesting. Doing a marathon is a tough challenge, so being able to run with friends and know they support you is incredibly motivating. 
Whilst I was working in Disney I would just run home from work, after dancing a hard parade I would already be sweaty but I wanted to push my body to the limit so I would skip the bus and jog the thirty minutes home.

Q. When and why did you start running?

I started running in the Summer of 2015 when I wrote a bucket list and had the London Marathon on it. The reason I chose this marathon in particular was because I'd seen my dad run it a few years previously. I stood at the finish line for hours and I remember how proud and emotional I felt that day. My dad ran in memory of his dad, Neville, who sadly lost his long battle with Alzheimer's. 
I remember back in drama school when we were sent on runs for 20 minutes and I was struggling, I remember one day having a panic attack because I thought I couldn't do it, it seems silly now that I thought 5k was difficult back then. It's strange because I was at my fittest dance wise, but running was just entirely different. 

My dad started taking me on runs and it slowly got easier. I would run around the French countryside in Summer and it was freeing. I got a charity place for the London Marathon 2017 in about October. I was to run for The Children's Society and I had amazing support from the charity. From then, I just got myself committed to running, made a training plan and I liked that there was some organisation into my fitness again. 

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?

Oh there has been plenty of times I've felt unmotivated. I often message my dad; "is it bad if I skip this one" and he'll reply saying something like "just go and see how you feel". And he's right, the idea of running in French winter at minus degrees was horrible. But once you're out the door all you have to do is move your legs. 
When I was training for London I felt motivated by the idea of running past Buckingham palace and down the mall with cheers on either side... gives me butterflies just thinking about it. 
My second marathon was to be Berlin 2017, and I was running for Alzheimer's Research, so my grandad pretty much got me round those 26.2 miles and out the door for all of my training runs. 

A great book I read that motivated me was 'Running the Smoke' I highly recommend it. 

Q. What is the longest distance you've ran?

London And Berlin Marathon 2017

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets? 

I'll admit, whilst working for Disney, I hated co-workers or friends seeing me in my running kit. A co-worker saw me in my big running shoes and laughed at me saying they were ugly. I wanted to slap them and say "Train for a marathon then you can judge my shoes you idiot" 
But i just got on with it, wore my big ugly trainers and got my music on and ran. I tend to wear a cap to hide my face, normally running is my time to myself, so I like to just zone out and not let anyone notice me. 
I've got more confident after London because people notice your fitness, I've had people often comment on how fit I am and of course that makes me feel good and want to do more!

Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise?

I hate not exercising, even taking rest days stresses me out because I feel like I'm not improving.

Q. What was your best running experience?

Running on the London Bridge got me pretty teary eyed along with the last few miles. Surprisingly I felt strong at the end and found myself overtaking and being able to run faster, that felt good, really good. 
Nothing can prepare you for the crowds in London, they get you round. 
I watched the documentary 'Mind Over Marathon' and it really hit home with me, so when I ran next to a few of the guys I couldn't help but tell them how amazing they are. 
In Berlin I managed to shed my time down a lot, that felt pretty amazing looking up at the clock when I passed the Brandenburg gate at the end. 

Q. what was your worst running experience?

I went for a long run with my dad once and just had a panic attack because I thought I couldn't do it. I ended up walking home crying and just collapsing in the bathroom. 

My ankle has stopped me a few times, I broke my ankle on a trampoline years ago but it's still weak, occasionally it really kills, and I've had weeks when I can barely walk and that has really upset me. 

Q. How do you push through the pain?

Decent music, a good audio book, friends. There's so many distractions, it's just finding the right one for you. In London my friends and family chose my music so my playlist was making me laugh out loud most of the time. 
And of course... a decent massage and a beer

Q. What advice can you give someone who wants to start running? 

Get decent shoes, go to a proper running shop and get your feet fit if you're serious. Your trainers should be a few sizes bigger if you're doing long distances. 
Find a running buddy who will run with you occasionally. 
Read 'Running the smoke', people's reasons for running are so motivating and all very different. 
Sudocrem your feet to avoid blisters... this works a treat.
And finally... if your legs give up, run with your heart. 

Q. Social media sites:

 Instagram @sflinto
Snapchat: @sarahflinton
Twitter: @sarahflinton 


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