Phil Sesemann: junior doctor targeting the Paris Olympics after the advance of the London Marathon Yorkshire News

Magnificent seventh: Leeds junior doctor Phil Sesemann crosses the line to finish seventh in the elite men’s race during the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday Image: Yui Mok / PA Wire.

Because the most recent star of the British marathon is no ordinary athlete. The elite athlete’s routine of training, nutritional diet, massage and then going to bed is no match for the man who finished seventh in the most prestigious marathon of all on Sunday.

Sesemann is a part-time runner and part-time junior physician, splitting 116 hours a week of training with approximately 30 hours on the Accident & Emergency shift at St James Hospital in Leeds.

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And when he runs, it is not in a high-rise camp in Kenya like the pros that he will now seek to match more often. Sesemann runs the Meanwood Valley Trail and around Eccup Reservoir, his training group is made up of amateur runners from the Leeds City Athletics Club and his faithful cross dog Wisla Spaniel Kipchoge, named for world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge.

Olympic Dream: Leeds runner Phil Sesemann is targeting the Paris Olympics in 2024 after his successful performance at the London Marathon. Image: Yui Mok / PA Wire.

“I haven’t done a 26-mile race with Kipchoge yet,” says Sesemann of his training partner, “but she’s done 20 miles and 21 miles and she’s been perfectly happy with it.”

Kipchoge proved to be a huge inspiration to Sesemann in the running, providing him with a training partner when human contact was not allowed and keeping him fit for the track season, which was his plan for 2021. When that didn’t work, he turned his attention to marathon. A smart move on Sunday’s evidence.

“In March, I was hoping to do the olympic marathon trails, but couldn’t quite get a rhythm, so I opted for the interior.

“After that, I tried to aim for a track season that didn’t go very well, so I set my sights on the marathon for the last 17 weeks.”

That involved increasing his training to 116 miles per week on average, 133 miles at its peak. “There was a little less quality and more training volume,” he says.

During the summer, while the runners he would run with in the London Marathon were in their high-altitude training grounds, Sesemann was still building his career as a doctor.

At the beginning of this year he was in the psychiatric ward, during the summer he was in the emergency room.

“I was predominantly working during June, July and August at St James Hospital, but in September I significantly reduced my hours to reduce the risk of contracting Covid so close to the marathon.

“I find that a few shifts a week is really good for my week structure and helps me build my training around that and gives me something else to focus on. Because running wisely there was a lot of focus on that day, a lot of pressure ”.

But Sesemann delivered, those hours around Eccup with Kipchoge at his side providing the aerobic base to negotiate the 42 kilometers around the capital in two hours, 12 minutes and 58 seconds.

“When I looked at the field beforehand, I thought there was a chance that I could make it into the top 10 if all went well on the day, but the seventh was beyond any dream scenario I was imagining in my head,” says the doctor of Leeds, who also turned 29 on Sunday. “I was happy with the weather, especially considering how hard the headwind was those last six miles.

“I felt like my training had gone well, so I felt like I could run for a while like this, or faster, but that wasn’t the day, but I’m not going to complain after my first London Marathon.

“It was a brilliant experience, a lot of fun. The last 10km were really difficult, it felt like a death march, but getting to the end was a brilliant feeling. “

It is an experience and an achievement that could change your perspective. His time on Sunday was 88 seconds from the qualifying mark for the 2022 World Championship, but it has made him hungry to go faster.

“My approach has changed,” says Sesemann, who may now even consider the Olympics in 2024.

“I will probably wait a little longer to apply for a training program with my medical career, and then I will continue to work at A&E while I train and try to have a marathon race. We will see.

“Paris is definitely a dream and something that I would look at and base my training and racing schedule on trying to qualify.

“I would have said that seventh at the London Marathon was not a realistic prospect earlier this year so you never know. I will definitely give it a try. “

And he will have another dog by his side helping him

“We got another dog in August, a puppy, and we named him Haile after Haile Gebrselassie, so it took a lot of pressure off me and gave me something else to think about. She has run a mile with me. Hopefully we can get her out for a run soon. “

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This notice was published: 2021-10-04 17:15:55

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