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Rich Allen, Marathon training in Spain

A familiar face returns to the management team

Plus marathon training’s hotting up!

It’s time for the next update on Rich’s Road to London, and it’s fair to say that things are hotting up!


But before we get into that – what else has been happening for Skilled Labour Services and what does that mean for you?

Welcome back Ricky Clarke

You may already have spotted that Ricky has rejoined the team as Contracts Manager.


Ricky has been back with us for about 4 months now and is proving to be a valuable asset. He is working closely with our clients and site teams to ensure that the right skill set is allocated to each job and that projects are staying on track. 


Thanks to Ricky’s extensive experience working in all aspects of groundworks, he has a good understanding of the challenges faced by our teams and how to resolve them. 


We were interested to hear Ricky’s thoughts about the challenges facing groundworkers, here’s what he had to say:

Ricky Clarke, Contracts Manager, Skilled Labour Services

The importance of groundworkers in the construction industry

“One of the things that has struck me is how much the skills gap has widened. There is a real shortage of young people coming into groundworks which is storing up problems for the future as older groundworkers retire or leave the industry. 


Groundworkers are an essential, but often undervalued, part of the construction workforce. They need to be able to do a wide range of tasks including drainage, slab laying, kerbing, brickwork, concrete foundations, block & beam, preparing for building services to be installed and so on. It’s also a physically demanding job. Yet they are probably the lowest paid section of the construction industry workforce.


However, it’s no surprise that young people aren’t keen to join the industry when they can work elsewhere – for example, as delivery drivers, where they can earn the same or even more money and benefit from better working conditions. 


More needs to be done to attract young people into groundworks and to do that, the industry needs to value the contribution that groundworkers make to projects!”

Why we are relaxed about recession warnings

Firstly, don’t mistake relaxed with complacent. We definitely are not complacent about what the next 12 months or so has in store. But we are feeling relaxed.


Like many businesses, Covid forced Skilled Labour Services to make some changes and we are a leaner, more efficient business as a result.


Couple this with our focus on delivering a superior service for clients, and we have every reason to feel confident as we head into the next phase of the economy’s cycle.

Rich’s road to London training update

I’m just back from a fantastic family holiday in Spain. The training has gone really well over the last few weeks, despite the heat – both at home and on holiday. Thankfully, I’m quite happy to get up early and run before it gets too hot (and whilst the family enjoy a lie-in!).


Being consistent with my mileage has allowed me to build a good base level of fitness. I’m on track to hit my targets for the next eight weeks, and I’m looking forward to gradually increasing my long-run distance. 


The Spanish diet with lots of healthy protein, fruits and vegetables helped me to fuel well while we were away. Now I just need to stick with it and not slip back into carb-heavy habits!

Rich Allen, Marathon training in Spain

What events have you got planned?

I’ve been looking at events to include in the training plan and may well take part in The Big Pilgrimage 14-mile race hosted by Big Feat Events on 21st August. It looks like a lovely route from Mayflower Park in Southampton through to Warash taking in some riverside paths and will make a nice change from some of my tried and tested routes. There’s also a full marathon and ultra distance as part of the same event but as I need to avoid overtraining and the impact of extended recovery times, this year I’ll stick to the shortest distance. 


Marathon training is a lot like running a business when it comes to consistency and measuring progress. It would have been easy to look at the full training plan a few months ago and feel overwhelmed. As it is, I can reflect on the journey so far and see how far I’ve travelled towards my goals.

How can readers help you stay on track?

Funny you should ask!


The nearer I get to the event, the more I need your support. Either through donations or by sharing my fundraising links far and wide!


If you’ve missed previous updates (you can read them here), I’m running the 2022 London Marathon to raise money for The Lighthouse Club Construction Industry Charity. It is a great charity that provides a wealth of support to construction workers when they need it the most. 


Click here to donate – every little helps!

consistent marathon training Rich Allen
About Author : Liz Clarke