What got you into running? And what keeps you doing it?
I began running over 25 years ago but only discovered a latent competitive streak about 5 years ago. Before then it was just running for its own sake over short distances to maintain some vague idea of 'fitness'; now it's about structured training & striving to bring my marathon P.B. down. I hope to go under 3'20" next year to qualify for a 'good-for-age' berth in the London Marathon.
What is your typical weekly training routine?
Outside of a marathon build-up: 20-24k in the mornings 3 times a week, with shorter recovery runs of 10-14k or spinning workouts on a couple of days in-between. I like to follow a rigidly structured build-up to a marathon following the Hansons Marathon Method which has me running 6 days a week with 3 key sessions each week. I never thought I had the self-discipline to work through a training programme like this but - to my surprise - I discovered an appetite for more volume than I ever thought I could handle as well as a fascination with the process itself.
Do you run with a club or a group?
I always run alone or with my wife.
Where’s the strangest place you’ve run?
I don't know that I've run anywhere strange but in 2012 I ran the Stockholm Jubilee Marathon - a one-off event to celebrate 100 Years since Stockholm held the Olympic Games. As well as reproducing as far as possible the original route from that 1912 Olympic marathon all of the race officials & marshals wore 1912 dress. Odd to be handed a cup of water at the drinks station by a man in a boater - cravat & plus-fours...
What song, if any, is guaranteed to make you run faster?
I'm more likely to run away from someone else's music. Running to me is about the environment you're in: the weather, the sound of the wind or the rain, your breathing... I wouldn't want to drown any of it out with music.
Is it just for the fun of it? Or for the results?
The results are the fun along with the process of getting there. I like setting a goal & working towards it. Plus there's a part of me that always wants to fight against the relentlessness of ageing. As long as I think I can be faster than last time, I'll keep going!
What is the best bit of advice you’ve had from another runner?
Around the time I was starting to take running seriously I met triathlete Tim Don at a bike show & he gave me really good advice on which sports watch to buy & why. Before then I had no idea about intervals or proper pace judgement but suddenly I had a tool to enable me to run with purpose. Thanks Tim (& thanks to my wife who bought it for me)!
What simple advice would you give to a new or novice runner?
Don't be afraid to be competitive. Pick a race - any distance - put it in the calendar & train for it properly. You'll get so much more out of it on the day if you put the work in, and you'll discover you're capable of more than you first thought.
What is your favourite piece of SOAR kit?
So far the gilet & rain jacket. The fit is perfect for me & the fabric is superb. The world is cluttered up with mediocre running gear so it's refreshing to come across a brand that isn't afraid to set high standards for itself.
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Meantime, keep running.
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