What got you into running? And what keeps you doing it?
I like to think of myself as a runner who teaches, rather than as a teacher who runs. The fact that I've taught for 10 years but run for more than 20 indicates running is a big part of my life. It definitely gets more difficult with age. I struggle to hit 60 miles a week and only did that 11 times in 2016. I just seem to feel tired after work but when it's in your blood, you somehow manage to get yourself out there in the dark, to run, at times in sub zero temperatures. Writing this, I've just run a very bad indoor 3000m trial, where I was a second slower than my PB aged 15. Not very encouraging after setting off from London, to drive to Sheffield, having got home from work at 5.30. The race was not at all representative of where I am, in terms of fitness. I had a bit of a niggle in the lead up, followed by a totally different problem in the actual race. As runners, we simply carry on doing what we do because bad experiences make the good ones that much better. I felt the elation when I won the SOAR mile. I was not in bad shape but neither was it brilliant, so I went in with the "slow the race down at all costs" tactic and luckily it worked for me on this occasion. The sport needs sponsors like SOAR and I was grateful to win the prize money. I have a mortgage and bills to pay like everybody else and I'm on a tight budget. Generous prizes like this help pay for shoes and getting to races. I love some of the top end performance running wear but I've long since given up and resorted to the cheapest I can find. This backfired recently when I was told the pattern of my underwear was clearly visible through my running tights! In terms of my running achievements, I think my PBs show I've a good range. On a good day I could still run a sub 2m10 for 800m and my Half Marathon PB from not so long ago is 74m06. My aim is to continue to improve. I'm 32 now but there's still a bit in the tank I think. I've been lucky in terms of representative honours and have represented England and GB as a junior and senior many times over track, cross country and road. The most significant result I had was when I won the World Universities XC Championships in France. It was a tough race throughout and I just hung in there in second but the last couple of hundred metres was on flat firm ground and my 2.05 800m speed swung it for me. It's races like that which make it all worthwhile. I'm very aware though that I'm lucky, as I was born with a runners physique, so running is fairly easy for me. I've had really good coaches who have each made a huge contribution to my running. In terms of injuries, I've lots of experience. I think about 5 calf tears, a hamstring tear, a couple of stress fractures, an achilles injury, an SI joint problem (where I completely seized up for a few months) various foot problems and a long fragile back that is ultra sensitive. I struggled so much that I effectively gave up, just keeping fit for almost three years, but I came back stronger. I really admire the dedication and commitment shown by the running community generally, the people who have a more modest running cv but who are just as delighted as me to run a pb, despite all the things life in general throws at you. There are few things more enjoyable than when a massive group of like minded people of all abilities come together to achieve their personal goals. Long may the running community thrive and good luck to you all with your running goals.
What is your typical training routine?
6 days average 50 miles Typically 3 days runs at easy to steady pace. Three sessions, one longish intervals, one hills, and one reps from 100-600m in length
Do you run with a club or a group?
Where's the strangest place you've run?
The garage on a treadmill
What song, if any, is guaranteed to make you run faster?
Do you run for the fun of it? Or for the results?
A mixture of both
What is the best bit of advice you've had from another runner?
Listen to your body. Unfortunately I didn't put this into practice.
What simple advice would you give to a new or novice runner?
Listen to your body
What is your favourite piece of SOAR kit?
I'm new to Soar Running but I was given a very nice cap when I won the mile.
Tell us why you run, and you could be featured.Tell us your story
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Meantime, keep running.
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