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James de Vivenot

James de Vivenot

Runner and SOAR X Member

What got you into running? And what keeps you doing it?
I was a sprinter at school but neglected running for many reasons, mostly due to being lazy and disorganised. I got back into running about 4 years ago, as I realised I was spending most of my time ferrying my children to their various activities but neglecting my own health and fitness. The friends I've made through running are definitely the reason I keep going!

What is your typical training routine?
In an ideal week I'll do a track interval session or a hill session, a short tempo run and a long (8-10 mile) run.

Do you run with a club or a group?
Yes, I am a member of Ealing Eagles Running Club

You recently joined the SOAR X Cross-country training programme, what was it that appealed to committing to 10 weeks of training to race in the cold and the mud?   
I love cross country and I love Soar running kit, so I jumped at the opportunity to join the Soar X programme. 

What do you hope to get from SOAR X programme?  
I'd like to reboot my running career to break through to the next level in terms of speed with the focus of this training block, the support of Matt and Barry and my enthusiastic Soar X team mates. I'm also an Athletics Coach, so I'd also like to apply some of the techniques that I learn during the course to my coaching in future.

How does it differ from your prior running experiences? Have you raced cross-country in the past? 
I've run cross country races over the past few years with my running club, Ealing Eagles, but I've never participated in such a focused cross country specific training block.

And what have you learnt so far? Any top tips? 
The Soar X programme has totally changed my running philosophy. It's a combination of lots of small changes and attention to detail such as wearing lots of layers including leggings (I'd previously always worn shorts in training), the importance of mobilisation, eating protein snacks within 30 minutes of a session, segmentation of runs and the use of long distance track spikes rather than cross country spikes.

Where's the strangest place you've run?
Ealing Eagles organise an annual Half Marathon and 10k for club members running up and down a local footpath where we do hill training. It's a bit crazy, but great fun!

What song, if any, is guaranteed to make you run faster?
That's a really tough one! It depends on what mood I'm in on the day. One song that never fails to give me a boost is Ealing Eagles' unofficial anthem written by club stalwart, Godfrey "Fly with the Eagles"

Do you run for the fun of it? Or for the results?
A bit of both. I wouldn't run if it wasn't fun, but like most runners I love trying to improve, chase PBs and compete with fellow runners who are in my pace range.

What is the best bit of advice you've had from another runner?
The key to success in running is consistency in training.

What simple advice would you give to a new or novice runner?
Join a running club or couch to 5k programme. The support you get from fellow runners is a powerful motivator and it's a great way to meet new friends.

What is your favourite piece of SOAR kit?
Rain or shine I love running in my Soar cap.

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