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John Sanderson

John Sanderson

Runner

What got you into running? And what keeps you doing it?
Both of my parents are runners and my Dad still competes for the same club as me, Guildford & Godalming. I ran as a junior, but at the time my love of football often got the better of me so I stopped training and racing in my mid teens. I started running again at university, just for general fitness at first and then a little more seriously when I entered the 2012 Leeds Half Marathon to run for a charity. It has all sort of progressed from there, and somewhere along the line I became addicted and haven't stopped! It’s always difficult to pinpoint what keeps you going, it can be a whole range of reasons. I guess for me its the sense of achievement, the constant opportunities to push yourself and the freedom you get from being outside and exploring new places.

What is your typical training routine?
My weekly training typically consists of 3 positive sessions; an interval session at Battersea Park on a Tuesday, a track session in Guildford on a Thursday and either some hill reps, a fartlek or a race at the weekend. In addition to this I’ll do a long run, some strength work in the gym and a lot of easy miles, usually to and from work.

Do you run with a club or a group?
Where possible I try and train with other people. Working in London, I do a lot of miles to and from the office so I try to link up other runners who do a similar thing. Many of these runners also train with the group I am part of at Battersea Park. I also still train and race a lot with my home club in Guildford. Running can often be a solitary sport, and sometimes you need that, but finding similar minded people is a great way to tick the miles off and challenge yourself.

Where's the strangest place you've run?
Nothing springs to mind. A group of us from Guildford did once run 30 miles along the north downs way with a head torch on a Friday night in the middle of November. That was a pretty fun experience!

What song, if any, is guaranteed to make you run faster?
I don’t often run with music, but if I had to choose it would probably be something by Ben Howard or James Vincent McMorrow. Both remind me of when I first started running again whilst at university.

Do you run for the fun of it? Or for the results?
I think it’s got to a stage with my running where I do train for results and to reach new levels, and with that comes a certain level of pressure. However, I started running for fun, back when there was no pressure to perform. So I think that despite the nerves and expectations that come with competing, I know deep down, if I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't do it.

What is the best bit of advice you've had from another runner?
Keep your easy runs easy and your hard runs hard! Don't be afraid to run slowly.

What simple advice would you give to a new or novice runner?
Get outside, explore and enjoy it. Never lose sight of why you started in the first place.

What is your favourite piece of SOAR kit?
It would have to be the cap. Light and extremely comfortable. I also love the look of the Ultra Shell jackets!

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