What got you into running? And what keeps you doing it?
I used to run to keep my stamina levels up for playing football - then I started to enjoy it and buzz off the competition. What I'm enjoying now is having an event to look forward to and having a structured plan to get me there in - the element of competition is really important to me.
What is your typical training routine?
The canal paths of east London and Victoria Park are where I do most of my runs, it's a little repetitive but it's flat and fast and I’ve got variants from 5-22 miles. I am at Barry's Bootcamp class a couple of times a week which gives me intervals, sprints, hills and general body conditioning.
Do you run with a club or a group?
I do all my miles on my own, Strava is as near as I am to a running community right now - my new year resolution for 2018 is to join a running club.
You’ve recently joined the SOAR X cross-country training programme. What do you hope to get from the programme?
I want to be part of a team that make a commitment and then support and challenge each other to get better. I want to learn drills and techniques I can share and build into my ongoing training.
How does it differ from your prior running experiences? Have you raced cross-country in the past?
Just a lot more structure, and more hard and short stuff on the track - I would normally tend to do more long and steady runs. I’ve done a few cross-country runs before but I think the Met League is going to be a big step up.
And what have you learnt so far? Any top tips?
You run with your arms as well as your legs!
Where's the strangest place you've run?
I’ve increasingly started running on holiday, this year I ran up a “mountain” in Crete - the villagers in the hills looked at me like I was off my head. Tapering for London on a golf trip earlier this year meant I was running around St Andrews at 0630 am with the grounds men.
What song, if any, is guaranteed to make you run faster?
I'm running with music a lot less now, but I wasn't when I did London this year - hearing "One day like this" by Elbow running down the Embankment was amazing. - I don't know if I ran faster - but I felt like I was gliding (I got cramp shortly afterwards!). The song is really evocative to me as my wife walked down the aisle to it (and it also reminds me of the London 2012 Olympics).
Do you run for the fun of it? Or for the results?
Definitely results - I’m really competitive so it’s all about times and places at the moment and as a relative newcomer I'm still setting PB's.
What is the best bit of advice you've had from another runner?
Give every run a purpose. That doesn't mean you need to smash them all - learning to embrace the slow and steady run was hard for me. But in a time constrained world having an aim or outcome for every run and avoiding empty miles has helped me.
What simple advice would you give to a new or novice runner?
Just to give it a go, you don't need any specialist kit or any level of fitness to start and get yourself to a parkrun.
What is your favourite piece of SOAR kit?
The race shorts are an obvious answer - but they are mega. The race vest 2.0 is a also a big favourite.
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