What got you into running? And what keeps you doing it?
I was a keen runner at school and my inability to succeed (or actually play) in other school sports kept me on the cross-country loop until I left. Training for the Edinburgh Marathon in the first year of University got me into a great routine of getting out whatever the weather, and I run now out of habit.
What is your typical weekly training routine?
I've always been one to run outside as I find gym training stuffy and expensive. I try to fit in three runs in the park a week, usually with something more long distance on the weekend.
Do you run with a club or a group?
No. I often rope in mates, so I suppose we form a small pack of our own! I am, however, keeping an eye out for a good local club to join, as it will be just the motivation I need to get out on those cold wintery mornings.
Where’s the strangest place you’ve run?
I once did a 10K up the side of Mt Vesuvius in Naples bizarrely alongside Sir Ranulph Fiennes who was staying with my godfather at the time. Safe to say, Ranulph left us at the base in a cloud of dust! I also finished another 10K in La Paz, Bolivia this year. Running in the world's highest capital city was both exhilarating and fatal as the combination of extreme altitude and mammoth hills knocked me sideways from the onset!
What song, if any, is guaranteed to make you run faster?
Can't Stop, Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I quite often just have it on repeat on a faster loop. It's only a matter of time before I get bored of it. I've also started to run with podcasts for longer distances. I’m not entirely sure how beneficial this is to a training routine but it keeps my pace even and my mind engaged.
Is it just for the fun of it? Or for the results?
Both. A lot of the time I run to clear my head and as a means to explore new places on foot. But, though I hate to admit it, I've discovered I'm pretty competitive and getting results (however minor) is a real bonus.
What is the best bit of advice you’ve had from another runner?
'Slow down your breathing'. I'm an asthmatic and running has always been a repetitive process of taking my inhaler, freeing up my breathing and then getting progressively wheezy again, especially in the colder months. Forcing myself to take longer breaths means my inhaler stays in my back pocket. I can sustain a steady pace for longer and arrive home energised enough to take the stairs.
What simple advice would you give to a new or novice runner?
Get yourself a fantastic playlist and enter yourself into some minor or fun runs or races. They provide an achievable training target and introduce you to a whole range of runners with some great tips for longer endurance runs.
What is your favourite piece of SOAR kit?
I’m looking forward to the ladies line coming out. My running kit at the moment is past its best and I'm saving for something smart, breathable and long sleeved to keep me on track for the winter ahead!
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