What does running mean to you:
Running is an inseparable part of my identity. It’s not a choice, it’s part of who I am. Perhaps I have a slightly unhealthy relationship with it (I can’t live without it), but it’s the moment of the day when I am focused on me. I’ll be running until I keel over.
Favourite place to run:
Bridport, Dorset, where I was born. Nothing better than a Spring run through the bluebells on Eype Down and up to Thorncombe Beacon and Golden Cap. Beautiful coastline – I’m so lucky to have grown up there. We are moving ‘home’ in October this year.
Your best running memory:
In 2013/14 I managed to become pretty good. I was picked for England to run at a few international races in Cardiff and Spain. I then finished 4th at the National Cross Country Championships. I felt incredible, I was so fit and confident, and felt in total control of my body. I always find I can’t really push myself if I’m not in good shape – I can’t get into the pain ‘zone’ where you get the most out of yourself. But when you have control of your mind and body you can sit in this pain zone for ages. Oh how I yearn for the ‘hurt box’!
Why does running matter?
I owe so much to my involvement with running. I think I am a more dedicated determined, and organised person through my years of training, and the friendships I have made will always remain
In my career I look to demonstrate the benefits to companies of encouraging their employees to run. I could spend hours discussing its benefits, but I won’t. There’s nothing like it, it’s so simple, accessible, and effective. There’s no drug that can provide you with such widespread benefits. With some exceptions, we can all pull on a pair of shoes and get outside exercising aerobically – whether it’s walking, jogging or running. The impact that has on your body and brain is immeasurable. There was one study, admittedly of rats, that showed aerobic exercise (and not resistance training!) stimulated brain cell growth in the hippocampus, the area responsible for memory, problem solving and learning. Our brains are literally growing!
Running plans for the future:
My motivations, despite my rising years, remain centred on performance. I am moving back to Dorset this winter and still think I can compete to a level where I might qualify for an international team (possibly as mountain, trail or ultra runner).
In the short term, as the father of 2 children, my ambition is to stay in the game! I want to run every day and keep my mind and body in good condition.