Over in London, Darren who blogs at http://www.runnersknees.blogspot.co.uk and tweets under the name @RunnersKnees, is running around just like I do over here. He definitely has been going further than I ever have, finishing a lot of races and doing it fast! We swapped some questions to let our readers know more about each other (check out his post with my answers here).
When did you start running and what got you into it?
I started running in March 2012. I started because of a few reasons. Mainly I needed to challenge myself and, having not run since grammar school back in the mid 1980s this was the ideal challenge. I had broken my knee twice and my ankle, and this set it in my mind that I would never be able to run. Little did I know.
What keeps you motivated? What do you do to get back on track when you’re in a rough period?
In the early days I used stats to motivate myself. I would see progress either in the amount of time I could run, or the distance, or the speed. But not I motivate myself by booking myself on runs, purchasing plenty of running kit when I feel a little low, and talking to people on twitter. They always seem to motivate me and cheer me on. Oh, and look at my bling.
Tell us about your best and worst race experiences. What was great/bad?
Best running experience was the first 10K I ran. I ran it back in May, 2 months after starting to run. It was the BUPA London 10K race. It ran by all the sights in London, starting and finishing outside Buckingham Palace.
A pretty bad running experience was in Sheffield. I tried new shoes that were a size too big, loosely laced. So I shifted in them, ran awkwardly and had shin splints within a kilometre. It made me walk several times. In the end I made it though and the camaraderie after the race was great.
The worst running experience was the bum’s rush. It was the TeachFirst 10K in London in September. A lot of us ran it, we all got PRs. Then, when we checked out respective Nike+ GPS watches, and Garmins the ran was between 400 and 600m short. The race organisers still deny this, despite the course being 6 blocks short. The charity deny it too. None of us will be running it next year and NONE of us treat that as our PR. (See route)
Except for running, what do you do to stay in shape?
I eat well. Nothing else, although my physio tells me I should.
Are you a solo runner or do you prefer to run with other people? Why?
I train by myself, but I love to run in huge races. I ran in Amsterdam with 37,000 and London with 28,000.
If you got to choose a certain weather to always run in – what would it be? What’s your perfect conditions?
I ran in 80 degree heat, and also in 5 degrees and raining. I prefer the rain and cool.
When it comes to running gear – what are your favorites? What do you always carry/wear on your runs?
I love the Nike Two in Run shorts. They have compression shorts built in. I love Balega socks, as they are super comfy. And my all-time favourite item is the Yurbuds Ironman Endure Pro headphones and my Ipod Nano. I cannot run without music.
How do you fuel before/during/after your runs? Anything you’ve tried that have been really bad and/or very good?
I would have porridge (oatmeal) a couple of hours before the race. Depending on the distance I would have a GU Roctane pouch every hour. I drink a lot of water before. After I always want cold beer and cheeseburgers.
In Amsterdam I made the mistake of running in the half, which started at 1:30pm. I then didn’t know what to eat. I couldn’t eat breakfast AND lunch. So 2 bananas, some water, tea, more water. I then put AA energy drink in my water bottle instead of water. That was a mistake.
What is your biggest dream/goal when it comes to running? A race you’ve been wanting to do for a long time? Go for a run with a certain person? PR’s? etc.
I would have run 6 10s and 2 halves in 2012, my first year of running. In 2013 I would ideally want to run 2013KM, but I doubt I will run that much. Instead I am going to run about 15 races, including 3-4 halves and at least one full, maybe 2. I am running the Berlin full in September, and halves in Paris and Stratford-upon-Avon. I may run the Charlotte Speedway Half, and maybe the Greats Head full in Dorset, UK. I just want to keep running. And for good bling! Oh and PRs. I know I can run a sub hour 10, a sub 2 hour half, and a sub 4 hour full. So those are my aims.
Are you a morning, mid day or evening runner? Why?
I run in the morning at the weekend, as I run for a longer period. In the week I run in the evening.
I know that after I started running my life changed in many ways (for the better) – I eat different, I dress (very) different, I sleep more, I stopped drinking alcohol and my shopping habits drastically changed.. Has running changed you and your life patterns? If so, in what ways?
I do talk about running a lot more. LOL. I do buy a lot of running clothes.
What would you tell a person that have never been running before but are curious and might want to start? What tips do you have for a beginner?
Do it, its great. For a beginner, I would recommend starting slow, building up, as I did. Don’t just sign up for a marathon and kill yourself. Build up from 5s to 10s to halves and then the full. It will hurt less.
What’s your next goal with your running?
Getting my injuries fixed for the 25th November and the MoRun in Greenwich Park, London