I’m a runner. I played some soccer and baseball when I was younger, but turned to running in my mid 20’s. It was great to keep fit, keep the beers in check and as something I enjoyed doing with my dad. My dad ran the London marathon five times and still smashes out the odd 2 hour half marathon when he’s not falling off his mountain bike! He and his training pals, Charlie and Paul, inspired me to start running and keep running. The great thing is, they still haven’t stopped running! I also dabbled in Ironman triathlon for a couple of years and loved it, but I always seem to come back to running.
I’ll always remember my first half marathon and marathon. However, my most memorable achievement has been taking on the challenge of running 17 marathons around Australia in 2017. It’s really shifted my mindset about what is possible, brought me new friends and colleagues, taught me an enormous amount about my body and mind, and has been a great physical challenge!
“running 17 marathons around Australia in 2017… shifted my mindset about what is possible”
I’m definitely more of a morning person, so that gets me off on the right foot. Secondly, I genuinely love what I do as a coach and as a runner, which makes it a lot easier. You aren’t getting out of bed to do something you hate. Thirdly, I enjoy being outdoors more than being indoors, even if it is cold and wet.
There’s also something slightly hardcore about being outdoors in the dark, cold and wet, when everyone else is in bed. Some of my most memorable training runs have been in those types of conditions. Love it!
It’s not always easy, that’s for sure. I’m lucky that as a coach I run as part of my job. However my run sessions with clients are usually at the times when I would naturally train, so it can be tricky to find the time for my own training without feeling guilty. Despite running my own business and being my own boss, I’m still scarred by the 9-5 mindset that was drummed into me for so many years. However, I love the fact that I can now ‘do meetings’ on a run. This actually happens quite a lot!
I try to leave Thursday & Friday evenings free for my wife and I to properly catch up and I try not to impose too much on our weekends with training. Admittedly, that doesn’t always work! Thankfully Kath is a keen runner and triathlete herself so she’s also training and understands the training load. The dog also likes to get out for a run with us which is a bonus.
Haha! This question always makes me smile. Ice cream! I love the stuff! Post race, I like to indulge a little and celebrate, so there’ll definitely be a few awesome treats over the following 24 hours.
In preparing for my 17 marathon challenge this year, I asked a few coaches, physiotherapists and nutritionists about what I should be doing in the 24 hours after each marathon. The pointers I got basically came down to: soaking my legs in cold, salty water; magnesium; hydrating well; getting a massage a couple of days later; keeping moving (usually a swim) rather than sitting too much.
I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer, and someone who can get inspiration from small, weird or wonderful things. At the moment a lot of my inspiration is coming from my work and overcoming my own previously rigid points of view. Its the feeling of learning and progress that I find so addictive. Particularly this year, every little win in business or every pre-conceived idea that I’ve challenged through the 17 marathons has edged me on a little bit more. What’s awesome is that it leads you to this point where you begin to say “well.. there is really no reason why I can’t do that.” That’s where the scarily great stuff happens!
I also get so much inspiration from the people around me, even if they don’t realise it. For example, I’m inspired by my wife’s dedication to her work, my sister’s flair and sales skills, my runner’s commitment to their training, other coaches selfless dedication to their athletes and the list goes on. It’s hard to not be inspired by some of the stuff going on around you. You just have to be able to see it.
“It’s hard to not be inspired by some of the stuff going on around you. You just have to be able to see it”
Wow. I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and it still feel like I have a long way to go. I’m definitely getting to know my own body a lot better and how various foods make me feel. My top three learnings would be:
1. ‘Diets’ don’t work – I’ve tried a few and just hate the thought of cutting out so many foods I love.
2. I’m definitely an emotional and social eater. I love nothing more than sitting around a table with good mates having awesome food, drink and company. I also eat and drink when I’m happy, sad or just emotional! I’m getting better at recognising the negative side of this and mitigating it.
3. I love the feeling and energy that good nutrition gives you. It changes your mental state and can really help getting you out of a funk. Its way more important than most people think.
Originally from Newcastle (UK), Chris has been living in Melbourne for five years, after various stints living in Belgium, UK, Switzerland and USA. Chris is a Recreational Running Coach with his own coaching business, Go Run Australia. He coaches all sorts of runners, but mostly those looking to run or improve on their first half marathon or marathon. Chris is nearing the completion of his 17 marathons in 2017 to raise $17,000 for the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. His final marathon will be run on a treadmill at Port Melbourne Physio & Pilates on 9th December. Donate to this great cause here
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