Michael and I chat about becoming runners (TLDL: If we can take up running in our 30s and look ridiculously awkward SO CAN YOU), what keeps us going, races we’re done, and advice to others. We also get graphic about injuries, reminisce about ‘Punishment runs’ and compare awkward running styles.
There was an awful lot that we couldn’t cover during the recording, so I thought it would be fun if we both did a running-related Q & A. Future podcast guests who are also runners are welcome to fill it out as well and I’ll add it into the show notes.
1. When did you go for your first run (and mean it)?
MC – November 2013. After boy was born registered all at same GP and received some very harsh (and motivational) words during check-up. Joined Weightwatchers and started couch to 5k very soon after. Did my first 10k on my birthday in March 2014
JW – March 2012 originally but 6th April 2013 in earnest
2. Do you describe yourself as a runner or a jogger?
MC – Runner.
JW – Runner of course!
3. Neutral, overpronator or barefoot?
MC – Overpronator
JW – Overpronator. I’m a very awkward-looking runner
4. Preferred running shoe brand?
MC – When I fully committed – I got properly measured/gait analysed and was recommended Saucony Omni – still with them
JW – New Balance. The right mix of support and lightweight feel. I wore Brooks for a bit but it was like having two anvils strapped to my feet
5. What tech do you use?
MC – Wireless Headphones, Runkeeper (but changing to something elsewhen premium finishes), phone for runkeeper and music. Fitbit.
JW – FitBit Surge (it has ‘quirks’ but I’m very fond of it), Strava, Nike+ (the first running app I used and I can’t quite let it go), Smashrun (for the graphs)
6. Strava nerd or free runner?
MC – Nerd. Just generally
JW – Strava nerd, definitely. I’m a late convert to Strava but I can’t imagine running without it now
7. Best bits of running kit (best buys)?
MC – Good trainers are expensive but worth it. Anything that stops chafing or bleeding is good!
JW – As above, but also: Thorlos padded ankle socks, Shock Absorber sports bras, SoundPeats wireless earphones & Deuter Speed Lite 10 running backpack
8. Music, podcasts or the sounds of nature?
MC – Music first (but that goes for life. According to Spotify I have listened to 49000 hours of music in 2017). But podcasts and audiobooks can be good for longer, slow runs…
JW – Podcasts for long slow runs (Running Commentary or Marathon Talk), music for everything else, and the sounds of nature when I’m on holiday.
9. Best motivational running song?
MC – I have a playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/1140735204/playlist/02RQeL33Zojc7lSLJJu5bI
JW – Gotta Work by Amerie and this playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/jwo79/playlist/0wSzkT9rp65hA9WjJXWrcJ
10. Favourite place to run?
MC – Winter Hill in Bolton. I’m very lucky as I have the countryside just 15 minutes from the front door, so have so many different beautiful routes
JW – Greenwich Park, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Longleat Center Parcs
11. Longest run you’ve ever done?
MC – Non race 15 miles, it was coming home from a meeting.
JW – I did my first ultramarathon in 2017 – 29.7 miles but lets call it 30 miles eh?
12. Most embarrassing moment?
MC – Who hasn’t had a pre-dawn poo in a field?
JW – Being very ill, very publicly, during a long run. I always take a complete change of clothes with me (in my Deuter backpack) on runs of more than 14 miles now….
13. Proudest moment?
MC – I got my 10k PB (48:52) in August 2015 and I prepared so well for the run – not just running, but good diet, cut down on the beer (same for Bolton Half Marathon in 2016) and the feeling of accomplishment was just something else!
JW – Completing the ultra was special. I didn’t know I could until I did. I’m proud of all of my running achievements though (1 ultra, 2 marathons, 9 half-marathons, loads of 10Ks, 37 parkruns and counting…) because I hated the idea of running until I started doing it.
14. Best motivational tool?
MC – I have kept one of my massive work shirts from when I was 19 ½ stone. It is like one of the parachutes that get used at toddler activities.
JW – I always, always feel better after I’ve been for a run, both physically and mentally so I’m very good at kicking myself out of the front door. Cake. Team Wood cheering me on. Feeling smug.
15. One piece of advice for newbies?
MC – You are running too quickly, go slower! Also no matter how far you go, whether you walk during it or sprint round like Mo Farah – you are still quicker than everyone sat on their couch.
JW – What Michael said. Also, if you’re planning to run more than 5 miles, slather your feet in Vaseline before you put your socks on. Sounds grim but it makes your feet lovely and soft and helps to prevent blisters.