As part of our ongoing efforts to provide support, advice and support to runners, the latest feature on the Running Dads is a Q & A with members of our community. We can always learn and gain some added motivation and inspiration from those just like us trying to keep active in the business of dad-life.
1. Tell me a about yourself
I’m 37 years old, have two young boys and a fantastic partner. Oh, and my beautiful dog Luca. I’m born and bred from Wiltshire, but love to travel to new places, especially for food!
2. Why do you run?
I’ve always been sporty, my dad encouraged me from a young age to play football and I loved P.E at school. Most recently I’ve taken up running to give myself some time to focus on life’s little challenges and to solve those problems (or try!). Plus, I run with my dog a lot to keep her happy, and she’s a great motivation.
3. What are your PB’s?
5km is around 19.30 with my dog, otherwise just over 20. 10km 41.19. I dare not go over that distance yet.
4. What are you aiming for?
I really want to go under 20 minutes for a 5km without my dog. Hoping to do that soon.
5. What is your most important running achievement?
Just starting. I’ve got the running bug now, and am so glad I started. I could have just kept telling myself, there is always tomorrow.
6. Which race has been your favourite and why?
To date, it’s been a team relay series in Lacock, Chippenham. A nice short course, in a team handicap scenario. A great way to spend a summers evening, with a pint afterwards!
7. What race do you regret and why?
None; even the hard ones help you learn.
8. What race would you like to run and why?
I really like trail runs, and I’m looking forward to some over the Salisbury plains over the summer. I enjoy the open space. In winter there is a night run across the Severn Bridge. My dad (helped) build that bridge, which I always tell my boys, so I can’t wait to run over it!
9. Tell me about how you prepare for a race on the morning of the event.
Corn flakes, tea, banana. And plenty of water. I get my kit ready the night before. If I can, I sneak in a Mcdonalds McMuffin too.
10. Tell me about how you relax post-race.
A nice big meal, chicken or steak. A gentle walk with my dog, and a bath. It’s usually two days after that I ache.
11. What three pieces of advice would you give to fellow runners? (New and seasoned)
1 Don’t think about it, just run and enjoy 2 Set small, achievable goals. Don’t be over zealous in setting them, it only hurts when you fail and puts you back. 3 Always warm up; even a 5km needs stretching.
12. What is your preferred running route? Path, trail, fell etc?
I prefer trails; my dog can run with me, and the pace is not a target. The variety you get to see helps you put things into perspective.
13. What is your favourite running brand and why?
Shoes; I recently splashed out on some Brooks and love them. So comfy and help me thanks to GAIT analysis. Clothes; I’ve always liked Nike for their comfort and quality, but New Balance are really nice to wear. I wear running tights in the winter, to my friends disgust, but the Contra ones are excellent (part of the Parkrun movement)
14. Who is your all-time sporting hero?
John Barnes; growing up he was all I wanted to be. I wrote to him as a lad and still have the response.
15. Who is your all-time running hero?
I always admired Roger Black. 400m was a horrid event at school and I thought he made it look effortless. To the same degree, Michael Johnson too was a superb runner, and when the BBC get him on TV I always enjoy hearing his insight.
16. Being part of the Running Dads community, what has this done to inspire and motivate you?
Being part of a community helps spur you on. Looking on Strava and seeing what others are up to, and getting a pat on the back from fellow members really helps you keep going. Running in a Running Dads vest is also very rewarding when people cheer you on. The whole strap line of the movement, Inspiring Our Children, is very important to me. It’s not about pace or distance it’s about helping encourage children to keep fit and for them to see how setting yourself a goal, you can achieve anything.
You can follow Joe's journey on Twitter @Roland_Rat_Red