This week’s running Dad is Matt (@mattruns18) who took up running in January but has made huge gains (and losses to his weight) in that short time, he’s an inspiration to his kids and has shown some serious grit to achieve the times he has this year.

TDCR: So Matt, introduce yourself and tell us a little about you.

MH: Well, my name is Matt.. im 34.  I work on building sites all over the country laying pre-cast concrete floors. I have a wife and 4 children ages from 13 years to 1 years old, and we have a baby on the way.

TDCR: What essential kit do you have for running?

MH: I use a garmin GPS running watch and I have a HR monitor for it, which I find useful and I use Brooks running trainers.

TDCR: How did you get into running?

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Matt was inspired to enter marathons when watching Eliud Kipchoge and his world record running attempts.

MH: I got into running in January of this year.  I knew I was out of shape but when I stood on the scales and it said 19.5 stone, I knew I had to lose some weight.  So I began to go on 5k runs in a sauna suite which would take me anywhere from 40 to 50 minutes at a time. I wasn’t running for times or anything at first, it was simply to lose weight and get the lbs off. I watched the Nike production of breaking 2, where Eliud Kipchoge missed breaking the 2 hour marathon by 25 seconds, it was inspirational stuff.  I signed up for the Manchester Marathon in April 2019 not long after that.

TDCR: What has been your biggest challenge?

MH: My biggest challenge? Well, I have two so far this year. The first was getting the weight off and changing my diet.  I had to cut out all the bad sugars and food out that got me into the shape I was in.  The second was the marathon I ran on October 7th this year, after injuring my knee 3 weeks prior to the event. I was on a 20 mile training run and10 miles in I felt something bad happen in my knee, a sharp pain and a tightening. Stupidly I carried on, I finished that particular run in 2:23:46. I had been on for a 3:20:00 marathon but the day after my injury I just couldn’t walk properly and subsequently couldn’t train for the remainder of my training cycle. I finished my marathon in 3:40:49.

TDCR: What would you say has been the biggest highlight of your running career so far?

MH: My running highlight so far was breaking the 90 minute half marathon time on my

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Matt did brilliantly in his first marathon, inspite of an injury, there is more to come in 2019.

4th attempt in September.  It was at a half road half trail race and was a very tough course and I finished1:28:59.  Of course the marathon was a great achievement but nothing has come close to running 4:13 p/km for 21.1 kilometres. I gave everything I had that day from the start to the end and ran the best race I’ve ran so far.

TDCR: What event’s are on your wish list and why?

MH: I’d love to run a major; London, Boston or New York. Realistically though it’s likely to be London. But I want to qualify for it and get a good for age place. I love the concept of raising money for a good cause but to actually get my place in 2020 because I ran under 3 hours in Manchester 2019 would mean the world to me.

TDCR: Well good luck with that!

TDCR: Finally do you have any tips for running dads?

MH: Patience has been everything this year for me. My top tip would be to dedicate 30 minutes a night and the changes will come. Its just how bad you want it, all it takes is 30 minutes a night and stick with it over time, everything else will follow. You need something to motivate you. For me it’s my kids.. and leaving something behind for them that their dad did.. like run a marathon or even run it in under 3 hours. Whatever the times we have they’re our times. So when I’m old and my kids are grown they can look back and tell my grand kids “yeah.. he was abit of a bad ass”.  Haha and apart from all that, they might find inspiration from it and chase their own goals. My little girl recently broke the mile record in her school and won a prize for it. It’s things like that, that make it all worth while. They’re always watching.

Follow Matt’s running adventures on instagram here:

https://www.instagram.com/mattruns18/

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