Our latest running Dad to feature on the blog is Grant who is keeping up the family tradition of running after his Dad.
TDCR: Hi Grant, tell us a little more about you.
GM: Hi, I’m 36 years old, from Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees. I have an amazing wife and a daughter, who is soon to be 3 years old. I work for a digital agency & sports social media platform delivering content for the biggest sporting brands and clubs.
TDCR: How did you first get into running?
GM: My Dad inspired me to get into running. He ran the first Great North Run in 1981
and the London Marathon in 1982. To celebrate his 60th birthday, I entered us both into the Great North Run 2017. It was a special day and amazing to run & cross the finish line together. I would like to inspire my daughter and family in the same way.
TDCR: What has been your biggest challenge?
GM: Weight loss has been a surprising and unintentional benefit of running, I didn’t consider when starting out. I was overweight (15st 1lbs / 95.9kg at my heaviest), a result of a decade of excess & indulgence, with very little exercise.
Following the Great North Run 2017, I was a regular at my local parkrun & noticed my 5k times were getting quicker. This motivated me to continue running into the winter months. At the turn of the year, I built on this momentum and decided to quit takeaway food & take a break from drinking too.
In March 2018, I ran a 10K for the first time under an hour (56:04). My wife took a post-race photo and I didn’t recognise myself. I later stepped on the scales for the first time in over 6 months and was surprised to find I had lost 2 stone and 6 lbs.
This was the moment that made me realise what was possible and how these small lifestyle changes made such a positive impact on my weight and overall health. It became my biggest challenge and sharpened my focus & dedication. This snowballed into healthier eating habits & nutrition, 3 runs per week, better sleep with more rest & recovery.
When my wife & daughter started coming along to parkrun on Saturday mornings to cheer me on, it made me double my efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle, inspire and make them proud.
By August 2018, I had lost 4 stone in total.
TDCR: Wow, that is great! So what has been the highlight of your running career, so far?
GM: I got a Garmin Forerunner 235 for my birthday & I’ve wore it everyday since, I love it. I’ve not experienced any drop in GPS signal and particularly like the ‘Finish Time’ display, which estimates your finish time, in real-time whilst running.
GM: I’ve recently entered the Manchester Marathon in April 2019. It is a flat, fast course
so will be ideal for my first marathon. I am looking forward to taking on a marathon training plan in the New Year. Between now and then, my focus is on building up a solid level of base fitness, by consistently getting in a 10 mile long run every weekend and shorter interval & hills during the week.
GM: Make time for running whenever possible – with a young daughter, I struggle to fit early morning or evening runs into my weekday. I’m lucky enough to have a flexible employer, work shower facilities and a parkrun location on the office doorstep. This helps fit running into my day. I regularly run on my lunch break and often swap a car commute for a run to work & home afterwards. My recommendation would be to try and seek out any available opportunities to flexibly fit running around your day and circumstances.
The Free Weekly Timed [http://www.freeweeklytimed.com] parkrun podcast is a good listen. (Each episode, an average parkrun finish time of 29 mins). Featuring Vassos Alexander, the BBC Radio Two presenter.
Vassos has 2 decent running books too, also available in audiobook format, the perfect listen on a long run – Don’t Stop Me Now [https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Dont-Stop-Me-Now-Audiobook/B01CDFGG66?qid=1540672868&sr=sr_1_2&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_2&pf_rd_p=c6e316b8-14da-418d-8f91-b3cad83c5183&pf_rd_r=F2ZJ8ZKRAXP293SS04T4&] and Running Up That Hill. [https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Running-Up-That-Hill-Audiobook/B07B1HYN5J?ref=a_pd_Dont-S_c5_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=1f9c9693-8f74-4098-8f15-d9ce59415341&pf_rd_r=WB6D3EAY55DCBJ35GYBG&]
For Audible users, the biggest recommendation is Mo-Joe: An 18-Week Marathon Training Diary. [https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Mo-Joe-An-18-Week-Marathon-Training-Diary-Audiobook/B0799J8JXM?qid=1539805712&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=c6e316b8-14da-418d-8f91-b3cad83c5183&pf_rd_r=G8BBTTGK44GBVV61FFVC&]An 18 part series following George Lamb’s training for his first London Marathon, coached by Mo Farah & Joe Wicks. (Each episode 25 mins).I listened to it whilst on holiday earlier this year and I’m going to listen again in the New Year now that I am training for the Manchester Marathon.