Daniel started running in 2012 giving himself six months to train for his first marathon – London – which he ran for charity. He lives in the Garden of England – Kent – and has been married for 21 years and has 3 children. He has run more than 200 Parkruns and recently completed the London Marathon in 3:53. Daniel documents his running stories on his blog and recently he agreed to answer my five questions about running…
What purchase under £100 has most impacted your running life?
As my runs increased in distance, I found that I needed to carry my phone with me and have tried to find a way of carrying my phone without having to carry it in hand. I really like the trail running shorts from Aussie Grit as they have a built in phone pocket. I like to run hands-free and my wife likes to know I can be contactable, so having the phone in your shorts so your hands are free is great.
I also have a lightweight running backpack from FITLY – it is smaller than the usual running backpacks but has enough room for keys, phone, card and a snack.
What new habit have you adopted in the last 3 years has most improved your running.
I have learned to incorporate some hills into my training. I find hill work really hard. I usually sweat like mad so by the time I’m at the top of a hill, I have to stop and wipe the sweat away, but I can really feel the benefit of including some hill work in my training runs.
When you are at your absolute lowest point in a race, what do you do or say to yourself to convince yourself to keep going?
I try to focus on how far I’ve come in the race and how far there is to go and I split it into 5k segments and say to myself that there are only that many parkruns to go.
I love running my local parkrun so I visualise how far in my local parkrun I have left to run.
If I am half way through a race I know that it is only a couple of parkruns left and I find it helps to split the race into smaller segments.
Tell me about an unusual thing that you do before, during or after a run?
When I am getting ready for a run, for some reason, I always put my left sock on first and then my right sock.
During my runs, I think about what I will write on my social media post – I try to put together something in my mind and then spend the run trying not to forget what I was going to write.
After a run, mostly I just want to die! But if I have any energy left, I will take a photo and upload it to Strava – after all – if it’s not recorded it didn’t happen!
What is your most memorable running failure and what did you learn from it?
I once ran a trail half marathon at Bedgebury. It was all off-road, through the woods, along deep ditches that tractor tyres had made and the ditches were full of water. I didn’t have trail shoes back then and wore my road shoes and almost lost one in the mud! I learned I needed trail shoes for runs in the woods and also to double knot my laces which I always do now, even for road runs.