Written by Simon B. Freeman |
Fitness is hard earned and easily lost. Sadly. And there is no silver bullet. There is no pill you can take (or at least there is no pill that you can safely take!) that will get me back to the shape I was in in April 2013 (why that date? I’ll explain in a moment). There is no single workout that I can do a couple of times to get fit again. It will be a long, hard journey. But the exciting thing is that my curiosity is back and I am interested to see how good I can be once more.
Probably the fittest I have ever been is in the six months leading up to the London marathon in 2013. I was hugely fortunate to have a job that was just the right distance from work so that it meant I could cycle or run to or from the office and also run at lunchtime. At times I was getting to cycle to work, getting a 45 minute run in at lunchtime and then a session in the evening. I was putting together back-to-back ninety mile weeks.
So in a physical sense I was in great shape (for me – I want to emphasise that this is all relative and I was only in great shape for me). I ran a couple of 73 minute half marathons. I was doing some core work. I was part of a great track group under the guidance of one of the best coaches in the UK, Nick Anderson from RunningWithUs.
The hard work paid off with a 2:37 marathon and 105th place in the London marathon.
Fast forward to today and I have just completed the first week that I have run six times for months and months. Freestak and Like the Wind magazine have both taken up huge amounts of time and energy and I have struggled to find the motivation to run at all, let alone in a structured way.
But you know what, that is all OK. I have had a rest from running and I have been part of building two things that I am hugely proud of. Now I am motivated to start the long road back to fitness.
I am using AdventRunning as a target and as a way of training. I have just managed a week of running and that is going to continue so that when 1 December comes around I am in shape to run every day for 25 days. I am going to use that block of running as training for the body and mind – I will undoubtedly get fitter, because as we all know, consistency is the key and it will also re-embed the habit of running so that I start 2015 running consistently.
I know it is not going to be easy. It wasn’t easy to get from being an overweight, 20-a-day smoker to a 2:37 marathon runner in seven years. But then again, I know what the rewards are and that the hard work is worth the effort. Here’s to the journey.
WHO IS SIMON B. FREEMAN?
“At the very end of 2004 I made a life-changing decision that I wanted to abandon my unhealthy lifestyle and get in shape. With no specific goal I started cycling and then running. By May 2005 I had entered my first race – an 8km fun run – and I was instantly hooked on running. My next race, the Great North Run in September 2005, came with a target of finishing in under two hours, which I did with barely minutes to spare.
Fast forward to 2011 and now I am dedicated to two things; firstly finding out what I am capable of; and second inspiring as many people as possible to discover the joy of running (and fitness in general) and how it can be such a huge power for beneficial change in their lives.
So far my journey has lead me to the following times (amongst others) for the distances I have raced:
3000m (track) – 9:43.59
5km – 16:42
10km – 35:39
10 mile: 55:58
half marathon – 73:54
marathon – 2:37:07 (updated at London marathon 2013)”
On his blog he shares the things that he finds during the journey to becoming the best runner he can possibly be.
If Simon is not running (fast) him an his wife Julie Freeman-Kummer run freestak – a marketing agency for the running industry. They both love running and believe in the power of social media. They create social media marketing campaigns for running brands.
They also quite successfully launched Like the Wind Magazine in FEB 2014 – a collection of stories about running, from the track, trail and road. There are personal anecdotes, inspirational tales and wonderful pictures, all designed to inspire and delight.
Just a few weeks back they opened the doors to their wonderful pop-up Gallery in Shoreditch, hosting fantastic events and workshops around running. A chance for everyone to browse products, magazines, books and get chatting to the industry VIPs. Truly inspiring project. Hopefully they run another one in the future.