Who is Marathon Marcus?
I am a runner, I started from a 10k moving to half marathons and then I went for my first marathon in 2006 in Abingdon, U.K. I found the experience was really challenging and I was determined to improve my performance, and I kept on running more marathons. I am a 15x Marathon Runner (As of Aug 2017).
What is Sound Mind Sound Body?
Firstly, in working with ASICS, it is an acronym derived from the Latin phrase, Anima Sana In Corpore Sano - a sound mind in a sound body. It's great to work with a brand that holds the values I hold.
Secondly, it goes back to the reason I started my social media profile. For me, a Sound Mind Sound Body is about taking care of your body as much as we take care of our minds.
There are so many factors which affect our mental health which impacts your physical health. It can be a bereavement, otherwise, it could be a stressful situation at work, a toxic personal relationship or experiencing injury or illness. In terms of fitness, it could be a negative internal dialogue i.e. The relationship with food, not being thin enough, not being muscular enough, it comes down to the feeling of simply that you are not good enough. Until you are comfortable with what you are and what your not, subconsciously chasing unattainable goals will increase stress and the likelihood of developing mental health problems.
The good side of mental fortitude gets lauded in the press, but we don't talk about the other side enough, without making it sound like a weakness. I believe that admitting to a challenge and facing it isn't a weakness, it only becomes a weakness if you don't face it, and hope that grit will get you through. This is the reason why I believe that a healthy body cannot coexist without a healthy mind.
So my social media profile comes down to, stop thinking talking is a weakness, let's start talking, share our challenges, by sharing the burden, and possibly learn how someone else dealt with a similar challenge.
What inspired you to begin running?
During university, a friend had caught the running bug and was trying to get me to run a race with him. I thought he was mad! I used every excuse until I had none to use, and begrudgingly I signed up to run a 10k in 2006. The training was a shock to my system after a sedentary university life, but once I crossed the finish line I was hooked.
Do you recall the first time putting on running shoes with the intent to run in them?
Starting out I just used regular sports shoes for a while, until I took my first trip to the running store for a running analysis and my first proper running shoes were the Mizuno Wave Nexus. They felt very supportive but at the time I didn't see myself as a runner, so the whole experience at the time felt alien.
How important is having a daily routine?
It's very important. Whilst motivation only lasts for a short while, regular action creates habit, there will be ups and downs along the way, but ultimately over the long term, it will lead to better results.
What are one challenge and one lesson you’ve learned from your training?
I entered the 2017 Tokyo Marathon convinced I would get a personal best. But this didn't happen firstly because although I was half marathon fit, I wasn't marathon fit, off the back of a return from injury. It taught me, you can't get results for training you've not completed.
Secondly, my mindset wasn't right, it was too fixed and as a result created two levels of thinking, either success or failure. When I was struggling during the race I was stuck between these two areas.
Whereas having a flexible mindset is better suited to addressing and facing challenges during a race and training. So now I go into the race anticipating there will be good and bad points, but I trust in myself to deal with both areas, and I trust in my training.
Having this attitude shift really helped in my following marathon in Paris, which was shortly after Tokyo.
What are your top two favorite race memories?
An older one was breaking sub 4 hours in the 2015 Thames Meander Marathon. I'm not a natural runner, and in my early marathon's, I made lots of mistakes. So it was great to finally get that goal.
A recent one was running the British 10k with a group of other runners from start to finish. Although I've run marathons and half marathons for PR's they weren't as fun as running it with other runners. Although PR's are important, so is running for fun's sake, with good people.
How important is it for you to connect with like minded individuals and share experiences?
That's not easy to answer directly, I find it's often the people, I least expect who often surprise me. So I've learned to be more open minded to everyone, and not just connect with people who have similar matching interests.
If you could offer one piece of running advice, what would it be?
This applies to life and running. When you have a challenging moment, ask yourself in this particular moment what is the best next step or choice you can make. Then build on that momentum.
What is your favorite running app?
Strava, as I've been able to connect with a number of other supportive runners on this platform.
What is your favorite inspirational/motivational quote?
I have so many. One of my favorites is this by Mandy Hale.
"You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in."
In one word, describe yourself:
Being adaptable is key, so my one word is protean.