Ben is an elite runner who has broken the 3-hour mark for marathon distance. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
I have always enjoyed keeping active and started running as a good way of cross training whilst at the gym. Running became my passion that’s been hugely influential and beneficial.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I started running in 2014 after being inspired by a family member to run the London marathon. It’s been a very enjoyable journey from my first race to my most recent.
Triathlons are something I aspire to start competing in between marathon training seasons and do really enjoy using swimming and cycling as part of my cross training.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race was a local half marathon in Southend where I finished second overall and joined a fellow team mate on the podium. It wasn’t a specific targeted race and instead it was spontaneous entry on the morning of the race. I ran my own race at a comfortable pace and managed to gain places on the race leaders from 8th to second in the final 3 miles.
A very memorable race which was a reward of my hard training and persistence to succeed.
What is your proudest achievement?
In sport my proudest achievement is breaking the 3 hour mark for the 2017 Chelmsford marathon. It was a goal that I had set and work hard towards for 12 months with an unsuccessful attempt with London in the Spring.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
In 2017 a fellow local runner and I trained very hard for a sub 3 hour marathon at London.
The training plan was followed to the letter and I joined many on the start line with the confidence that sub 3 was on the cards for that day.
As with any major city marathon the adrenaline was rushing through the field of runners including myself and I found that I was running my initial few miles a lot quicker than planned, a lot quicker than I should be!
Long story short I hit that dreaded wall hard at miles 17-18 and finished 15minutes over that 3 hour goal, drained of energy and a disappointed runner. I have matured as a runner from lesson learnt from races. That race has made me a more driven, focused and patient runner.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I am a firm believer that there are many lesson to learn from setbacks and although it can disappoint it can also make you a stronger more prepared athlete going into your next event. Evaluating your performance is a great way of measuring the things that went right and the things that went wrong and how you can improve for next time.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Listen to your body and take note and action on how you are feeling.
Your body is the best doctor and will give you signals on pains, aches and injuries.
Take time to heal and avoid training through.
Fitness can always be regained once you have that foundation.
What are your goals?
My goals are to be competing at a high level in races and to have podium finishes.
My long term goal would be to complete an Ironman race. I have a lot of admiration for people that are willing to push and test their bodies to the limit in a multi sport event.
I am passionate about sharing and learning with others and to inspire, motivate with that all important team and community spirit.
Who inspires you?
I don’t have a single person that inspires me, it’s a collective of everyone that is willing and keen to go outside and try something new or challenge themselves beyond expectations.
I am inspired by people that reach for goals that break barriers
Why work with Sundried?
Living is Essex I was keen to support and work with a local company which had such impressive ethical principles.
The appeal was the company’s vision to create a sustainable brand whilst still designing fashionable clothing.
Being able to exercise comfortably in renewable sports apparel is fantastic.