I feel fortunate that people are interested in my running and I’m lucky I get a few questions (!). So, here goes, I’ve answered the following Frequently Asked Questions as open and honestly as I can.
WHO AM I?
I’m Stu. To me, I’ve always just been that guy who could just go for a run. Nothing more than that.
Indeed, I’ve run all my life. It’s my thing. My escapism, pleasure if you like. I can’t function without running, the freedom it gives me and how it can give you time to think a world where often lots of things are going on.
WHAT ARE MY GOALS?
I have three.
Firstly, I want to share my passion for running. I’ve never going to be the best runner in the world but I’ve learnt and am continuing to learn so much about running, and as such, don’t want to keep that to myself. This website, along with my social media, can help me help other people by showcasing my journey and what I do/have done so far.
Secondly, I am a big believer that you have to follow and pursue your dreams in your life – and I hope in some way – I can inspire people to run and go after what you want in life. I’ve had a lot of setbacks over the years, people telling me ‘no, you can’t do that’, ‘that’s ambitious’ etc. However, what I’ve learnt is that no ambition is too big, never stop learning, do what you can for others and have that drive to keep backing yourself and what you are doing – regardless of the obstacles.
And thirdly, my long-term goal is to become the best runner I can be. That’s not just a time-related goal but to also experience and race in different conditions and different conditions, learning from others and picking up as much insight as I can. As a marathoner, I believe I can keep chipping away at my time and feel I can run a 2.30 marathon one day. If you don’t believe, you won’t get there.
AM I AN ATHLETE?
No, I wish! But, what I would say, is that I live my life with the same discipline and dedication a full-time runner/athlete would implement on a daily basis. This ties in with the previous question and was a big part of the reason why I decided to launch this site – I feel I have a lot to offer to many people.
DO I WORK?
Yes, I work an often demanding full-time job in journalism and have worked in the industry (inclusive of studying) for the past decade. It’s not easy training around work and I have to go to some lengths to make it happen.
I have also started to move into run coaching and will soon be studying again (watch this space) to give me a bit more time to focus on running.
DO I HAVE SPONSORS?
No, not as such. Over the past few years, I have been supported by brands such as Under Armour Middle East who have helped me with (much-needed) kit from time to time, but I am a self-funded runner and pay for everything, inclusive of race entries, travel, accommodation and more out of my own pocket.
That’s the way I want to keep it. Yes, brands etc can come along and I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, but for me, it will always be about the pure enjoyment, passion and simplicity of running.
WHERE DO I LIVE?
I live in Dubai – my base for the past two-and-a-half years. However, I am originally from Southampton in the UK.
HOW OFTEN DO I TRAIN?
You’ll find far more detail on the training session of this website but I’m active on a daily basis. From running to strength and conditioning to rest days, I try to cover every base.
In peak marathon training weeks, I’ll be running around 60 miles per week (if I have the time!).
HOW DO I DEAL WITH INJURY?
I put things into perspective (quickly) and embrace it as a new challenge.
WHO INSPIRES ME?
Simple, family and friends as well as my running and sporting heroes.