Geoff Ridout

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Q. Who are you and what you do for a living?
My name is Geoff I'm 36 from Birmingham, UK and I'm a Fire Station Manager in the Defence Fire and Rescue Service 

Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life?
I'm quite lucky in the fact that I'm able to train while at work. On a lunch break for example. There is a route around work that is pretty much dead on 10km so I know I can get a decent run in if I need to. I also try to get out on some evenings or for a long run at the weekend. 

Q. When and why did you start running?
I started running 'properly' around 2009. I mainly got into it to improve my fitness. I can still remember the first time I ran 10km. It took an hour and I was exhausted at the end of it. At the time I thought I wouldn't be able to go further or faster. But the benchmark had been set. I now had something to aim for. My first PB to beat. 

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?
The determination to always push myself is what gets me out there. I'm not overly competitive with other people but I'm extremely competitive with myself. I'm always looking to get a faster time or longer distance. It's the thought that even when it's dark and cold and I'm tired I still need to get out there and train because those are the runs that also train the mind. In the latter stages of a long distance race it becomes just as much of a mental battle as a physical one.

Q. What is the longest distance you have ran? 
The furthest I have run in one go is just under 30 miles at Europes Toughest Mudder. The event was an 8hr obstacle course race that started at 12 midnight and finished at 8am. It was a five mile lap with all the usual Tough Mudder obstacles and you had to just keep going to see how far you could get. 

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?
I like to get out and explore. I'm not a fan of running on the spot on a treadmill. Running in the streets means you can get varying terrain on roads or parks, find hills or discover new routes. The added bonus is that it's free. 

Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise?
I think the main problem with lack of exercise is people are afraid to try or they think they won't be able to do it. Or they look at someone who is 'fitter' than they are and try and compare themselves. Everyone should always be willing to give it a go and most importantly enjoy it. 

Q. What was your best running experience?
Knocking 20 mins off my Half Marathon PB. I'd run the Birmingham half twice and not really trained as much as I should have. On both occasions I finished on two hours and they weren't great runs. I then decided to commit to training properly for the Silverstone half and felt great the whole way round finishing in 1:40:00

Q.What was your worst running experience?
My worst experiences have come from lack of knowledge and foolishness on my part. I once got a new pair of trainers that were a different style to my previous pair. I went straight out on a 16 mile run instead of slowly breaking them in. Being sidelined with an Achilles injury for 7 weeks taught me a lesson there. I failed to learn my lesson regarding proper training though when I took on the Manchester marathon without training for it. Not just once but twice! In a similar fashion to my first two half marathon attempts I went through hell in the final stages of the marathons. I am now fully committed to training in preparation for the Birmingham marathon in October. 

Q. How do you push through the pain?
I have a determination to get to the end. To finish no matter what. At the end of the day pain is temporary. Eventually it will subside. We must be willing to push ourselves out of our comfort zones to see what we are really capable of. There's a good saying that goes - 'The race always hurts. Expect it to hurt. You don't train so it doesn't hurt. You train so you can tolerate it' 

Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to start running?
Go for it! Don't compare yourself to anyone else, don't worry about others will think and don't be afraid to fail. There will be good runs there will be bad runs. They all count and you can learn from them all. Start steady, don't worry about distances or times just get out and enjoy it. Over time you will get quicker and go further and I bet you will surprise yourself. 

Q. Which Social media sites are you on and how can one follow you? 
You can follow me on Instagram at blue_hurricane29


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