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Member Spotlight – January 2022

Chris Fall Profile

Why did you start running?

It was a complete accident. I was at my work’s Christmas party and have this vague memory of someone talking about running the Sheffield 10km a few months earlier. Me being me, I told them I could do that in my sleep. Having not run since PE at school, that seemed like a great boast to make! I woke up to a hangover and a confirmation email for the next Sheffield 10km the year after. Well, I couldn’t waste the money, could I? I trained for it and at some point along the way, I began enjoying it.

What/who motivates you to run?

Myself. I think that’s the reason I keep upping the ante. I want to know what my personal limit is and keep moving the goalposts. Initially it was a 10km, then a half marathon, then a marathon, etc. One day I’ll set the goal too high to reach, but I’m not there yet.

What is a typical training week?

Monday – Nice social run with my running club.
Tuesday – Usually a rest day or a little 3 mile shake down.
Wednesday – The dreaded hill or speed session with the running club again.
Thursday – Definitely a rest day and usually involves lots of food!
Friday – Typically a tempo session. It always hurts and I always come back for more!
Saturday – Strangely, I set this as my long run day. It appears most people allocate Sundays for this, but Sunday is a day of food.
Sunday – Maybe a little 3-4 miles, but otherwise a rest day.

Favourite session?

Tempo. Definitely. I know it will hurt and I love every minute of it!

Least favourite session?

Hills. Living in Yorkshire these are hard to avoid, but I hate them!

Road or trail?

I do most of my training on road at the minute because I’m training for the Manchester Marathon, but if someone ever said to me I could only keep one, it would be TRAIL!

Top 5 songs on your running playlist

The Pretender – Foo Fighters
Are We The Waiting – Green Day
Bleed It Out – Linkin Park
Bodies – Drowning Pool
Epic – Faith No More

Do you run alone or with a group?

Mostly alone, but I do have a running club I run with for some sessions. Running is my “head” time where I can decompress from the day, which is why I find running alone perfect.

What other training do you do?

OK, I’ll come clean. I know all about strength training and how much it can help and how I SHOULD be doing it, but it’s sooo boring. The first time I’ve committed to gym time or said I’d do some strength work at home, it’s only lasted a few weeks. I’ve tried biking but it takes up precious running time.

What is your greatest running achievement so far?

This is going to sound strange because I actually classed this as a failure for the longest time. It was completing the Edinburgh Marathon. I entered with one goal and that was to complete it in under 4 hours. Nothing else would do. It was my first marathon, and I was woefully underprepared. When the wheels came off at about mile 16, I went full on sulk mode. Since then, I’ve come to appreciate that I finished it. I ran 26.2miles and that is one hell of an achievement. It took me a long time to understand that.

What was your last race?

It’s been a long, long time and I actually had to look it up. It was the Round Sheffield Run in early 2021.

What are your future running goals?

Right now it’s the Manchester Marathon. That’s my big one. I’m also hoping to complete an Ultra at some point in the near future. Watch this space.

What’s on your bucket list?

London Marathon obviously. Five years entering the ballot and 5 years of disappointment. One year I will do it. Also, if money wasn’t an obstacle, I’d love to do the Half Marathon Des Sables in Fuerteventura.

What advice would you give someone who is just starting to run?

Start slowly. Don’t do what I did and what a lot of people do. I increased my mileage far too quickly when I started and ended up with injuries galore. Don’t do it. It isn’t worth it.

What do you like to do when you’re not running?

I have three kids. When I’m not running or working, they make sure they get my attention.

What would you name the autobiography of your running life?

“I think I’m lost…again”

I love exploring new trails, but I seem to have no sense of direction. Maybe I’ll avoid doing a self-navigated race for a while!