The second I came across Laura Fountain’s blog, lazygirlrunning.com, I knew I had found a fitness expert I could emphasise with. Coming from a family of marathon runners, it’s safe to say, running has never been my thing. Every year I sign up to the London Marathon with every good intention, before breathing a sigh of relief a few months later when I get the rejection letter. Yet as I read Laura’s blog I can’t help but be inspired by her story. A journalist and editor, Laura started her blog and running journey later in life; seven years later, with 11 marathons, one ultra marathon and two fitness books under her belt, she is now a UK Athletics qualified run leader. Therefore I was thrilled when Laura’s name popped up in my inbox, finding she was more than happy to hang up her trainers for a second or two and share her fitness story with Hotcourses users. Whether you are training for a 10K or a triathlon, this is one lady worth listening to and someone who, on a personal level, has left an impression. Perhaps I’ll sign up to that half marathon after all...
So, Laura, have you always had an interesting in running?
I was the one who skived off PE at school with a forged note from my mum. As an adult I tried a few times to take up exercise but always hated it and would give up after a few weeks. It was only when I was in my late 20s that I started running and started to enjoy it.
What made you decide to share your story?
I didn’t know anyone who ran when I started. None of my friends or family were runners, so I didn’t really have anyone who was interested in the amazing new thing I’d discovered and couldn’t stop talking about. So I started the blog. I’m a writer, that’s my job, so it was natural for me to start blogging about running I suppose.
Where did the idea for your books come from?
Over the years more people started visiting my blog and leaving me comments or emails to tell me they enjoyed it and that they’d gone back to read it from the beginning. There were a lot of things I wish I’d done differently along the way and, although I didn’t want to change my blog posts, I wanted to tell the story of how I became a runner from the start, with the benefit of hindsight.
Did finding running change the direction of your career as a journalist?
I still do the same job I did when I started running (writing), but I now do more freelance writing on the side about running. And, of course, I’m now on my second book which every writer dreams they’ll write one day, but I never for one moment thought they would be about sport.
Treadmill running or getting outdoors?
Outdoors. I don’t believe any runner actually prefers the treadmill. It’s sometimes easier to talk yourself into a treadmill session if the weather isn’t so bad, but we’d all prefer to be outside wouldn’t we?
What’s the most memorable run you have ever done?
I ran on Fraser Island in Australia on a beach called 75-mile beach. It’s just crying out for an ultra marathon to be held on it. I only got a mile or so before I saw some dingo footprints and turned back having been told all day to avoid going anywhere by myself because of them.
In your opinion, can anyone run a marathon? Are certain people built for running?
I do think anyone who can run a few miles can run a marathon. Marathon runners aren’t born, they’re made. Having said that there’s no reason why you should run a marathon if you don’t fancy it – it’s not an entry requirement to being a ‘proper’ runner. Some people run long, some people run short. We’re all runners.
What are your top running tips for complete beginners?
Find a group or some friends to run with, take it easy on yourself and don’t compare yourself to others.
What would your advice be for people hoping to follow in your footsteps and make a career out of writing for the fitness industry?
I learn a lot from my beginner runners asking me questions. Always be open to learning new things and challenging what you think you know.
Finally, if you had to pick, what is your favourite song to run to?
In the last section of the ultra marathon I did, ‘Let it go’ from Frozen came on my headphones just as I turned a corner and could make out some London landmarks in the distance that marked the finish. I think there’s a line that goes ‘it’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small’, which seemed appropriate while running 42 miles. So for those reasons, I’ll go for that one.
Brilliant answer – thank you Laura!
If Laura has made you want to dig out those trainers and get running, why not take a look at the fitness courses listed and get inspired? What’s more, to find out more about Laura, have a read of her blog or keep up with her on Twitter.