Other than sit down, lie down and eat copious amounts of chocolate flapjack I’m not quite sure what I wanted to with myself when I finished the London Marathon this year. However, I can tell you what I didn’t want to do and that was run another inch, let alone another marathon.
However, this is what Rob Young does day after day. In fact, he has run 417 Marathons and ultras in 417 days and smashed world records in the process.
Lucozade Sport help keep Rob on the go and they invited me to come down to Victoria Park to meet Rob and go for a run. No pressure then…
It was great to meet some of the other bloggers such as the lovely Sweat and Swagger and journalists present, because, the familiar and gorgeous face of Inna aside, we were all new to one another and it is incredible how something as simple as running can get a group of people talking so openly. We set off for a lap of Victoria Park, introduced ourselves and chatted about why we there and what brought us to want to run.
It is this want to run, rather than habit of running, that made the evening so special. Whilst what Rob does is extraordinary – to recap he has run 11,500+ miles, it is his drive for doing it that is truly inspirational. It is clear that Rob isn’t a fitness freak who got out of hand nor a competitive self-improver trying to achieve more to beat the rest of the field – if you needed proof he even runs in a kilt…
For Rob running is profoundly positive and unagenda-ed experience. He uses it to demonstrate strength of character as well as strength of body. Having experienced a highly difficult childhood Rob hopes that by sharing his story he may inspire others with similar experiences to help them hold on and move on. In addition to this he has raised a phenomenal amount for charity.
Whilst he knows running may not be for everyone he thinks children (and I think grown ups too though I’m still not sure that I count as one of those) need to just keep trying different things until they sync up with something that they’re good at and enjoy and know is right for them, and then stick with it. Finding that passion creates a crucial lifeline for when the going gets tough.
I know a lot of people will think that running as much as Rob does is not a viable option for them – though he’d like to convince you that it actually takes the body and mind a month to adapt and anyone can do it – but regardless of your life or sporting goals Rob can be an inspiration for you in three big ways.
Rob has endured a lot, both as an individual and as Marathon Man UK. This in itself is a massive source of motivation – to know that even when things feel really really bad you can and have to just keep on going. Hold on and hold on tight.
Making the impossible possible
I would not advise running a marathon without training for one, but Rob is proof that advisory limitations and beliefs should never be a barrier to setting a goal. People often say that a goal is a dream with a plan – clearly there are no need to separate your goals from your dreams.
Rob said that when he knew he’d set a record that he felt excited, but ready for the next challenge. Always take pride in what you do and never forget what you’ve achieved, but definitely keep dreaming and setting goals. I personally felt a bit bereft without the Virgin Money London Marathon 2015 as my goal , I felt restless and unable to look forward when I was constantly looking back… so I’ve set the new, yet familiar, goal: running it again.