JULIA BLEASDALE

A professional athlete and Olympic runner, Julia Bleasdale placed 8th in the 5000m and 10,000m finals of the London 2012 Olympics, cementing her status as one of the top British born long-distance runners. Whilst adhering to a demanding training regime, Julia enjoys the dynamic nature of the trails, using the terrain to build her strength and develop her speed endurance. Holding dual-nationality, she is currently representing Germany internationally.

HOW ARE YOU GETTING ON WITH #RUN1000MILES?

My training is currently a combination of trail running, cross-country skiing, with the classic technique and gym work. Mixing skiing with running is new to me and, so far, has felt like a positive complementary duo! Gym work predominately focuses on keeping the body subtle, aligned and balanced. 

WHAT ARE YOUR BEST POST-RUN RECOVERY TECHNIQUES?

Living in Switzerland I do drink a lot of milk, which is the perfect post-run recovery drink. Stretching can easily be neglected and often in the afternoon following a run I will spend some time on the yoga mat seeing that all the muscles are somewhat in harmony!

WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED OUT ON THE TRAILS?

Spreading out a big map and seeking out the undiscovered trails motivates me no end. Revisiting routes in different seasons has the same effect, it is energising to observe the changed scene as well as the unseen.

ANY WORDS OF WISDOM FOR YOUR FELLOW #RUN1000MILES RUNNERS?

Be patient. There will be ups and downs, some weeks you will feel full of energy and others may be a struggle. It’s about the long view and looking back at the end of the year it will be worth the extra effort – that’s the beauty of goals.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT #RUN1000MILES?

#Run1000Miles is a wonderful target and a manageable challenge – let’s get together, inspire each other and do this! It’s good to set goals and it provides a fantastic opportunity to meet new friends and explore new trails as part of the process!

HOW FAR DO YOU USUALLY RUN EACH WEEK?

At my peak I was running up to 100 miles per week, of which 90% was away from tarmac, but right now it stands at around half of that. Currently, I am spending a significant amount of time in Switzerland so training also revolves seasonally, with less running but more snowshoe running and cross-country skiing in the winter months!

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT RUNNING 1000 MILES YOURSELF IN 2017?

I hope many of my #Run1000Miles will be traversing breathtaking landscapes, covering technical trails, running some big climbs and time spent sharing my joy for running with others.

HOW EASY/HARD DO YOU THINK THIS CHALLENGE WILL BE FOR YOU?

#Run1000Miles is certainly achievable, but the goal should give everyone a real incentive to plan a schedule and make the most of every running opportunity. One never knows when injury will strike or circumstances will change!

WHAT/WHO IS GOING TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED?

Just knowing that there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of runners taking up the challenge will be a motivating factor. I hope that I can also do my bit to help inspire everyone en-route when the going gets tough – we will definitely run better together.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL(S) SHOULD PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ON?

Find me on twitter @JuliaBleasdale and watch this space for a fresh new trail running blog for 2017!

DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE YOU WANT TO DIRECT PEOPLE TO?
 

strudel.run

This is a whole new running website which combines imagery, video and news content, coaching and training possibilities, with focus on the hidden trail running haven of the Engadin Valley in Switzerland.  

ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO TELL TRAIL RUNNING READERS BEFORE YOU START THE #RUN1000MILES CHALLENGE WITH THEM?

Just get involved, get fitter and explore trails further afield than you have ever done before as new places inspire you - 2017 is the year!

JEFF MCCARTHY

Jeff Mccarthy is the mind behind the award-winning blog ‘Run Eat Repeat’, which won Trail Running’s Best Reader Blog Award in 2015. His blog shares his passion for running and nutrition, including inspirational interviews from elite marathon runners. Despite dealing with Lyme Disease and Babasia, Jeff has continued to run across track, road, trail and fell, completing his very first ultra, the Ultimate Trails 55km, in June 2015. He is also a regular contributor to Trail Running magazine.

How have you been getting on with #run1000miles?

Absolutely superb! To see the sheer diversity of people that have signed up to #Run1000Miles from far and wide is amazing. We're mid January and already we have over 3 million miles pledged! Incredible.

what does your average training week look like?

Much more consistent than I thought it would. My trail and club runs are being complemented by 5k runs with my daughter who is really getting into running too. I'm doing around 20-25 miles a week at the moment which is miles more than I usually do.

any advice for readers struggling to fit in the miles?

Firstly, be kind to yourself. Fitting consistent running in isn't easy. If you have a dog, 'jog' her/him rather than walk. Can your kids join you? Can you get up 30 minutes earlier? Can your family offer more support? Can you run part of your commute? At the end of the day, a mile is a mile no matter what pace you're doing.

what's your essential kit list?

The main thing is obviously trail shoes. I was incredibly fortunate to win Inov-8 RaceUltra 270 and Terraclaw 250 shoes in the TRM Best Reader blog competition and they're both superb. My other favourite bit of kit for trails (when running in the UK anyway) is a decent base layer. Oh and a camera to take the odd shot of those incredible views (while enjoying a rest!).

how are you fuelling your 1000 miles?

For longer runs (over 10 miles) I take plenty of water. Plus some homemade energy balls and oat cakes. Banana too - always works for me. If you're on a long trail run, eat while walking very steep climbs - or once you're at the top enjoying the view!

any big events planned for this year?

With the exception of taking my wife and two kids on their first ever Lakeland Trails runs in May I haven't planned anything yet! I'm doing things more informally and will listen to my body. I'll definitely be doing other trail running events, plus I intend to join fellow #Run1000Miles ambassador Brendan Rendall for a day on his Wales Coastal Path adventure. Other than that, it will be a real mix of short trail events and maybe a first attempt at a classic fell route?

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT THE #RUN1000MILES IDEA?

It's a genuine challenge that we can all share and support each other with.

HOW FAR DO YOU USUALLY RUN EACH WEEK?

Embarrassingly, I only run about 6-10 miles per week at the moment, so a very big uplift in weekly mileage is needed for me!

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT RUNNING 1000 MILES YOURSELF IN 2017?

The biggest Christmas Dinner ever December 2017! Oh and a good rest. Any PBs will be a bonus.

HOW EASY/HARD DO YOU THINK THIS CHALLENGE WILL BE FOR YOU?

Very hard, no denying it. I haven't had that kind of consistent running for four years now so a little scary, but I hope to use that adrenaline as running fuel.

WHAT/WHO IS GOING TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED?

The readers of Trail Running magazine and others in the #Run1000Miles community. Being an ambassador there's an obligation to commit and stay motivated. No doubt the Trail Running team will cajole me too. Lastly, how positively my (ahem) running performance may benefit from this.

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SCUPPER YOU?

Family life is priority so I will need to work around that with very early runs etc. Also, whether or not I'm truly getting over chronic illness (Lyme Disease & Babasia). Staying injury free too, so plenty of stretching to be done.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL(S) SHOULD PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ON?

Twitter @RunEatRepeatuk
Garmin Connect: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/profile/jeffmclfc

DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE YOU WANT TO DIRECT PEOPLE TO?

http://runeatrepeat.co.uk/ Proud winner of your very own Best Reader Blog award 2015.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO TELL TRAIL RUNNING READERS BEFORE YOU START THE #RUN1000MILES CHALLENGE WITH THEM?

If I can do this, anyone can. We'll support each other day to day, week by week... I love to #getoutside so what better way to do it than #Run1000Miles on the trails!

VASSOS ALEXANDER

Vassos Alexander.jpg

Vassos Alexander is a TV presenter, radio broadcaster and author, best known for his work on BBC Radio 2 on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show as a sports reporter. Not content with standing on the sidelines, Vassos is also an avid runner and has competed in both ultra-marathons and triathlons, blogging regularly about his sporting exploits. His latest book Don’t Stop Me Now: 26.2 Tales of a Runner’s Obsession shares his athletic experiences and celebrates his growing obsession with running. 

what does your #run1000miles training look like?

I run my commute (about 7 miles each way) then take the dog for an hour in Richmond Park on my way to pick up my son from school. His school is conveniently right next to the park! So I usually get the miles in even if I do sometimes struggle to find the time for a properly long run.

do you have any advice for runners struggling to fit in the miles?

Genuinely, I've found the easiest way to fit in the miles is to run some or all of my commute. Or if you don't work, just fit running into your day. If you’re taking the car to the garage, run home afterwards and run back to pick it up. Or run to the supermarket instead of driving and take the bus home.

have you got any events planned for 2017?

Plans for the first half of the year, in order of appearance, include the Paris Ecotrail Ultra, the Virgin Money London Marathon and the Berghaus Dragon's Back Race in Wales.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT THE #RUN1000MILES IDEA?

I love the fact that it's an aspirational yet attainable target, the sort of thing that'll get people out of the door in their trainers even on a cold, dirty day in February.  

HOW FAR DO YOU USUALLY RUN EACH WEEK?

50 to 80 miles depending on what I'm aiming at. I run my commute which helps keep the miles ticking over. 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT RUNNING 1000 MILES YOURSELF IN 2017?

I'm planning on doing quite a few ultras in 2017, so (I hope this doesn't sound smug) I'm kind of wondering how soon I can hit the thousand...  

HOW EASY/HARD DO YOU THINK THIS CHALLENGE WILL BE FOR YOU?

I'm fairly confident I can notch 1,000 miles in 2017 but of course you never know. And my dodgy left knee might have other ideas!

WHAT/WHO IS GOING TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED?

 I'm fairly good at self-motivation. After all, I genuinely love running, so for me it's a pleasure to be out there. But whenever I'm tired or don't fancy it, our lovely Labrador Holly helps - she's always eager to get out for a run! 

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SCUPPER YOU?

I'm constantly relying on the kindness and patience of my dodgy left knee. I'm hoping it continues to play nice. Please play nice, knee!

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL(S) SHOULD PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ON?

 My twitter feed @vassosa

ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO TELL TRAIL RUNNING READERS BEFORE YOU START THE #RUN1000MILES CHALLENGE WITH THEM?

What a brilliant thing to be able to say next Christmas - that we ran 1,000 miles this year. So let's stick with this. Let's go for a run even when we don't feel like it. Let's run when it's cold. And dark. And wet. Let's go for a run right now! See you on the trails...

BRENDAN RENDALL

Famed for running the length of Malawi in just 27 days, Brendan Rendall raised over £35,000 for the charity FOMO: Friends of Mulanje Orphans. He has completed numerous races including the John O’ Groats to Lands End, which saw him clock up well over 700 miles and has set his sights on Hadrian’s Wall and the Wales Coastal Path in 2017. Recently selected Ordnance Survey #Getoutside Champion 2016, he hopes to share his passion for the outdoors with you.

how has #run1000miles been so far for you?

So 2017 has started really well. I was back in my home town Wincanton, Somerset for Christmas and New Year, which was a great way to start #Run1000Miles challenge, running in the beautiful Somerset countryside. I have started off very slowly, easing back into running after the amount of miles I covered last year.  

how are you finding fitting in the miles?

I was actually covering 40 miles a week before Christmas and felt great. However, since the New Year I have felt tired during running, so decided to reduce my mileage to 20 miles a week. My slow start has been due to a cold and I am currently on a course of antibiotics for tonsillitis. I am now feeling much better and hope to be back running by the end of the month. If other people are struggling to fit in the miles because of colds, other health issues or work commitments, just keep focused and try to get out and run as much as you can at every opportunity, even if its 1 mile, 3 or more. Over time we will all naturally be running further, so the miles we feel we are behind can be caught up quickly. 

What are your tips for running kit?

Essential kit for trail running is having enough water, a charged up phone, snacks and appropriate clothing for the weather. Maps can also come in handy, depending your route. There are a great range of bags that can carry all essential items, small medial bags etc.

HOW ARE YOU FUELLING #RUN1000MILES?

Those that joined me whilst running John O’ Groats to Land’s End last year know that I have my routine two pints of Lime and Soda on long runs. I’m more of a morning runner, so for me it’s a pint of water, banana and a coffee before a run. I eat a lot of porridge, fish, vegetables and fruit at the moment to try and reduce my weight. For longer mileage I eat lots of gnocchi, pasta, peanut butter and jam sandwiches and popcorn.

what keeps you motivated out on the trails?

I always think the days that you struggle the most, where you start slow, or you struggle to even leave the front door, gives you the biggest sense of achievement when you've done it. It’s the tough moments/days when we learn the most about ourselves. If I have tough days out on the trails for me music is a key player to keeping me focused. I always know that I'll feel great once I've achieved and overcome that tough moment. This also shows us how much further we can actually push ourselves. I also tend to slow down if I have a bad patch, get back into a good rhythm, enjoy my surroundings and remain focused. 

I love the quote: "Tough runs don't last, tough runners do".

what words of wisdom do you have for your fellow runners?

It’s not about being the fastest or reaching 1000 miles the quickest; it’s about reaching the goal together as one team and inspiring each other along the way.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT #RUN1000MILES?

The #Run1000miles challenge is such an incredible idea. Not only is it promoting people to get outside and become more active, but its pulling people together.

HOW FAR DO YOU USUALLY RUN EACH WEEK?

It depends on what challenges or races I have planned, so it does vary from 20 miles up to 80 miles per week, but on average I usually cover 40 miles a week. 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT RUNNING 1000 MILES YOURSELF IN 2017?

I’m really looking forward to being able to share #Run1000Miles and inspire people to join the challenge and share our runs. 

HOW EASY/HARD DO YOU THINK THIS CHALLENGE WILL BE FOR YOU?

The challenge should be quite straight forward for me as I am planning to run Hadrian's Wall and the Wales Coastal path in 2017, along with some other races.

WHAT/WHO IS GOING TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED?

Living in such a crazy time with technology, getting outside and enjoying the moment is hugely important and keeps me motivated. This summer I ran the length of Malawi and Great Britain. Achieving these feats have really inspired and motivated me to train harder and plan an even bigger challenge – so this challenge is a great motivator to remain focused. 

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SCUPPER YOU?

No. Even if I experience an injury I will still be focused to complete it, even if it means high mileage in the last week!

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL(S) SHOULD PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ON?

Twitter and Instagram @helpfomo35
Facebook - Brendan Rendall

DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE YOU WANT TO DIRECT PEOPLE TO?

Brendanrendall.com

ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO TELL TRAIL RUNNING READERS BEFORE YOU START THE #RUN1000MILES CHALLENGE WITH THEM?

Firstly, I am not a natural born runner. I only started running in 2006 after a drunken bet and a life of partying on the Manchester club scene (years of lost weekends), debt and being inactive. I was incredibly overweight and in my early 20s reached a 42" waist. I am very open about my battle with food, often binging and gaining weight. In March 2016 I was injured and reached 17st 2. In July 2016 I went on to run the full length of Malawi - 708 miles in 27 days, before heading back to the UK to run the famous John O’ Groats to Lands End, 962 miles in 35 days. Anyone sat at home thinking they can’t do it, I really am someone who shows that anything is possible with passion and drive.  

TOBIAS MEWS

Tobias Mews is an adventure journalist and athlete who has completed numerous endurance races around the world, many of which are explored in his book, 50 Races to Run Before You Die, a collection of some of his favourite races ranging from swim runs to multi-stage ultra marathons. His latest book Go! on sale in April, is an inspirational guide, encouraging others to challenge themselves and take to the trails.

how has #run1000miles been so far?

I’ve run almost 100 miles in the first two weeks of the challenge, so if I keep this up I’ll be finished by June!! It partly helped that I decided to do a Runstreak through January to kickstart the year.

what does an average training week look like for you?

No day is the same. I don’t follow any particular pattern or training plan. The idea behind the run streak is to do a minimum of 30 minutes every day. My runs range from 3-4 miles (often on hilly trails) right up to the 24 mile coast to coast self-supported adventure run I completed on holiday, across the mountainous spine of Cape Town. 

what's your advice for runners struggling to fit in the miles?

2.7 miles a day doesn’t sound very much. And it’s not. If you simply take 30 minutes out of your day for a run, you’ll easily make it. Race the commute to work by running it, meeting mates for a run rather than a coffee, running first thing in the morning before you get distracted or simply doing a run streak that forces you to do something every day - these all help. 

have you got any essential running kit?

Having just got back from sunny South Africa, where it’s blooming hot, the biggest challenge is the cold. Gloves, a buff, a windproof jacket and a head torch - all essential items to keep you warm and visible on your run. Anything else is just fluff. 

what's keeping you motivated out on the trails?

I’m not a quitter. In fact, of the 200 races I’ve done, I’ve only not finished one of them (a KIMM in 2005) - so when it gets tough, and invariably it does on a long run, I dig deep and remind myself how lucky I am to be able to do this.  

any big events planned TO HELP HUNT DOWN THOSE MILES?

I’m doing a few organised trail races, like the Grand Raid des Pyrenees (220km) but most of the challenges I’m doing are self-supported #GoRaceItYourself adventures with mates. I’m negotiating for a pink slip from the wife to run the length of the GR10 across the Pyrenees, but I’ve only got 2 weeks, so it’ll be a quick run. I’m also doing a number of hut to hut styled runs in the Pyrenees and the Alps. 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT #RUN1000MILES?

As someone who is not a fan of junk miles, for me #Run1000Miles is all about making each and every mile count. From a 1-mile best effort right up to a multi-day trail run, I see it as an opportunity to plan some fantastic routes and challenges that take me to new and exciting places.

HOW FAR DO YOU USUALLY RUN EACH WEEK?

It depends. If I’m training for a big race or event, then I’ll run up to 60 miles a week. Sometimes more. But on average, I’ll do 20-30 miles a week with another 70 miles worth of cycling. I tend to follow the 'race to train' motto where my big mileage is achieved by racing as much as I can. 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT RUNNING 1000 MILES YOURSELF IN 2017?

Having just written Go!, an inspirational guide to getting outside and challenging yourself, I’m looking forward to doing just that. Running is my default setting - and I love nothing more than exploring new trails under the guise of a challenge or adventure. I’ve already earmarked ancient trails between various castles once walked by kings and pilgrims to mountain peaks. 

HOW EASY/HARD DO YOU THINK THIS CHALLENGE WILL BE FOR YOU?

Ordinarily, I’d have said the challenge would be relatively easy. After all, it averages out at about 20 miles a week. And I’ve regularly run more than 1000 miles a year previously. But as I grow older with more distractions open to me away from the trails, it might be harder than I think.

WHAT/WHO IS GOING TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED?

I’m mainly motivated by the fear of failure. After more than 200 races, I’ve only ever once not finished, so I’m not going to give up - even if it means running a hundred miles on New Year’s Eve to make up the distance.  

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SCUPPER YOU?

As a new dad, my toughest challenge is balancing fatherhood with fitting in the miles. Children are like a vortex, where time can clip by in the blink of an eye.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL(S) SHOULD PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ON?

I use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. 

Twitter: @tobiasmews

Insta: @tobiasmews

Facebook:@Ultramews (www.facebook.com/ultramews)

DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE YOU WANT TO DIRECT PEOPLE TO?

I have an online adventure blog called www.hardastrails.com

ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO TELL TRAIL RUNNING READERS BEFORE YOU START THE #RUN1000MILES CHALLENGE WITH THEM?

Not off the top of my head. Did I mention that I’ve written several books?

ELISE DOWNING

Elise Downing is a writer, avid speaker and adventure athlete who is famed for running 5000 miles self-supported around the British coast. 301 days on the trail and 200 marathons later she is not only the youngest person, but also the only female to have completed the challenge. The result was a great British adventure, featuring her unquenchable penchant for cake! Since crossing the finish line in August 2016, Elise now speaks and writes about her experiences, encouraging others to get involved.

how has #run1000miles been so far?

I'm just about on track so far, although I have to admit it's been more challenging than I thought it would be to carve out the time to get it done. I've also been a bit under the weather with a cold, so it's been a slow start. I'm enjoying it though! My mum and dad have both signed up too and they're both steaming along. They have put me to shame!

what does an average training week look like for you?

I'm in the early stages of Spring marathon training at the moment. I've missed a few runs here and there because of the annoying cold, but I'm aiming for 5 sessions a week, with two easy runs, a long run, a speed session and a marathon pace tempo run. Last week was a bit different though as I headed off to Wales to go and explore some new trails, so that was less structured but still so much fun.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR RUNNERS STRUGGLING TO FIT IN THE MILES?

I recommend running to places! It really cuts down the time you need to allocate. That might mean running to the station, getting off the bus a bit earlier, running to the supermarket, running to the pub, running to work - I always try and run my errands. If I need to be semi-presentable when I arrive somewhere, I take a little rucksack with some wet wipes and deodorant, a hair brush and at least a clean t-shirt and jumper. There's nothing worse in the winter than being all cold and sweaty. If I'm running to work, I take a bigger bag with all my stuff for the day.

ANY EVENTS PLANNED FOR 2017?

At the moment I'm mostly training for the London marathon in April, and in doing so building up more of a base of running again, as last year was rather erratic for me. In June I'm tackling Endure 24 solo, where you have to run as many 5-mile trail loops as you can. I'm then hoping to get out and do some running in the mountains over the summer somewhere - open to any suggestions!

WHAT WORDS OF WISDOM YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE SIGNING UP?

That it can only get better! Winter can be a bit grim but it's starting to get lighter now, and all those dark mornings and nights will be worth it when you're galloping along in the summer.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT #RUN1000MILES?

I think it's awesome that #Run1000Miles is encouraging a balanced, consistent approach to running, rather than focussing on a short, intense challenge that leaves you completely wiped out. Running 1000 miles is a really attainable goal and we're going to achieve it by weaving a solid running habit into our lives over the course of the year. 

HOW FAR DO YOU USUALLY RUN EACH WEEK?

Since finishing my run around the coast, my running has been super erratic so I really can't pinpoint an average. I've been trying to rest and recover from my 5000 mile journey but equally there's just so much fun to be had. Running is a really social thing for me so it's hard to say no sometimes! Some weeks I'm running 50 or 60 miles, others barely 10, hence why I'm looking forward to getting a bit of stability back into my running routine during #Run1000Miles. 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT RUNNING 1000 MILES YOURSELF IN 2017?

I'm really looking forward to tracking my progress as I run through the changing seasons, from those first few chilly January runs, through to some sweltering summer miles and then back into autumn and winter again on the other side. For me running is about exploring and being outdoors much more than it is about just keeping fit, so I think that's going to be really special. 

HOW EASY/HARD DO YOU THINK THIS CHALLENGE WILL BE FOR YOU?

I feel reasonably confident about achieving it physically but I do often struggle to prioritise running in everyday life. When you're on a big adventure, it's kind of easy to fit it in because that's your sole focus and you're exploring somewhere amazing and beautiful. I find it hard to motivate myself to get up early before work and run the same old loop around the park, but it’s that dedication that makes all the difference.

WHAT/WHO IS GOING TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED?

I find social media really motivating so I'm hoping that sharing my #Run1000Miles journey online will help to keep me accountable and on track. I also do love a challenge. I don't think I'll be able to look myself in the eye if it gets to NYE 2017 and I haven’t clocked my 1000 miles. I also like to spend the hard runs thinking about all the extra treats I can have when I get home. It's a well known fact that running = more cheese (right...?!).

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SCUPPER YOU?

I mentioned that building more of a consistent running habit is something that I'm looking forward to, but equally it's definitely something I'm going to struggle with! 1000 miles averages out to just under 3 miles a day which is super achievable, but I'm often guilty of putting off running until "tomorrow" then life gets in the way and a month later I haven't ran a step. I'm hoping to change my ways but it's going to be difficult to break the habit of a lifetime. 

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL(S) SHOULD PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ON?

Facebook: Elise Downing (facebook.com/elisecdowning)

Twitter: @elisecdowning

Instagram: @elisecdowning

DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE YOU WANT TO DIRECT PEOPLE TO?

elisedowning.com

ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO TELL TRAIL RUNNING READERS BEFORE YOU START THE #RUN1000MILES CHALLENGE WITH THEM?

Enjoy it! That's definitely the most important thing for me.  

DARREN ONYEJEKWE

As a personal trainer and calisthenics coach Darren Onyejekwe, otherwise known as Bodyweight D, shares all things calisthenics, utilising his knowledge to help others build strength, increase endurance and push their bodies to new limits. He has collaborated with Men’s Health magazine and Elle magazine amongst others and is the co-owner of Exhale Festival. A keen runner, Darren has completed five half marathons and is currently training for his first full marathon in London, 2017.

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN GETTING ON WITH #RUN1000MILES?

So far, so good! It's definitely helped me to get out and running in the cold weather.

WHAT DOES YOUR AVERAGE TRAINING WEEK LOOK LIKE?

At the moment, it consists of 3/4 days running with the aim of accumulating 30km. In addition, I do 2/3 strength training sessions per week.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR RUNNERS STRUGGLING TO FIT IN THE MILES?

Use your lunch break to get some miles in. I'm able to fit in 6km during my hour lunch. If you can do that a few times a week the miles will start to add up.  

WHAT ARE YOUR BEST POST-RUN RECOVERY TECHNIQUES?

Ideally I like to stretch for 10 minutes or so post-run. Post-run you want to perform static stretches as opposed to dynamic stretches which you'd perform pre-run. Stretching should aid recovery and reduce stiffness in the muscles.

HOW ARE YOU FUELLING YOUR 1000 MILES?

I'm not an expert when it comes to nutrition, but I certainly don't do anything different for the distances that I'm covering at the moment (5km - 12km). For my morning runs, I eat breakfast 45 minutes before I set off and normally refuel with a homemade protein shake (no supplements). 

WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED ON THE TRAILS?

My dad battles prostate cancer and a rare blood disorder every day. No matter how tough it gets on the trail I know it's nothing compared to what he goes through on a daily basis.

aNY WORDS OF WISDOM FOR PEOPLE TAKING ON #RUN1000MILES?

Go at your own pace. Be inspired by others in the challenge who are clocking up some impressive mileage early, but don't feel like you need to try and keep up. It's a challenge to keep you running for the entire year and maintain your fitness. It's not a race. 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT THE #RUN1000MILES IDEA?

I like the fact that the challenge lasts for a whole year. It’ll give people something to really focus on during 2017.

HOW FAR DO YOU USUALLY RUN EACH WEEK?

Anywhere between 10-20k a week, which is a mixture of steady state running and track sessions.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT RUNNING 1000 MILES YOURSELF IN 2017?

I’ve really embraced running over the past 18 months so I’m excited to see what I can accomplish in 2017. I think this challenge will help keep me on track.

HOW EASY/HARD DO YOU THINK THIS CHALLENGE WILL BE FOR YOU?

If I’m totally honest, I think it’s going to be pretty tough! I¹m always up for a challenge though!

WHAT/WHO IS GOING TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED?

My main driving force will be my dad; he’s got Prostate cancer. Every time I struggle with any physical activity I just think of what he goes through every day, which gives me an additional boost. Also, he’s the most positive man you’ll ever meet so he’ll be encouraging and supporting me along the way. Aside from my dad, my wife and Run Dem Crew will provide me with constant motivation. 

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SCUPPER YOU?

Presuming I can stay injury free, I think the only thing that might scupper me is my other training. I like to train calisthenics three to four times a week, so I’m going to have to plan my week very carefully to make sure I fit everything in.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL(S) SHOULD PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ON?

Instagram - @bodyweight_d

DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE YOU WANT TO DIRECT PEOPLE TO?

www.bodyweightd.com

ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO TELL TRAIL RUNNING READERS BEFORE YOU START THE #RUN1000MILES CHALLENGE WITH THEM?

Yes, lets make sure we talk and engage with each other. This is a tough challenge but it’ll be made easier if we encourage and motivate each other. Social media is a great tool; you can post updates of your runs, interact and connect with your fellow readers. If the opportunity presents itself, get out and run with people. Running can be a pretty isolated activity so why not clock up some miles with new or old friends.

CHARLIE WATSON

A keen marathon runner and healthy living blogger from London, Charlie Watson has run the London, New York and Chicago marathons to name but a few and hopes to one day tick off Boston from her marathon bucketlist. She is the voice behind the popular blog ‘The Runner Beans’, which paces the way to a healthier lifestyle, sharing running tips, fitness exercises and race recaps to inspire others.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT THE #RUN1000MILES IDEA?

I've never tracked my annual mileage and love the idea of having a target for the year, rather than just a marathon cycle. Every mile counts! 

HOW FAR DO YOU USUALLY RUN EACH WEEK?

It depends on what I'm training for, during marathon training it's about 30 miles a week, otherwise between 15-20 miles. 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT RUNNING 1000 MILES YOURSELF IN 2017?

It's such a huge milestone, I'm looking forward to seeing if I can smash it and encourage others to join me! Even if they just walk 1000 miles! 

HOW EASY/HARD DO YOU THINK THIS CHALLENGE WILL BE FOR YOU?

I'm training for both London and Tokyo marathons so I'm sure I'll meet the target fairly easily. However, later on in the year, especially around my honeymoon, my weekly mileage will be quite low! 

WHAT/WHO IS GOING TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED?

I love a challenge where you can tick off your achievements as you get closer to your goal. I really want to run a BQ before I'm 30 so each run feels like a step closer to that goal. 

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SCUPPER YOU?

Wedding and honeymoon plans! 

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL(S) SHOULD PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ON?

Instagram, twitter and Facebook.

DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE YOU WANT TO DIRECT PEOPLE TO?

www.therunnerbeans.com 

ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO TELL TRAIL RUNNING READERS BEFORE YOU START THE #RUN1000MILES CHALLENGE WITH THEM?

I did my first trail race on Saturday and I am hooked – I would love their recommendations for trail races around Berkshire/Oxfordshire - tweet me @charliedwatson

LUCJA LEONARD

From non-runner to multi-stage ultras, Lucja Leonard is relatively new to the running game after taking it up to get fit back in 2005. From shy beginnings of 5k and 10k runs, she now explores the world through running, competing in events such as the Marathon Des Sables and Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon. An accomplished ultra-runner and running coach, she is also the founder of Edinburgh Run Tours, designing tours for runners of all abilities.

how are you getting on with #run1000miles?

It's been a great start! I've really enjoyed the interaction on social media, which is motivating everyone to get out and join in the challenge. And the community is growing daily!

what does an average training week look like for you?

My average training week is pretty full on. I train 6 days a week, which includes is at least one session of hill repeats, speed, strength and a long run. My mileage increases as I build towards an event, which results in some days being double training sessions before and after work, but ALWAYS with a rest day.

do you have some advice for runners struggling to fit in the miles?

Have a real honest look at your time schedule, where you are wasting time watching TV or sitting on social media (guilty!) and use that time to get out for a run. Look to combine 'jobs' with a run?  Can you run to work, or get off the bus/train a few stops earlier and run? Need to pick something up at the shops, run there and back? If you are still short for time, get up half an hour or an hour earlier and head out for a few miles.

what's your essential running kit?

I don't hit the trails without a few basics in one of my Ultimate Direction running bags, including a first aid kit with safety blanket, emergency food & water, head torch, waterproof jacket and layers to keep warm. I will always have my Suunto watch on me to track my run, as well as maps and a good pair of trail shoes that work for you.

any big events coming up in 2017?

Where do I start! I'm a self-confessed race junkie! So far I have got the following:

February - Endurance Life Northumberland Marathon 

March - Tizi n Trail, which is a 3 day race in Morocco of about 20-25km per day

April - The Highland Fling in Scotland, 53 miles of the first half of the West Highland Way

September - Ben Nevis Ultra 110k

And no doubt the months in between will fill up soon!

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT #RUN1000MILES?

It's an achievable but stretching target for most people, a goal to focus on throughout the year. A target of running 1,000 miles gives everyone a chance to prioritise and build a healthy routine that will become part of their lives.

HOW FAR DO YOU USUALLY RUN EACH WEEK?

I usually run 40-80 miles a week, it depends on what I'm training for.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT RUNNING 1000 MILES YOURSELF IN 2017?

I'm looking forward to being part of a journey for others. I hope that I'll be able to inspire and motivate even just one person to make small changes to their lifestyle to keep them fitter, happier and healthier.

HOW EASY/HARD DO YOU THINK THIS CHALLENGE WILL BE FOR YOU?

Barring catastrophic injury, reaching the 1,000 miles will be the easy part, the hard part will be getting others involved and keeping them motivated.

WHAT/WHO IS GOING TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED?

I'm a very good self-motivator, but take inspiration from others stepping outside their comfort zone.

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SCUPPER YOU?

Injury, nothing else, I love running and I love the feel good feeling it brings me.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL(S) SHOULD PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ON?

Twitter and Instagram as @runningdutchie

DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE YOU WANT TO DIRECT PEOPLE TO?

 www.runningdutchie.org

ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO TELL TRAIL RUNNING READERS BEFORE YOU START THE #RUN1000MILES CHALLENGE WITH THEM?

This challenge is so achievable for everyone, whether you are just starting out or an experienced runner needing some added motivation, just tell yourself that you can, and you will!