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?
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.