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.
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?