Get to know 2023 Road Runners Coach, Paul

Everyone meet Paul: One of our '23 coaches behind the programmes and our head coach for our Thursday Road Runners sessions.

How is your personal running journey going?

Running for me has had its ups and down. It used to be my happy place where i could switch off from the world and just run for miles. I found it effortless. But after years of football and training for triathlons my knees started to take a beating and in crept Patella tendinopathy, bringing some of those to a halt. I was gutted!! Running was my thing, so not being able to run, hop, lunge or jump was devastating.

Over the last few years I have worked on my rehab and I am back to running pain free. This year my goal is to complete the Auckland half marathon. Usually I would have a PB's to attack but not this year. Keep my ego at home and run for fun with some buddies.

What has been some of biggest personal acheivements in running?

Running the the Routeburn trail with 3 of my best mates. Absolutely stunning! Any excuse to spend time with friends and I'm in. This time it just involved running 32km.

My first Half Ironman: In 2015 I decided to sign up to my first ever half ironman. Having done very little road riding and virtually no swimming, I dusted off my 9 year old road bike and bought a swim wetsuit. After 6 months training, I finally completed my first half iron in 5 hours 50mins. This is where the triathlon bug started.

Podium finish Queenstown 10km - This was a race I had no expectations and zero training. I turned up at the start line and literally ran my socks off. Not a smart move. I was sore for days afterwards. Lesson learnt.

What motivates you to run?

1) People - I love being social so there is no better way to start a day or finish an evening than to run with friends. Its also a great enviroment to meet like-minded people.

2) Paul time - When my social battery or energy is low an easy jog with some music or podcast in my ears helps me recharge.

3) Events - signing up and training for something. This gives me a structure and a why behind my running.

What does FAT ROAD RUNNERS mean to you?

Being part of a community full of like-minded people. Putting my time and effort into something that I am passionate about and drives me to me a better me. Meeting new people - friends, clients, businesses. Bring people together through movement. Running is more than just a training session. Its friendships, laughter, coffee dates, support, accountability, connection, and almond croissants.

What is your most memorable run?

For me my most memorable run was the routeburn for many reasons.

1. It is beautiful! I can't explain how magical this track is; there is a reason why its one of NZ's great walks.

2. There wasn't a set pace that we had to run at, no PB's trying to be made that day. Just 4 lads and their backpacks full of sandwiches, scroggin and jet planes (we even just used the water falls to rehydrate).

3. The challenge. Even though there was no expected time to finish, this didn't mean it was easy. 32km of steep terrain and 1500m of elevation made this a very tough run.

What are your top 3 advices for people willing to start or re-start running?

1. Find your purpose and your why. Whether it's Friends, PB's, Goals, or just how it makes you feel, finding you purpose will keep you on track and will always bring you back to why you started in the first place.

2.Start off small. It's easy to get caught in the trap of running too much too quickly. I know it feels great to get those extra km's in but I promise the body will thank you later. Build up slowly and take the small wins.

3. Enjoy it!! Run with friends, grab coffees, listen to podcasts or your favourite tunes. Whatever makes you smile.