When catching up with this weeks podcast legend James Stewart we were blown away by several wonderful things that he shared. Firstly that his story starts in the roots of so many others - being overweight, struggling with overall fitness/motivation and "turning back" to running as something which has helped in the past. Secondly he witnessed (what turned out to be an ultramarathon) a race near his home where the other runners weren't necessarily the lean machines that we associate with running races. His first few races weren't all successes either.
However at this point James threw himself into learning more about both himself and his ability to influence his own running. He read and listened to as much content as he could get his hands on (like many others the two books that stood out were Scott Jurek's Eat & Run and Christopher McDougall's Born to Run) but he took the time to speak to the people and this curiousity as well as dedication saw James catapult himself from beginner to Team GB athlete.
We also had the pleasure of speaking to the founder or joggingbuddy.com Tony Piedade. You could be forgiven for not instantly seeing the connection between a worldclass long distance runner and someone looking for a running companion on jogging buddy but as Camino founder Darren Strachan shares - "I think there’s a brilliant crossover story in the episode with James Stewart. He went from “seeing some runners on a canal” to “I think I’ll give that a go” to "GB international ultra runner" in the space of 4 years.
As the title of this blog post states - if you want to "go far - go together". This philosophy is steeped in the ultrarunning community. We are grateful to Tony and joggingbuddy for their promotion of safe and supportive running. Here are some thoughts from Tony:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”
This African proverb always rings in my head when I think about what it takes to go on a run. For some, “far” can be as little as 3km. For others, their calling is the adventure of a long trail or Ultra run. While some people enjoy the solitude or running, few can argue with the improvements that you get from running with other people. That is why I launched www.joggingbuddy.com 11 years ago.
JoggingBuddy.com is a platform that helps people buddy-up with someone to walk, jog and run with. Launched in 2009, we now have members in over 100 countries and includes a wide spectrum of runners, from those following a walk-jog program to those looking for training partners for marathons and beyond. Don’t be put off by the name, some of our runners are quite experienced.
Over recent months, we have seen a huge growth in Trail and Ultra running amongst our JoggingBuddy community. Covid has given people the opportunity to rebalance their lives and invest time, where they would otherwise be stuck on a train, into their own health and wellbeing. With this has come with the headspace to dream and for many, to return to long held ambitions to achieve. For some, this might be a half marathon, for others, a Marathon or even more.
There are a number of benefits to having a buddy. The obvious is the motivation, camaraderie, friendship and of course, safety, which might help to explain the fact that women make up 53% of our membership. Specifically, for very long distance running, finding a buddy to train with is great idea, days can be long and training is most certainly intense. With our network of members now spanning over 100 countries, we are now uniquely in a great position to help runners to stick with their training plans by buddying them up with someone where they live, where they work and when they travel (domestic and international).
Finding a buddy is simple and totally free. Just type in your postcode! We never give out your full name, your address or your email address. You can search and connect with buddy’s securely using our messaging system. Come and join us, you can log your mileage and be part of a great global community helping to get people active.