In the lead up to the Shepparton Travel & Cruise Four Vines Running Festival we'll be checking in with athletes as prepare for their races. We'll try and find out what motivates them and why they run and we'll try have some fun with it too! In our first installment we thought it would be fitting to learn about the first athlete to register for Four Vines. Introducing Brett Smith:
So Brett, How long have you been running and how did you get your start?
I have been running on and off (mostly off) for the past 14 years, but have been running consistently for almost 2 years now. I started out using the Couch to 5km programs. In the beginning I couldn't even run a bath, but the Couch to 5km program was a massive boost for me. Once I completed the program, my next motivation quickly became a desire to find out what was around the next corner, and then the next corner. So I had to be able to run further to answer those questions.
Good stuff, why do you run?
Like everyone else, I am addicted to it - I didn't meant to become addicted but I did. Walking was the gateway exercise to my running addiction. Now I just l love that running is personal. It doesn’t matter that someone might be faster than me or can run longer distances than me, what matters to me is that I improve against my own standards. It is also littered with great life lessons. You really do only get out what you put in. The harder I have trained, the easier my races have been. When I have been slack or injured or just not training well, my races suffer. You can’t fake it. It is a lesson I can pass on to my kids, especially with how it applies to their school work.
What motivates you to keep running or to get through tough races?
Within reason, “not giving up” is a great lesson to share with people. There are also times when things get tough that I will think about some of the sessions I have done with TXR Runners. Like if I have a kilometre to go in a race and I am really struggling , I will think about how I can push through doing kilometre repeats during training sessions and that being uncomfortable and hurting is sometimes part of the race. I am also motivated by being able to post photos on Instagram so I can humblebrag about my achievements.
Just wait for your photos from Four Vines! Which event will you be running at Four Vines?
I have entered the Nokkon Half Marathon which It will be my first road half-marathon. I haven’t decided on my training approach for the run yet, but I have started on the training plan for the wine drinking.
Atleast there's a plan! What is your favourite event and why?
Honestly, I try not to play favourites with events. I like to play the field and get around. So my favourite event is whatever event I have signed up for next. Mainly because I know I’ll have some running friends there and the vibe pre-race is always fun.
It's all about the vibe, vibe in where you run is important, where is your favourite place to run and who do you run with?
Westerfolds Park / Candlebark Park and surrounds. When I first started running it was always through Candlebark Park alongside the Yarra River. There is something magical about the place, and it is amazing in the depths of winter when the fog settles in early in the morning. It also has enough elevation to challenge you no matter your effort, always keeping you honest with nowhere to hide.
TXR Runners are my main group. With TXR Runners the sessions are focused on all the various interval training sessions. There are amazing runners who all work hard and motivate each other as well as plenty of variety across the sessions. We have people of different paces, training for different things, training for different distances. We also like to get stuck into each other as well, the runs are always focused on fun and good humour. I also flirt with Lysterfield Trail Runners on the odd occasion too, because Lysterfield Lake is a pretty special place to run in and they know the tracks backwards. Which is handy for some of the Strava segments.
Apart from running in a group or loading runs on Strava, for someone starting out, what advice would you give?
a. If you are a morning runner, please allow up to 45 minutes after your morning coffee before you head out for your run. You should have pooped by then.
b. Wear different tops when you run so you look different in your photos.
So it's all about the photos, hey, do you have a set pre run meal?
My races tend to be 5-10kms in distance. So nothing substantial is really required. Coffee (see previous question), water and some grapes for a 5km race or a slice of toast with peanut butter and honey if it is up to 10kms.The night before I will eat whatever is on offer, providing I can enact the outcome of the previous question without difficulty.
Speaking of grapes, what is your favourite wine?
I do love a good Shiraz, but anything from the Goulburn Valley region is amazing.
Awesome, you'll be at home at Four Vines, thanks for chatting Brett, where can we find you on the socials?
@runnalittle on Instagram.