An Interview with Ultra Runner Adam Holland; Will endurance trump experience?

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Teresa Leese; Total Motion Events; 26th September 2018                                             

Will endurance trump experience?                                                                 

Ahead of The Broadgate Tower Run Up race this November, we caught up with Adam Holland, ultra-marathon and endurance athlete who will participate in his first tower running race in the elite wave, going head to head with some of the best tower runners in the world. But the big question is: will endurance trump experience?

Adam has won more marathons/ultra-marathons than anyone else in the UK putting him in the top five in the world for number of marathon wins. So far he has run over 370 with 221 wins. Impressive stuff.

Adding to this, Adam is also the fastest person to run 10 marathons in 10 days, with an average time of 2 hours 45 minutes and is the England Athletic 50km champion for 2017. He has several Guinness World Records and will be going for another one early next year… there is no stopping this guy!

Running for a cause

One of the most admirable parts of Adam’s running conquests is not the fact he can run for days on end somehow mustering the mental and physical strength to keep going (although of course that is incredible), but the funds he raises for some wonderful causes. In 2016, Adam ran across the UK for the charity Run4Peace covering 1,900 miles in 25 days. He also ran on a treadmill for 48 hrs, covering 183 miles, the team raising £34,000 for charity.

Most recently, Adam has become an ambassador for Kids Run Free and his latest Guinness World Record breaking attempt will see him raising a large sum of money by not only running from John O’Groats to Land’s End but running back again (that’s 1,720 miles)! You can show your support by donating here. Every penny that Adam raises is being donated to Kids Run Free and will help educate children about the transformational power of physical activity.

Adam aims to complete the first leg as part of a group in 17 days, averaging 50 miles per day. On the way back, he will embark on a solo mission, aiming for a 9 day journey back to Scotland which would set a new Guinness World record.

Getting to know Adam

How important is it for kids to get into sport from an early age?

I think it is very important for kids to get into sport, not only for the health benefits exercise brings but helping them to understand the importance of healthy living and laying down the foundations of healthy habits early on in their lives. Sport also teaches children the importance of team work and perseverance; mental strength is as important as physical.

Did you run from a young age yourself?

I started running when I was at Primary school because my teacher organised a yearly run. When I first started, I was at the back of the group but by the time I reached Secondary School I was taking part in cross country and later at college I started winning events.

What made you chose to work with Kids Run Free?

I approached Kids Run Free as the charity is passionate about encouraging school age children to get active and most importantly have fun doing it. I hope that as their Ambassador I will inspire a new generation of runners.

When did running turn from being a hobby to something more serious?

I’m not sure if I ever thought of running as a hobby but I guess, when I was 20 and decided I wanted to run 100 marathons before the age of 28, that was when things got a little more exciting.

How do you keep yourself injury free – running so many miles so often must take its toll on the body?

This is a question I get asked often! Because I run so many miles, my body has built up a resistance to it and I know what my body is capable of. I definitely haven’t reached my full potential yet.

Among many other challenges, you managed to run 24 marathons in 17 days, please share your recovery secrets with us?!

I’ve also run eleven 10 in 10s- five of these in under 3 hours per marathon- I even threw in a few evening 5ks in between. Recovery for me involves not sitting down, walking, eating within the first 20 mins of finishing and going for a run the next day to stretch out my legs- You know, like another marathon…

What is your main piece of advice for someone taking on their first ultra?

Just enjoy it! I also think it is funny when someone says running an ultra eg. 100 miles is a long way. The long way is the many miles you put in before running it. As with anything difficult, people don’t see all the training that goes into an ultra.

Do you do any other sports for cross training or is it all run, run, run?

These days it’s all running but I am pretty good with a hockey stick and I used to do Rock n’ Roll jive. I have been known to have a little dance at the end of a race, after I won the Dartmoor Discovery Ultra in 2017 (32 miles) in 3:44:22, I went to the after party and that was my warm down.

You must go through tough moments in racing, what gets you through?

Yes, I have been through many tough challenges. When I am finding it hard going I think of all the support I have behind me, positivity from my family, friends in the running community and the online Facebook community who follow my exploits and crazy challenges. I am looking forward to posting the Tower Run on my Facebook page and seeing the response.

Speaking of the Broadgate Tower Run Up, we are excited for you to compete! Have you ever participated in a tower race before?

No! This is my first time.

What made you sign up for it?

I wanted a new, unique challenge and to see what I am capable of as I have no benchmark for tower running. Being able to raise money for Kids Run Free at the same time was an added incentive.

What does a typical training week look like and are you going to make any changes to your training in the build-up to The Broadgate Run Up?

I tend to run marathons or ultra’s at the weekends and may do 5k events during the week, so I don’t have a training schedule in between. I am worried now, maybe I should start running up staircases where ever I see them.

How do you think your experience as an ultra-runner will help you on the stairs?

I guess my mental endurance and physical stamina should help me to stay focused on achieving my goal but I have no idea what to expect. I guess I’ll just go for it and enjoy myself.

Clearly, Adam is one of the fittest men in the world right now and we love his ambition to challenge himself and try something new, all while inspiring the next generation and striving for a fitter, healthier world.

If Adam has inspired you to challenge yourself then why not join him at The Broadgate Tower Run Up this November. This event is open to all and is for all abilities. You can simply enter directly with us or raise money for a charity of your choice.

Challenge yourself today.

Sign up here.

Connect with Adam:

www.adamholland.uk

Facebook  | @adamtangoholland

Instagram | @tango5tavy

Twitter      | @tango5tavy

YouTube   | Adam Tango Holland