Look in the mirror. THAT’s your competition.

Ok quick confession, the title of this post isn’t mine, I saw it on the @benlionelscott Instagram account but it perfectly sums up why I love running in public races.

I’ve been running for over 20 years, way before YouTube was invented so this is NOT just something that I’ve seen Casey Neistat do. No. Running has always been my preferred form of exercise.

I’ve got a gym membership but I’m never been especially motivated by the idea of lifting weights. Sure I believe that strength is an important part of overall fitness and indeed for running, but honestly I get bored pretty quickly in a gym.

But outdoor running, taking in the sights, smells, and sounds of the world as you put one foot in front of the other and log kilometre after kilometre under your own power is something I’ve become a little bit addicted to.

If you’ve followed my channel for a while you’ll know my background is in Technology, which is probably another reason why I love to run. Tracking and analysing my runs nowadays is so easy. I love to see trends in my pace, assess my heartrate, see where I could pick up some extra time and compare how I’m performing now to when I did that same run two years ago.

Stats galore on Garmin Connect

I’m often asked what watch (which watch?) I wear when flying or running. It’s actually the same one – a Garmin Forerunner 935. This isn’t a sponsored post, but I like to share the tech that I find useful to help you with your buying decisions hence the plug.

Garmin Forerunner 935 – on the start line for the Blackmore’s Sydney Half Marathon

I love this watch for many reasons, but mainly for me it’s a) the integration with Garmin Connect and Strava on my iPhone (two of the best apps I’ve used for tracking and analysing performance), b) the battery life is insanely good (I charge it probably once a week at most), and c) I can add watch faces to display time in UTC which I use when flying.

By tracking my performance, I can set myself targets, and that’s what I use on public runs to compare myself to the only person on track whose time I care about – me.

Over 30,000 friends on the streets of Sydney

This gives me the ultimate freedom when running. I don’t care if someone 20 years older whizzes past me in the last 5K (happened yesterday), I don’t care if someone clearly faster than I’ll ever be does the race in half my time (also happened yesterday). I only care that the time I get in this race is better than my last. That I am beating old me. That I’m staring at that competition in the mirror at 4am on the morning of the race and saying, “if I just push a little harder, squeeze out one second per Km, I WILL beat you”.

And I did.

I ran my fastest Sydney Half Marathon yesterday. I believe I came around 2,800th out of 10,000 as well but that’s not the stat that I will take away with me. The only number I have in my head now is the time I ran yesterday, because when I look in the mirror before the Melbourne half-marathon next month, that’s the time that he got, and THAT’s the time I know I need to beat.

Watch the Sydney Half Marathon vlog


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