“Sport has always been a part of my life, and the 20k is something I wanted to do for a long time – but it so nearly didn’t happen.
“I started playing basketball at the age of eight and grew up dreaming of the NBA, and for 10 years I managed to combine work and basketball competition. But in 2013, injury stopped me in my tracks: I tore the lateral ligaments of my knee and had to stop all activity.
“After several months of rehabilitation, my knee was OK again, but I had lost my motivation. The realities of everyday life – not least work and my little boy growing up – had undermined my passion for sport.
“It was only when I joined Aspria that sport became a pleasure again. I began to train with the goal of running the 20k.”
He continues: “When you return to sport after some time off, it’s easy to pick up injuries or feel demoralised. I realised I needed structure and support – a framework for my training – if I was going to achieve the results I wanted.
“My personal trainer at Aspria, Lyes, is an athlete who managed my progress perfectly. He made me realise that running isn’t just about lacing up your sneakers and hitting the roads: we’ve also done plyometrics to strengthen the joints and muscles involved in running. We’ve worked on endurance, muscle mass, reflexology. No two workouts have ever been the same, so I never get bored, and each session has been tailored to my exact needs.
“All of this helped me avoid injury, so I could train efficiently and prepare for the race in a very short time. And I’ve achieved goals I could never have achieved alone – I far exceeded my expectations in the 20k, completing it in a time of 1h46.”
He concludes: “I’ll keep up with my sport, as I’ve found it gives me more energy to juggle family and work commitments. I get to work off my stress and I sleep better too.
“Plus I now have a taste for new challenges and adventures. Lyes thinks it’ll be a triathlon for me next!”