Spotlight on... Kevin Gardener

What are your future running goals?

More marathons and hopefully at least one sub 4 hours. Trying to get closer to 40 minutes on a 10k rather than 45. In the next 6 years (before turning 40) to take part in and complete an ultra marathon. I have been looking at the round the Wight challenge.

Do you have any running experiences you'd care to forget?

Only a couple, my worst run was Lymington this year. I was only 10 seconds off my PB but had a real battle with my body for 4 of the 6 miles but I have learned a lot from it. I have to say my worst experience though was the toilets at Endure - nothing more to be said on that one. 

What's the most valuable piece of running advice you've ever been given?

Can't say I have had much advice apart from the normal pace yourself. I've read a book called the Chimp paradox which is all about psychology so there are a few techniques in it which I’ve picked up on and use like trying to keep positive when you're finding it tough on a run.

What keeps you out of trouble Monday to Friday?

I work weekdays in an office based at Minstead during the week doing a variety of different jobs. 

Finally, which other Totton Running Club member do you most admire?

I would say the coaches that give up their time to train us all but in particular for me the ones I have worked with over the past couple of years - Andy Gates pushed me along when I was in group 3 then Sean D, Kylie and Neil when running in group 2. 

Tell us a bit about your running history

I started running about 6 years ago. At the time I was over 17 stone so I decided that I should try and get fit. I started by training on the treadmill convinced I wouldn't enjoy running outside so it took 6 months before I made it into the forest for a run, now I can't even look at a treadmill.

When and how did you come to join Totton Running Club?

I ran a marathon in 2013 on the back of my own training and in the months after I really struggled for the motivation to get back out again. I asked Gemma about the club as I'd seen a few posts on Facebook about the training. I joined in February 2014 by just turning up to a few of the training sessions and that got me back into it again.

How often do you train and what sessions do you do outside of the club?

I try and train as much as I can with the club as long as I can make it to the session around work. I don't do much outside the club but if I do it normally involves just doing a run around Totton or the forest.  

What is your running highlight so far?

I could go with the normal completing a marathon but there is also covering the 35 miles at Endure that is up there as it's still so fresh in the mind. Completing the Great South run was also one as that at the time that was my longest distance and my first race. 

Which is more satisfying... going for a training run or running a race?

Both can be satisfying, a good training session can be as satisfying as a race for me, you just don't get a medal round your neck at the end of a training session.

Where do you like to run and have you anywhere particularly memorable?

I like running in the forest, we're so lucky to have it on our door steps, you can go out and not see anyone else for miles. It beats running through a city next to all the traffic which I used to do while living in Southampton. I ran the Great North last year as it was on my 'to do' list, it was quite special to have the Red Arrows flying above and also running over the Tyne Bridge. 

Do you have any other passionate interests?

We've just moved into a new house so improving my DIY skills at the moment. I'm a Tottenham fan so like to keep up with them as well as most other football going on along with the Rugby internationals

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