‘In the Pen’ is our series of interviews with runners who inspire the Lonely Goat Running Club community. We’ve spoken with elite athletes, authors, podcasters, CEOs, coaches, and adventurers. For this edition, we hear from television presenter and runner, Rachel Stringer.
As a teenager in the noughties, Rachel was a seriously quick junior athlete. She won gold medals at the English Schools Championships and represented England and Great Britain internationally. Her 1500m best is a ridiculously rapid 4’30”!
Injury and illness while at university interrupted Rachel’s athletic goals, and resulted in a change of focus which has led to a career in broadcast media. Now, without the pressure of elite competition, Rachel runs for fun and fitness and has a different relationship with the sport.
We’re grateful to Rachel for taking the time to answer our ‘In the pen’ interview questions and share her experience with The Herd…
Why do you run?
I’ve ran since I was 12 years old and have pretty much been running since then. It gives me space to think, has given me a community, friends, travel and the ability to work hard in order to achieve goals.
The lessons I learn from running make me a better person in life. I’ve always been “Rachel who runs” and that will never change.
What motivates you?
In life I am motivated to be content and happy and I think running adds massively to that. It gives me the outlet that I need to decompress after a long day at work.
In running, I am motivated to always be a runner, have more running adventures and hopefully one day break sub-3 for the marathon.
What are your top tips for beginner runners?
Start slowly and do not worry what anyone else is doing.
Oh, and it is also fine to walk and run… just so long as you are moving.
What is your favourite place to run?
Along the South Bank in London if I am at home but any mountains or trails. I’ve been to Chamonix in the Alps a few times and running there is stunning and such an adventure.
Where would you like to run that you haven’t?
I would love to run the New York City Marathon. I went to New York just before lockdown and loved it. I would love to run in that city.
Do you have any favourite running books?
I’m currently reading Wim Hof’s book, The Wim Hof Method, and have just finished Robert Iger’s The Ride of a Lifetime. They’re not books about running, but both can be related back to running in some way.
What did you used to do that you don’t do now?
I’m ashamed to say that I don’t warm up these days and I don’t really do any stretching. I did get into hot yoga which I thought was technically stretching, but lockdown put an end to that.
What result are you most proud of?
Back when I ran more seriously I was most proud of my age group best time for 800m indoors (as an under 20), and then getting the Silver medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games behind Caster Semenya in 2008.
Now I am just proud that I still run and enjoy it. That’s the biggest thing for me.
Who inspires you?
It may sound a bit clichéd, but I am inspired by anyone who runs.
It isn’t always easy to motivate yourself to get out the door, or to find the time to fit in a run, so I love to see other runners out on the street. It gets me motivated.
Are you a parkrunner?
I’m not a regular parkrunner as I work lots of weekends, but when I am back at my parents’ in Norfolk I like to pop down to the Blickling Hall Estate parkrun. It’s two loops with a ‘nice’ uphill stretch to start, which really gets you working hard from the offset.
Music or silence when running?
I like listening to music or chatting with friends.
What do you like about running on your own?
I like that it gives you time to think and, for me, lets me be creative.
I come up with lots of ideas on a run and I stop and make a voice note to myself so I don’t forget them.
What is your next challenge?
They keep getting postponed but I’d like to run around Guernsey. I think it is 35-ish miles around, so a nice little day adventure.
How can people follow you online?
Thank you Rachel!
We hope you enjoyed our chat with Rachel Stringer.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next ‘In the Pen‘ interview, coming soon…