Name: Rikki Prince
How/when did you start running? Do you have a background in other sports?
In 2004 I was working in London on a sandwich year during university. One of my colleagues saw in the Metro that Nike were organising something called Run London, which in 2004 was a night time 10k through central London. He suggested that a group of us sign up, and I thought long distance running would be a good way to improve my fitness for football.
I kept doing Nike’s 10k races each year (even doing two in one day in 2006 when I couldn’t decide if I was “north” or “south”), but didn’t do a lot of running as my time was taken up by other pursuits (such as football, archery and tennis). I did a few other local races, and eventually I decided I wanted to get better at running, started reading more about it, doing more in my training that just run.
I guess the significant turning point was when I got a GPS watch for my birthday in 2010. At that point the distance I ran, and the pace I ran at became numbers I could manipulate: there was more obvious feedback as to whether I was improving or not. Later that year I discovered the parkrun at Eastleigh, which again gave me more regular feedback as to my progress.
How long have you been a member of LRR?
Since October 2012 (about 20 months at time of writing).
What made you choose to become a member of Lordshill Road Runners?
I reached a point where I didn’t know how to improve my training. There would be times where I would spend longer researching interesting training sessions on the web than I actually spent running! I felt I had to join a club to help progress my running, and after meeting a few Lordshillers at Southampton parkrun and coming to a couple of Monday night training sessions, I was charmed by the friendliness of everyone I met 🙂
The tipping point that forced me sign on the dotted line was finding out there was a CC6 the next morning, and rushing around on a Saturday night getting the paperwork filled in and trying to acquire a vest!
What role do you play on the LRR Committee? What does this entail?
I am the “Communications Officer”. This was a new role at this year’s AGM, so I am sort of defining it as I go. It has started off as getting the new website launched and in order, and once that technical side of things is out of the way, the emphasis will shift to ensuring there is lots of fascinating content for people to read.
What’s your biggest running achievement and why?
Sticking at it for so long. Other than football, it is the activity I’ve stuck with longest (I do a lot of things for a couple of years, then hit a plateau and move onto something else!)
What’s the worst run you’ve had and why?
Any time I’ve run for the bus. They always pull away just as you get there.
What’s your pre-race breakfast?
A banana before I leave to travel to the venue, and then a Nature Valley Chewy Chocolate cereal bar an hour before the race starts. I’ve started to experiment with peanut butter on toast, but I worry about overeating before a race!
What does a usual training week look like for you?
- Monday: LRR
- Tuesday: speed endurance interval session
- Wednesday: football training
- Thursday: hills
- Friday: typically a regeneration day (unless I’m trying do particularly high mileage); currently Run Camp
- Saturday: football match or parkrun
- Sunday: long run if I’m training for something (otherwise sit on the sofa!)
What’s your next running goal?
This year I’d like to compete at some shorter distances, such as 800m and 1500m. I thoroughly enjoyed running in the LRR Mile Series last year, and want to experiment with some more events at that distance.
What do you do when you’re not running?
Play football, play tennis, build websites, drink beer or eat! For work, I teach computer science at a university.
Who is your inspiration and why?
My dad. He ran several marathons while I was growing up, encouraged me when I started running 10k races and I repaid him by making it my goal to beat his 10k PB 🙂
What’s your favourite book/film related to running?
- Book: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – I was already sold on barefoot running before reading this, but this is a scarily well written story, gripping and fascinating throughout. It should probably come with a government health warning!
- Film: the only film I can think of that is actually about running is Chariots of Fire. I found list of “running movies”, which claims Forrest Gump was a running movie, which is a good film, but I think Chariots of Fire is a slightly more about running!
What’s your number one piece of running kit?
While I love my Five Fingers, my Garmin 405CX is brilliant and I do love a Buff or seven during the winter, the only thing I couldn’t get away without wearing is shorts (because of the law or something). Therefore, my number one piece of running kit is my Nike two-in-one running shorts, which have got built in compression shorts! One less thing to forget when packing the pre-race kit bag 🙂
What shoes do you wear?
Vibram Five Finger TrekSport. I’ve been running in Vibram Five Fingers since about March 2010. They were just an interesting experiment at first, but after the first couple of “just run a few hundred metres in them” runs I was mesmerised by how much more fun they were than the bulky supportive trainers I had at the time.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to fellow runners?
Give it time.
- 1 mile: 5:23 (LRR 2013 Magic Mile #3)
- 5k: 19:21 (Lakeside 5k 2013 series – Race 3)
- 5 mile: 33:21 (Lavant Mid Summer 5)
- 10k: 39:24 (Eastleigh 10k 2013)
- 10 mile: 1:09:16 (Salisbury 10)
- HM: 1:32:21 (Gosport Half)
- Marathon: N/A