CHANGING his bad habits and becoming a marathon-runner, Paul Commons turned to Herbalife Nutrition products for support. Read his story, as it was published in Runner’s Magazine.
“The hardest bit is getting to the start line – Once there, it’s yours for the taking”
Paul Commons, 51, Initially used running to shift some serious bulk, but soon found he had a knack for long-distance pursuits
I’d always been sporty, doing martial arts as a kid I and even playing semi-professional rugby and football as a teenager, but I kind of let it all go in my 40s, which saw me pile on the weight,” explains Paul.
“It’s the typical story of getting into bad habits, not exercising enough and eating the wrong things. I’d often drink seven to eight pints in a night, with more to follow when I got home!”
After a series of embarrassing events, including struggling to get out of the sea after a swim because he was too heavy to lift himself back on the boat, Paul decided it was time for a change.
“I entered a free 5K arranged through my work. I finished it last in about 44 minutes but was determined to do better.”
For Paul, the 5Ks became l0Ks and onto half marathons. “I was still pretty huge when I did my first marathon in Margate in December 2015. I’d even had a few pints of Guinness the night before I ran it. I finished in 5:40 – about third from last – but I just remember everyone being really supportive. I thought to myself, how much better would I be if I wasn’t drinking?”
Paul began an overhaul of his diet, cutting out the junk food and especially the beer. “It took a lot of willpower, but I was enjoying the improvements in my fitness – and the running times were getting better every time. I was training with a local running club and the camaraderie of the group spurred me on: to run more and to enter more events.”
“I soon discovered that I have good stamina and especially quick powers of recovery. I use strategies that work for me and don’t have any issues when it comes to running several long-distance events with little time between them. I began running more marathons, including back-to-back races, and then moved onto ultra events.”
To date, Paul has run a whopping 145 marathons and ultras, almost always with wife Karen coming along for support. He’s down to 13st 7lbs and getting quicker. “I hooked up with a fitness trainer in a bid to break the four hour mark for my marathons. She’s put me on Herbalife Nutrition products to help with the weight reduction and energy levels. I’d signed up to do four marathons back to back and on the last of them I came in at 3:54! That was on Valentine’s Day and Karen was there to cheer me over the line!”
“I’m now running around 60 to 80 miles a week, with a 17-mile training run on the Friday then often two marathons at a weekend or events like the South Downs or North Downs 50. I not only enjoy the fitness I now have, but I find it’s also a great way to de-stress from work.” (Paul does 12-hour days in the motor trade.)
At the end of last year he completed the ‘ 10 in 10’: 10 50K runs in 10 days. “According to my stats I clocked up 4,500 miles last year and I’m on my way to surpass that this year, as I aim to have done 200 marathons by the end of 2018. I’ve got marathons and Centurion runs lined up this year. To be honest the hardest bit is getting to the start line – once you’re there it’s yours for the taking.”
PAUL’S RECOVERY ROUTINE FOR BACK TO BACK EVENTS
- For post-run nutrition, I use the Herbalife Nutrition H24 range, but use what works for you.
- I’ll always have an ice-cold shower as soon as possible post-race.
- Followed by a cold bath with epsom salts.
- I then put on compression tights underneath tracksuit bottoms for the night.
- I like to have an early night – keeping the compression tights on.