I’m Ammar Farishta from Milton Keynes. I currently work for a HGV training company as an Operations Team Leader in North London. My side hustle however is what really keeps me motivated! I run a soft skills and personal development training business where I train individuals, organisations, businesses and charities of any size (fitrustraining.com). Beyond work, my interests include running, reading, community work and a good documentary!
- How did you get into running?
I first discovered my love of running in school. Whilst most of the students in my class hated cross country, I actually looked forward to it. Growing up, I used to run around Northwood and Moor Park at least three times a week and the final incline would really give me a buzz. I abandoned running when I started university and my career initially but as of November 2019, I got back into doing 5km every Saturday at 9am with Parkrun and I haven’t looked back since.
- What do you enjoy about running?
The biggest thrill of running has got to be the mental side of it. There are so many facets to running. The physical endurance, the thrill of a race, the heart pumping, the euphoria. To me however, the battle with my mind is what gets me going. Ignoring the pain, staying positive, taking it one step at a time (quite literally!) and doing a final sprint at the finish to wind down the seconds, that’s what running to me is all about.
- What is your proudest running moment?
I think getting back to running for the first time in many years has got to be the best achievement so far. My thinking was always that if I could keep this consistent in the cold dark winters, I can do it anytime and that’s proven a winning formula. My first run back was a 5km run on a chilly Saturday morning in boggy Manchester. The mud in some parts of the field were ankle deep and I managed to complete it in just over 30 mins.
- Your running tips
I’d advise 3 things that have worked for me.
a) Remain positive – so long as I keep a strong mindset and ignore the negativity, the run always goes well. Keep your vision at the forefront of your mind and let it give you your energy.
b) Just keep swimming moving – It is important to know your limitations but don’t let a little niggle stop you. Slow down if you must, but try not to stop. Even if it is just a walking pace, keep moving.
c) You are what you eat – I’ve noticed that turning to a more plant-based wholefood diet has really helped in my post-run recovery and my overall health. Before the main meal, I start with a hint of salt, warm water and fruit. Try turning your fridge slowly from a morgue of chicken, sheep and cows to a blossoming garden of fruit, veg and legumes.
5. Advice for aspiring runners
a) It’s never too late to start. Just warm up, lace up and once you’re out the door, you’ve won half the battle already.
b) Try going with someone else, as a pair or in a small group.
c) Go outdoors. The fresh air and nature really enhances your run.
by Ammar Farishta