We are Irfan and Kayam, two brothers with similar backgrounds and interests. We both graduated from City University London with the same degree and are currently both working as Software Engineers in London.
- What made you take up running?
We have always been each other’s motivation for many aspects including fitness and sports. We used to go to the gym together and actively played squash together pre-lockdown. Since there weren’t many options available during lockdown with gyms and leisure centres being shut, one evening we decided to give running a try. We put on our trainers, decided a meeting point, and set off! After the run, we had extremely exhausted ourselves with shin splints and knee pain. Despite this, we really enjoyed the run and felt a sense of achievement! From this point onwards, we endeavoured to run two or three times every week. Then came along the inception of SJ Running for which we are extremely grateful to the team for taking this initiative as it was much needed within our community.
- What have you enjoyed about running?
Every run gives us a different experience and feeling, and that’s the beauty of it! With every run there is an exhilarating feeling during the run itself and a different sense of accomplishment is felt after. Additionally, running is very flexible so it can be done at whatever time that suits without much preparation. All you need is a good pair of running shoes, some warmup stretches, and you are good to set off! We usually run together as it is very enjoyable having a partner whilst running. Ever since the SJ group runs have been introduced, we have thoroughly enjoyed the social aspect of running – not to mention the Chai at the end!
- What’s your ultimate running goal right now?
We have come this far and feel great about our achievements. We want to keep the momentum going and continue our weekly runs. Our ultimate goal is to be able to comfortably complete at least a half marathon by end of next year.
- One thing you wish you’d known before you started.
Having a structured plan for your run is pivotal in achieving your goal and this was introduced to us in the weekly SJ group runs and has proved very beneficial. This involves varying your runs by including fartlek, intervals and hill running to name a few.
- What would you say to someone who wants to take up running?
All that is required is to convince yourself to step out of the house for a run and the difficult part is done. The warmups and the actual run will swiftly flow through. At this stage, the distance and the pace you run at are just numbers and shouldn’t bother you.
A good way to get started would be to follow the Couch to 5K plan which sets out objectives for you to start running with walking and gradually being able to complete a full run. For beginners, mixing your runs with walks is a good way to soft start running and has also been alluded to by the experienced runners in the previous weekly features.
Finally, joining the weekly SJ runs would be a great starting point for new runners as this would help you with your running plan and you can also benefit from the feedback given.
by Kayam Moosa & Irfan Moosa