A photo of Geoffrey Hayward

About Geoffrey Hayward

A journey from newbie to amateur

A photo of Geoffrey running through the woods during an autumn half-marathon.
Running at the 2022 Exeter Power Run Half-marathon.

Running has always been a part of my life, but my journey as a runner didn’t truly begin until I stepped onto a gym treadmill at age 34.

From the 100 meters to cross-country, running as a boy was fun. Being outside and moving as fast as I could, with everything I had to give, was thrilling. And years on, it still is.

But, my running journey didn’t begin as a boy. My early life was unstable and came with a lack of parental support. And after adolescence, running subsided to life. My journey began many years later, somewhat accidentally, on a gym treadmill in the autumn of 2017 (aged 34).

I was a complete gym newbie. I stepped onto a treadmill on my first visit and hit go. Little did I know stepping onto that treadmill on that day would rekindle a long-forgotten enjoyment of running.

I kept stepping back onto the treadmill - visit after visit. Slowly, I built up the fitness and strength to run as far as 5 km. I guess, similar to the Couch to 5K program, but I hadn’t heard of it back then.

With 5 km on the treadmill complete, next came attempts at running a little faster. And attempts at running a little quicker each time evoked memories of the thrill of giving it everything I had to give - back when I was a boy.

I continued to run regularly on the treadmill. However, It was only in the advent of the first Covid-19 lockdown that I gave running outside a go. Then, the rekindled enjoyment and thrill of running was back with passion.

During that lockdown, I ran daily and tried to run further each time. But, like a newbie unaware of the 10% rule, I quickly ramped up on the distance, and my left knee became painful. I had to stop for a while.

Nearly a year later, when I saw an advert for a local 5 km race - the Cranbrook 5 km race (4th Sept 2021), I knew I would run in it. I also knew I had to get ready for it. But most importantly, I was determined not to get injured this time. So from various sources, I learnt about footstrike and soft knees - good running form. So, over the following weeks, I consciously practised good running form while I got myself in an okay condition for the race.

I finished the Cranbrook 5 km race injury free and with the bug to participate in more races. I was soon progressing to 10 km races and then, in 2022, some half-marathons. I also join my local running club (the Cranbrook Runnin Club), a fantastic bunch of inspirational people.

In 2023, I started this website when I began training for my first marathon. A first marathon is a big deal, and I wanted to keep a training log. So why not make it public? And before I started this website, I had yet to document any of my running journey.

Thanks for visiting my website, and I hope you find my thoughts, logs and notes helpful. Enjoy your running.