February 2016: Paul Ryan

by | Feb 25, 2016 | Member Spotlights

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan

How did you get into running and why?
I started with parkrun, encouraged by friends of my wife. I’ve always played sport but never thought i could run, in fact made excuses that running would hurt ankles and knees of a fat old basketball player!

What first brought you to the Quakers?

I started to run more on my own after about a year of doing parkrun to try and improve. But I need to have fixed times to do things, and the thought of others waiting for me because I said I would be there makes sure I do it. So I started to come to Quakers to just run once a week with other people.

What kept you going when you first started running?

Doing first parkruns were run and walk for the first couple, and then just to try and keep going. I’m stubborn so don’t want things to beat me!

Tell us about some of the races that you’ve done in the past?

I’ve only done 1 year of races and have tried to find different types. Pie and Peas 5 Mile at Locke Park got my interest (and not the 5 mile bit!). Blaydon race was fun but the best atmosphere was Great North Run. However the one I enjoyed the most was Kielder Half marathon.

How much training do you typically do?

I try to do parkrun on Saturdays, and 2 sessions in the week. When training for events I will add a long run in there each week. I still play basketball once a week (for Darlington Storm) and do circuit training once as week.

Be honest, do you enjoy training?

Some days yes, others no. I always enjoy the buzz after though.

What’s your current running aim for 2016?

My first marathon in May, and then see what else catches my eye. I might even be tempted by some Harmoors stuff later in the year.

What is your favourite race/distance/terrain?

Not sure I have one yet, still trying out different ones!

Which race performance are you most proud of?

Doing Kielder half marathon in a 5 minute PB

Which race would you you have to be forced to do at gunpoint?

I would have said cross country a year ago, but there’s something about the mud….

What is your proudest running achievement?

2 half marathons in 3 weeks having never run one before

What’s your idea of running heaven?

Spring evening

What’s your idea of running hell?

Hot and humid weather (Pitstop 10K last year was pretty close). I travel a lot, and sometimes run in Taiwan in summer – 36 Celsius before the sun comes up!

Any advice to newcomers?

Find some friends to run with, and don’t worry about whether you think you’re fast or slow. For some, just starting to do it is the greatest achievement.

What keeps you going when the going gets tough in a hard race?

Other people around me, or the crowd in bigger races

What do you think is the best route into racing for newcomers?

Parkrun then a friendly club

Best way to relax/reward yourself after a race?

Decent couple of beers and a big Sunday dinner!

What is the best part of the club in your opinion?

The friendliness and openness of everyone there. Even if you’re lagging at the back, or being lapped, all runners still encourage each other with comments whether passing or being passed.

What is your favourite training session?

Triangle or fartlek

If you were given six months of professional training, nutrition and perfect health – how fast could you run 10k?

I’d love to aim for sub 50 minutes.

Apple, Water, Banana or Mars bar in your ideal goodie bag?


When you’re running and you have to stop at the traffic lights, what do you do?

Stop my Garmin and try to breathe!