We Have a Winner!

challenge winner

Last week we wrapped up the Fleet Feet Run Club x Saucony Challenge, in which participants were asked to log at least 4 runs over a 10-day span. Awards were available for the Fleet Feet store with the most participants, the store with the most cumulative miles, and the individual with the most miles. The challenge had 7755 total participants across 165 Fleet Feet locations, and 4800 finishers. The individual challenge winner, with just over 247 miles in 10 days, was Daniel Bannister who ran for the Fleet Feet Raleigh team!

challenge prize pack - shoes, headphones, backpack

The amazing prize pack from Saucony!

We were, understandably, impressed with Daniel's mileage, so we caught up with him to find out how he did it:

What inspires or motivates you to run? 

About a year ago, my wife and I experienced the tragedy of a miscarriage. We were both grieving in our own way but my wife, Hannah, was affected more, for obvious reasons. I decided to start running again, even though it had been over 15 years since I had last been serious about it. I was slightly overweight and seriously out of shape. I never started seriously pushing it, but it just kind of happened that she wanted to join me on my fitness journey. We took turns watching our other three children while the other one of us ran. We ended up both finishing the Atlanta Thanksgiving Day Half-Marathon in Nov, 2017 which was our intended goal. Since then, I've enjoyed running so much that I've radically changed everything from what I eat to my daily routine to focus on training for a marathon. I actually ran a personal marathon during the competition and I'm grateful for the competition which pushed me past the limits of what I thought I was possible.

What's your typical mileage? 

For the competition, I obviously greatly exceeded typical mileage and I took the week after it was over completely off to recover. For training, I am up to about 55-60 miles per week. I'm doing the Maffetone method, and trying to build a great Aerobic base before I do any serious speedwork for the marathon.

Are you currently training for anything? 

A marathon in October. I will probably sign up for a local marathon where I live in Wilson, NC. Nothing is definite yet but I'm hoping for a sub 3:30 marathon or better. I need a few more months of training to make that happen.

How do you recover after a long run? 

I run in the mornings, and I recover by eating a couple of eggs and toast. I think running in the morning is easiest to recover from as you stay active during the day which helps the muscles recover.

Any general tips? 

1. Have a supportive partner if you are married with kids, otherwise running won't happen.  2. Be determined. The only reason I was able to well in the competition was because of determination. I'm certainly not the strongest runner that competed. Looking at the times of others I was able to see that other runners were running faster than I was. I simply had to get up earlier to win, much earlier than I was comfortable doing. It was a stretch for me, but showed me that determination can make up for other weaker areas. 3. Have fun. You won't keep running if it's not fun. For me, it's fun and exciting to see week by week improvements, which is why I'm doing the Maffetone method. In that method, you do a monthly test which shows your mile time improvement. I do the test weekly to keep me motivated and it's exciting to see that training does in fact work if you keep track. On average, I gain 5 seconds a mile each week running at low aerobic intensity (for me that 148 BPM). Over time, those 5 second gains add up to a much faster mile time. Obviously it will flat-line at some point but for now, it's exciting to see week by week improvements and it keeps me motivated. 4. Go get your feet professionally checked out at a shoe store. (Great idea, Daniel!)  I kept getting foot injuries from running. I always wore whatever shoe I had laying around to run in. I finally, after some very painful running, went to [Fleet Feet North Raleigh]. I had my foot scanned and fitted for the proper shoe and it turns out I had extremely high arches which required inserts. In the 6 months since I've had those inserts and shoes, I've not had a single running injury, demonstrating the importance of wearing shoes that are right for you.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this challenge!

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