Once a month we will be featuring one of our customers in an email about their health and fitness journey and life in general. This month we are featuring James Bodycoat (photo in the TRAINER TEE AND ALLROUNDER SHORTS). 

Going from 2km in 2016 to running Ultra Marathon's through the mountains of Victoria, Australia, James shows utter determination to achieve his goals and always with a big smile on his face. Below James tell us how he got into exercise and how he continues to amazing all of us, enjoy. 

Where are you from?

Euroa, Victoria (2 hours north of Melbourne). 

What is your favourtie fitness activity?

Squash and Racquetball have always been my favourite sporting activities, however, hiking and trail running are by far my favourite outdoor fitness activities. and very likely to take over the overall crown.

What got you started on your health and fitness journey?

Always played Aussie Rules footy but after 220 senior games with my local club I threw the towel in and retired. Realised there was a missing void in my life after footy and wasn’t making the best of choices health-wise. So started jogging 2k three of four times a week back in late 2016 to try break the cycle and the bit of a rut I’d got myself in. Entered a 10km event a few months later and I think after that I’d finally caught the running bug and things have progressed from there.

What motivates you to keep going?

Running releases those feel-goods from the brain. Best therapy ever! Always feel great after a run! I’ve learnt a lot about myself the past few years and have come to realise that I need something to be anal about and focused on in my life. Running gives me this. As things progress and goals get achieved, then new territory is unlocked I guess and with that comes bigger goals. I guess I am chasing that feeling of hitting new territory if that makes sense… That could be going further than I’ve ever gone before or it could be going faster than I’ve ever gone before. I quite enjoy that feeling of embracing the suffer that comes with the thrill of the challenge and not knowing how it’ll pan out… The bigger the challenge the bigger the reward it is intrinsically!

How have you adapted your training to the new normal?

Training hasn’t really changed for me. Ironically since COVID hit my training purely coincidentally has reached new heights in terms of frequency and volume. Since the end of March I’ve ran 400 to 465km each month and am running 6 or 7 days a week.

What tips do you have for someone who is just starting their journey?

Don’t try keep up with the Jones’s, you be you and let others be them… We’re all on our own journey so enjoy your own goals and enjoy it when you take out a goal you’ve had! Listen to your body, if it needs rest or it needs you to run slower, then do it. Set whatever goals you want and see what you’re made of with consistency over time! Never say never to any challenge!

You have done a number of ultra marathons and your training runs are long, how do you stay focused to allow yourself to keep going during those long k’s?  

It took a few years to get to the point where I could run 100km weeks consistently, so I guess being patient with your body’s adaptation process is key! I have gotten good at listening to my body. If I head out the door and my legs aren’t feeling it, I have no problem in backing off the pedal then keeping that heart rate low and keeping the perceived effort low a lot of the time is critical to backing up 6 or 7 days a week for me.

What is your favourite item of Maw Gear?

Definitely the all rounder shorts!!! Bloody love them so much!!!

What adversity have you had to overcome to get to where you are?

Just my own mental demons and unhealthy choices I guess. I run because running is really good for me mentally! I need what it gives to me, in my life plain and simply put.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

To date, completing the couple of ultras I’ve done takes the cake. Especially The Archie at Mt Buller… The terrain, humidity, vert and challenge it gave tore me a new one! Completing it brought me to tears near the finish line. A great feeling of accomplishment that day! Another recent goal I’m proud of was finally cracking a sub 40min 10km.

What event are looking forward to next?

I desperately want to crack the 100km mark at the next event that eventually goes ahead! Obviously everything has been postponed or cancelled but next on my list is Surf Coast Century on Dec 5th.

Do you have any daily routines that you follow that keeps you on track?

Early to bed, early to rise, This has been a mantra that has worked well for me.

What is your why for setting your goals?

It’s good for me to have a carrot dangling in front of my nose that I’m chasing. Keeps me driven… I sign up to events and conjure up my own adventure plans for a long run and then I look forward to it greatly. Chasing that feeling of not knowing how the body will respond I guess.

I have known James for about 18 months now when he bought some Maw Active gear, on our Maw Brothers page, he is always one of the first to celebrate people's fitness workouts etc, always shows support to every other brother and is always willing to provide advice and have a chat. An absolute belter of a bloke and couldn't be happier that you are such a wonderful part of this group. 

We can't wait to bring you next Month's customer in focus. 

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