I've been a Twitter and Dailymile friend of this week's featured runner for quite a while. He's been a friend of the blog as well. If the name sounds familiar you may know him as the 100 Push-up Man. Read on to find out more.
RD: So, Steve, before I knew you as Steve, I knew you as BritishBulldog from Twitter. Where does that name come from? Are you British? Steve: Well my real name is Steve Speirs and my twitter name is brittishbulldog . I was born in Wales. Moved to the USA in 2001.
RD: Okay, it's making sense now. What do you do for a living? Where do you live in the US? Steve: I "theme" web portals and commerce sites for a company headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, although I actually live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. My wife is an OR nurse and my daughter is a college junior. The rest of my family live in the UK, so overseas trips happen quite often!
RD: How long have you been running? Steve: I've been a runner since high school days, although at that time it was merely a way to keep fit for football and rugby. My rugby coach persuaded me to run my first race—the Cardiff Half Marathon—in 1982. I was almost 16 years old, didn't train specifically for the race, but finished fairly respectably. It was a good feeling and I guess from that point on I was hooked.
RD: What do you enjoy most about running? Steve: I enjoy everything about running—the training, the races, the health benefits, the camaraderie and the huge sense of achievement! But, if I had to sum it up in one sentence, I'd say running has taught me that I can pretty much achieve anything I set my mind to. The sky really is the limit.
RD: That's awesome. I can really relate to how running can help a person see how much they are actually capable of doing. What’s your biggest running accomplishment?
Steve: I'm not one to blow my own trumpet, so to speak, but without doubt, the biggest highlight of my career was . I’ve never viewed myself as a hugely talented runner, so the main goal of the race was to have fun and take part in a marathon on a beautiful island. The race was one of those rare occasions where pretty much everything went perfectly; I steadily worked my way through the field and at mile 22 pounced on my chance to take the lead. I highly doubt anything will ever compare with the feeling of leading a marathon and .
RD: Man, I've placed first in my age division, but never placed overall in a race. That's awesome! I can only imagine what that must feel like. What an accomplishment! Hats off to British Bulldog!
RD: Do you have a favorite brand of running shoe? Which model? Why? Steve: Probably a tie between Brooks and Newton. I dabbled with the revolutionary technology found in Newton shoes last year and was thoroughly impressed with a couple of their models. However, my love for Brooks goes back several years and I can vividly remember numerous great performances wearing the brand.
RD: What’s your favorite race(s)? Steve: Tough question. My favorite race *distance* is the marathon—the classic test of strength, endurance and speed. I have great memories of several big city marathons (London, Boston and Washington DC), but I've also always enjoyed the Richmond Marathon. I set my marathon PR at Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon, so that one is a favorite too. I guess I shouldn't forget the Cayman Islands Marathon either :)
RD: Of the one's you mentioned, I've done Richmond. Great race. Pretty course and has some good hills.
RD: If you were speaking to a group of non-runners or runner wannabes and trying to encourage them to run, what would you say? Steve: The main thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself. Set goals by all means, but keep it fun and share the enjoyment with a friend, colleague or family member if possible. Make running a lifestyle choice, not a chore to keep your style of life in check.
RD: Great advice. I think with anything, when it becomes a chore it doesn't really do you much good. Not to say you won't have tough days or days where it's hard to get out there, but overall, making running a lifestyle definitely helps improve and maintain your overall wellness (mentally and physically).
RD: Open Mike: Share anything you‘d like about your running experiences, past accomplishments, goals, dreams….anything you haven’t previously shared . Steve: I'm also the guy behind the "hundred push-ups" movement that you may or may not have heard about. It started with a web site when I was looking for a simple strength program to complement fall marathon training. I found numerous online references to push-up workouts so I set to work combining some of the principles into an easy-to-follow, progressive plan I could follow. Months later I mentioned the six-week program on a personal blog, and after receiving quite a few emails/comments about push-ups, decided to post the plan online. The web site was soon spotted by a developer in New Zealand who created the hugely popular iPhone App, and soon after I was approached by a publisher to develop material for a book loosely based on the site—7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups. There are a couple of spin off web sites—200 Sit-Ups and 200 Squats—with more to follow soon. The plans are way more popular than I ever imagined and it's probably because people are looking for simple, easy-to-follow fitness plans that are effective and show results.
RD: As a personal trainer, I too can attest to the popularity of your programs. I think you're right on the money with the reason being that they're so effective and easy to follow. I think there's a little element of competition too (be it competing with yourself or with a buddy). I often see on Facebook and Twitter, friends bantering back and forth about who's ahead in push-up reps. Having such a huge effect on the fitness world, must be very satisfying.
Thanks again to Steve for sharing a little about his life. If you haven't already, be sure to check out his blog, website and book!