I believe that to be the best runner you can be – indeed to be the best anything you can be – there are some ingredients that have to come together. In running, hard and consistent training is the first and most important one. Then there are plenty of other things like strength and conditioning work, nutrition, etc. And there is also the need to get your brain in the right shape – that is where inspiration comes in to play.
Increasingly I believe that the brain has a huge part to play in achieving the most you can as a runner. And for me the inspiration to train harder and race to the maximum of my ability comes from a range of sources: meeting inspiring people, reading blogs, reading books about great runners, athletes and explorers. And films. I love sports and adventure films. Which is why I go to as many adventure film showings and festivals as possible.
The most recent film that me and Mrs. Freeman saw was the new movie from Sebastian Montaz “Petit Bus Rouge” for which we were lucky enough to get tickets for the global premier in Chamonix. It was an amazing film – if you can see it I wholeheartedly recommend that you do – and 10 minutes into the showing the cinema door opened a crack and someone crept in and sat on the stairs at the end of the row we were in. I peered through the dark at the interloper and was a little surprised to see Killian Jornet sitting there!
We also went to see the Banff Film Festival at the Union Chapel in London. An evening of great films in a really extraordinary building in London.
And now we have booked tickets for a film festival that I am very excited about – the Buxton Adventure Festival which runs on 2 and 3 November at the Pavillion Arts Centre in Buxton, right in the heart of the Peak District.
The idea is that over the two days that the festival is on, there are ten different 2 hour sessions with tales of adventure told by by world-class speakers followed by epic films to inspire every cell in your body. What could be better?
The sessions that I am looking forward to are all on the Sunday starting with Heather Dawe, ultra runner, climber and cyclist talking to Claire Maxted, editor of Trail Running Magazine followed by the movie The Dragons Back.
Then I will be hearing the one and only Jez Bragg talking about his epic 3,054km journey along the entirely length of New Zealand, completely under his own power, including a kayak crossing of the notorious Cook Strait. This is then followed by a couple of amazing short films.
And then finally there is Rosie Swale-Pope, the only person, man or woman, to have undertaken a solo, unsupported run around the world. Her tale will be followed by another two films, The Celtman and the Penguin Runner.
Obviously I am only going to see three of the festivals talks+films and there are many others, on Saturday and Sunday that you can go and see. I reckon they all look pretty amazing.
I cannot wait for the weekend. The organisers – Heason Events – which is Matt Heason and Lissa Cook have not only pulled together what looks as though it will be an utterly incredible weekend of inspiration, so hats off to then (and my personal thanks for allowing me to attend more sessions that I would have otherwise been able to) so I hope that if you can, you will come along and get your fix of inspiration. I am sure we can also find somewhere nice to go for a run if you want some physical preparation to go along with your brain training!