Let’s put Adam Holland’s achievements out there right off the bat as they are mind boggling: He has won more marathons/ultra marathons than anyone else in the UK, running 344 marathons and winning 195. He has the world record for the youngest person to run 100 marathons at the age of just 23 and the fastest person to run 10 marathons in 10 days with an average time of 2 hours and 45 minutes. Yes, you read that right; 2 hours and 45 minutes. With all this he sits in the top five in the world for marathon victories.
Think that’s impressive? He’s just getting started.
I caught up with Adam last week to understand what it takes to make a record breaker and what keeps him ahead of the pack.
What motivates you?
Firstly, I love to run and I just need to run, which I think has to be the main motivation; the thought that I am still not at the speed I know I could be at and training in 2018, to get my PB’s down to a really competitive level motivates me too. Through my sport, I have had the chance to meet so many inspirational people, travel to new places and make friends for life. The running community is a very positive, happy one! Chatting to people that have been motivated and inspired by me, especially children, makes me feel very proud. That’s why I am running the JOGLE (John O’Groats to Lands End in 17 days) in March 2019, to raise money for Kids Run Free, a charity which promotes healthy living and positive mental attitude to school aged children.
What is the key bit of kit you cannot do without?
Without a doubt, my SKINS tights (the tight shorts under my running shorts). I don’t like the idea of running too freely!
What’s next? What targets are you hoping to smash next?
I have some elite entries at races coming up, the main one being the Brighton Marathon in April and later in the year, the Dorchester Marathon. I have just been over to the Logicom Cyprus Marathon which I was very happy to have won, and I am looking into competing at a few more international events this year and in 2019. Another aim this year is to find more sponsors, to help me achieve my targets and attain some really big goals. My next targets to smash are running a half marathon in under 1:12 and getting my marathon time down from my current PB of 2:27:55.
What advice would you give to runners just starting out?
Don’t put pressure on yourself and worry about speed, distance and time; the biggest achievement is just getting out there and running. Even if you don’t feel like doing it, just make yourself and try and be consistent- don’t give up just because you missed a run. Also, find kit that makes you feel comfortable and confident. Once you get going, enjoy it and try and meet like minded people through running clubs and park runs. There are plenty of people in the same boat as you and you will help each other to keep going. Finally, if you are running to lose weight, try not to make that your goal, aim instead for feeling healthier and knowing that your body is benefitting from all that lovely fresh air. If you need a goal later on, you may decide to sign up for your first 5k, as that will give you something to focus on and don’t forget – when you enter races there are medals and treats at the end! Just be careful, the next thing you will find yourself doing is Googling marathons and buying medal display cases.
What do you put your success down to?
There are many people, friends and family members that have supported my journey to this stage in my career. I have also been able to train and enter races thanks to sponsors such as SecureBase and supporters including brands such as Sweet Peaks, Up & Running, and SKINS clothing. The main reason I am successful however, is that I just go out and run as often as I can, the key to any profession is to be dedicated, to go for it and never give up and of course, to help others to achieve their goals at the same time. There’s no reward in being at the top without everyone else by your side. I think that also links back to motivation; I have such a great team of people following me on Facebook, Twitter and more recently on Instagram and YouTube, supporting me with comments, that I really feel like I could achieve anything.
Lastly, morning coffee or morning run?
That’s an easy one! I don’t drink coffee, so 100% morning run or should I say quick ultramarathon before breakfast?