Me!Me!Me! Footprint of a Runner

Matt Govan

Matt Govan, 33, Married to Katie Children Tilly (2 years) and Alistair (6 months) Works as science teacher
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Tell us a bit about your job

I’ve recently changed career from an A&E nurse, which I did for 6 years, to a secondary school science teacher. I’m based at Tupton Hall School –where the club track sessions take place! It has been a challenging couple of years transitioning careers, particularly during Covid, but one which has given me a much better work-life-running balance.

What is your favourite meal?

Normally something stodgy – the more carbs the better. I always use the excuse of carb loading, even if I have no races coming up. Don’t think you can beat a decent curry though.

Stiff drink or herbal tea?

A stiff drink! Although I certainly don’t have as many as I had when I was at uni.

What were you like as a child?

Probably an average all rounder.

What got you interested in running in the first place?

I left university completely overweight and had zero fitness and an abysmal diet. I can’t fully recall what the trigger was when I decided to improve my health, but had an epiphany to stop eating rubbish, do some exercise and try to increase my fitness. I think I enjoy running because there is a clear individual improvement that you can see – either pace, distance, race position etc.

What has been the greatest benefit of being a part of MAC?

For me, doing races or events that I would have never dreamed of competing in otherwise, the English Fell Championships and British Fell Relays being clear examples. Even though I joined about a fortnight before the first Covid lockdown, everyone has been incredibly welcoming throughout and being able to run in beautiful surroundings with a great bunch of people is priceless.

Some stats – PBs

As I’ve done mainly off-road running since joining MAC my PBs have been pretty stagnant for several years. Back when I was younger and able to recover quicker my PBs were (roughly)… 5k – 19 mins;  10k – 39 mins;  Half Marathon – 1 hour 28 mins;  Marathon – 3 hours 38 mins

Tell us your pre-race routine?

I don’t really have a set routine, the only thing I don’t like to do is eat anything for at least 2 hours before a run or race. I will also normally do a token little warm up – I should probably look to improve this really!

Other interests?

I love watching or playing pretty much any sport. I’ve previously had season tickets at Derby County and Leicester Tigers although that’s stopped since the kids arrived. I try as often as possible to take the children into the outdoors as I think it is really important for them to build a love for it as early as possible.

If you could live anywhere in the World, where would it be?

I don’t think we maybe appreciate how lucky we are with where we live here (although I’m in Wessington, not Matlock). The long runs we go on around the local area show how amazing this place is. However…I do love the Lake District, North Wales and Scottish Highlands (apart from the midges!) so would happily move to either. If I had to choose though, probably the Lake District.

What has been your most rewarding running challenge?

Being part of the British Fell Relays and English Fell Champs this year has been such an amazing experience – I just need to try and beat some of those V70s now – it is so competitive!

Tell us something about yourself that may surprise us?

I used to be 19 stone…

Any tips for running which work for you?

I used to previously always try and create a strict running plan for a particular race but then would never stick to it. This year I’ve been way more flexible and have run on feel. As long as I’ve done roughly 30 miles a week I’m happy. I seem to be enjoying my running more now too, because it isn’t quite so rigid. It’s been easier to fit the shorter fell races in this way too.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

A combination of running, spending time with the kids, being in the outdoors, watching some good sport, maybe watching some live music and eating some tasty meals sounds pretty perfect to me.

Who/What has been your biggest influence/inspiration?

No real influence or inspiration, I just try to be a decent dad and friend.

Latest music download?

Currently listening to Liam Gallagher…

Favourite film? Book? TV?

I’m not great with films, I always seem to fall asleep. I’ll happy watch most sports all evening though.

What are you most proud of in your life?

So far surviving fatherhood!

Do you have any ideas which Matlock AC could incorporate to improve the club?

The club has been brilliant since I’ve joined, I think it’s got the perfect balance between competitiveness and socialising, road and fell and a great mix of club races. For me personally, I think my running would really benefit from some off road/fell specific interval sessions, however appreciate that this isn’t for everyone, but it could be something the club looks at in the future.