I’m so excited to bring to you all my first interview with Fitness Professional, Ben Davie. Ben spends his week days at The Body Coach HQ working as a Coach and Fitness Coordinator. In his spare time, he works as a PT and Ride Instructor at Digme Fitness in Blackfriars and Richmond, London.
Ben, otherwise known as the BFG (Ben Fitness Guy) is extremely passionate about fitness and I think this interview really shows how dedicated he is to this lifestyle. I hope you find our chat inspiring!
1. You’ve ran 4 marathons (soon to be 5!) which is an amazing achievement. Where do you find the motivation to train and then reach that finish line on the day?
I love having a goal in place, something to work towards – it helps to keep me focused on my training. Running is addictive and there is no better feeling than when you are running well, you feel unstoppable! Each of my marathons have meant something to me.
- LONDON 2011 MARATHON 1: I was originally inspired by my Uncle. When I was 6, we (me and family) went to watch him run the London Marathon in Tower bridge, that day he was my hero and I aspired to one day run a Marathon! London was my first one and one of the best (at the same time, most challenging)! By completing the London marathon, I felt like I had ticked off my original goal, having been inspired by my uncle all those years ago.
- BRIGHTON 2013 MARATHON 2: With this one, the motivation came from one of my Personal Training clients, who came to me with a lifetime goal of completing a marathon, at 38 – this was certainly do able! So, I booked and completed the Brighton Marathon with my client. Another great day and amazing to help each other round the course. Mark was the hero that day!
- BRIGHTON 2016 MARATHON 3: Sadly, my Grandad Jack had recently passed away after a battle with Cancer. So, I decided to book the Brighton Marathon and asked some of my family if they wanted to do it – I managed to get my brother, cousin and sister’s fiancé all on the start line with me! It was a perfect day and felt special that we ran for my Grandad, raising just under £4000 for St Catherine’s hospice who provided outstanding comfort/ care for my Grandad during difficult times.
- BOURNEMOUTH 2016 MARATHON: In May of 2016 and a month after the Brighton Marathon, sadly my Nan Pat passed away, so I decided to book up the Bournemouth Marathon to run in her memory. I also had my brother join me with this one. The training was different to the other marathons as the race was in October, so all the training was during the summer months. Me and my brother completed this one and I got a PB – I was delighted that I could dedicate this one to my amazing Nan 😊
2. I know you love a good post workout stretch! Why is this so important for our bodies before/after we’ve trained?
I love my ‘active recovery’ and enjoy moving my body in different planes of motion to keep me mobile and nimble! It is important to regularly stretch/work on recovery (ie swimming, foam rolling, dynamic stretching/yoga perhaps), because the nature of intensive training is very taxing on the body. Lack of recovery work can lead to injuries and stretching after your workout, will help to cool the body down and get the muscles back to the state they were in, prior to exercising. Likewise, if you are not in an intensive training plan, stretching and mobility work is important to sustain. As the saying goes ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’ 😉
3. Tell me more about your magic stick.
Haha – the self-massage stick, more commonly known as the ‘magic stick’ is almost like a rolling pin to help to release any muscle tension and break down ‘knots’. The massage stick is very similar to a foam roller and can also help to improve circulation. It’s certainly one of my favourite bits of equipment; explaining it to people on the train though can be difficult!
4. You run, swim, spin and do HIIT based training but if you had to do only one of these for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?
Good question! I love them all equally, it’s very difficult to pick just one. For me, running is amazing, no better feeling than when you are feeling fit and strong/light over a long distance. I also really enjoy swimming and love how it’s low in impact– it’s very therapeutic and helps me to relax, as does running (in a different kind of way)! Spinning is great, it’s a good feeling when I can see how hard people are working in my sessions, the high 5 at the end is also rewarding and a nice connection. The music plus the lighting is always a win! With the HIIT work, I enjoy moving my own bodyweight but this can also be implemented within all of the other training elements mentioned.
If I had to pick 1? Running I would say, I’d love to be able to keep my joints strong and be able to run for the rest of my life 😊
5. How do you refuel after your training sessions?
Due to my training schedule, I tend to have a lot of training within my working week; particularly now with the added running as I work towards the Bournemouth Marathon in October. It’s very important to ensure that I refuel/fuel my body well. After training, it is important to restore glycogen levels, so carbohydrates and proteins are essential for me within 90 minutes of my session. On a Friday morning, I teach a ride at Digme so tend to have a good meal the night before, ride fasted and then enjoy proats after (protein porridge)!
6. Who inspires you to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle?
I find inspiration from all walks of life – I enjoy reading inspirational books to help me stay focussed. A few years ago, when I was recovering from a broken leg, I read the book ‘Unstoppable’, by a guy called Nick Vujivic – Nick was born with no arms and no legs and of course, struggled from an early age to get his head around this. However, Nick went on to achieve amazing things and is now a motivational speaker. He can swim (or paddle) using what he calls his ‘flipper’ which is kind of like a foot attached to his hip. I’ve read lots of inspiring books from lots of Athletes but nothing like this. If there is one thing I recommend taking away from this, read that book!!
Thank you so much Ben!
If you want to follow Ben and see more of what he does, please check out his blog and social media channels below:
Ben’s Blog: ben90davie.wordpress.com