My running life: Jim Dowdall


When did you start running and why?
I started running in school, many years ago. I then joined a club and ran competitively for a good few years. Around that time the Dublin Marathon started and I ran a few of them. I really enjoy the sense of achievement that comes with training hard and competing well and you can always have a goal to improve on your times.

What has been your biggest achievement?
Probably running the 2nd Dublin Marathon in 2:36 which was an okay time for a young lad. I ran the Dublin marathon again last year after far too many years of missing it and got home in three hours flat so that was a great feeling to have done it again finally.

What is the one thing you’d change about running?
Not a lot, other than to find a way to stay injury free. My mind thinks I am still in my 20s but my body keeps correcting that. I think the challenge is to train more sensibly and consistently.

Where is your regular run route?
I live beside the Phoenix Park and generally don’t stray too far from there. It is a fantastic park with so much variety.

What’s your regular training schedule?
It depends on the stage of the year. I try to get a run in four or five times a week, ideally with a mix of some interval sessions, some easy runs and a longer run at the weekend. Four or five times a week is the minimum so I need to pick it up a bit.

What are you training for?
I am keen to get another marathon in soon. I might get a chance to prepare for the Dublin marathon in October. If not, then maybe a different one early next year.

What do you wear on your feet?
It has always been Asics Kayano and I am slow to change.

Have you any niggly injuries?
Too many and too frequently. A calf injury is the most problematic and just seems to re-occur when I am starting to make some progress.

What’s your most embarrassing running moment?
Standing on the edge of a country road halfway through a very long run trying to thumb a lift home after getting injured.

What’s your favourite running book?
Born to Run by
Christopher McDougall.

Have you ever been chased by an animal?
Dogs mostly. I remember having the life scared out of me by a very large Alsatian dog bounding across a park towards me. After the owner got it back under control, his response was that it was just playing.

What’s your favourite running tip?
A little a lot rather than a lot a little.

Jim Dowdall is chief executive, GloHealth