Fuelled by beans 'talk series' - Flora Beverley
Flora is a food and fitness blogger. She is a runner, enjoy niche sports and goes to the gym. Based in London, she recently graduated from studying Biology at Bristol University.
What got you into running? / How did you get into running?
I always wanted to be able to run - I had a few friends who did it and seemed to love every second - but when I first started I could barely get to the end of my road without feeling like I was dying! I didn’t start ‘training’ until around 2018, a couple of months before my first (and only) road marathon in 2019. Only then did I realise the power that consistent training could have!
Where are your favourite spots to go running?
I will always love the Jurassic Coast, and other parts of the Southwest Coast Path. The terrain is often tough, and the hills brutal, but the views and sense of achievement is unparalleled. We spent 2020 lockdown near the coast, and my escape was to go and run the cliff path. Needless to say, I got pretty fit pretty quickly! But it’ll never be an easy run.
Otherwise, I love any portion of countryside. I run to get into nature, so the wilder, the better!
What do you most enjoy about getting out for a run?
The sense of achievement and the feeling that my body is working the way it’s designed to work. My runs are rarely easy, even the easy ones (running is tiring!), but there’s a certain joy to pushing the body.
What has been your most memorable run?
It would have to be the MCC race - 40km over the mountains from Switzerland to France. I’d never run in the mountains before and every corner I turned around my breath was taken away by the views. It was hard to look at the views *and* keep upright, but I filmed the race for YouTube and I still watch it over and over again because it was so stunning. It was impossible to take in all at once!
How do fava beans fuel your adventures?
I’ve always been a keen snacker, but have been getting bored of my usual sweet treats when on the move - after several hours of eating sweets in an ultramarathon, for example, you definitely want something savoury! So the beans have been invaluable for when I want something with a bit more substance. They also make excellent train snacks :)
Let’s talk gear, where should we shop and what do we need to get started?
People talk about running as being great because you need minimal gear, and to an extent that’s true, but once you get to trail and ultra running, there are definitely a few things you would be wise to acquire.
To get started running all you need is a good pair of shoes (and ladies, a well fitted sports bra!). I have a few favourite brands, but to start with the Adidas ultraboost is comfortable and doesn’t constrict your feet like many shoes. I now wear Hoka Carbon X2 for road running, Allbirds Treedashers for recovery runs, and Columbia Caldorado III or Merrell Agility Peak or Merrell Skyfire for trail running. I’m finding new shoes all the time, and like to rotate between them as there’s some evidence to suggest it reduces injury risk.
I’ve got a couple of vlogs on my favourite gear for running that might be useful!
Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to get into running?
The first thing is just to get started! If you start in summer, you might not even need trail shoes - there are a lot of well trodden forest paths that are perfectly fine in road shoes. If you’re looking to start in winter or on gnarlier trails, a pair of decent trail shoes will allow you to trust your feet a lot more that they’ll stay where you put them.
Trail running is a lot more difficult than road running, so don’t worry too much about paces or times - the trail running community is a lot more chilled than the road running one, because you can’t compare 2 trail runs to each other - every one is unique! Put away the watch and focus on how you feel. Walk if you need to, take in the views and in no time you’ll be flying. Enjoy it!
What is next for you? / Do you have any exciting runs planned?
This year I’ve said yes to pretty much anything I can fit into my diary. I’ve raced as much this year already as I did the whole of last year! I did my first ultramarathon recently to get back into the swing of things, and I’ll be attempting 4 marathons in 4 days in the middle of May to raise money for survivors of human trafficking. It’ll be my biggest challenge yet and I’m terrified, but it’s all for a good cause! 5 weeks after that (if I’m still in 1 piece) I’ll be running my longest single day ultramarathon of 50 miles (84km). So either it’ll be my biggest year of running yet, of my biggest year of injuries yet - who knows!
Any donations people can spare would be immensely appreciated! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/flora-beverley2