I’m a Runner: ‘Fast’ Ed Halmagyi, 38, Sydney

I used to be a bike rider, but a car hit me 15 years ago and it scared me off cycling. Once I recovered from three broken ribs and a fractured collarbone I took up running.

At first running wasn’t satisfying because I couldn’t use it to commute like I did with cycling. I know people take their backpack and run to work, but I don’t think running with a chef’s knife roll in your backpack is the way to go!

Running is now a part of my daily rhythm. I get up at 5am every morning, have a cup of chamomile tea and go for a five to 12K run. Living on Bilgola Plateau at Sydney’s northern beaches means hill running is a fact of life and I love it.

If we’re filming for Better Homes and Gardens at my place, it’s easy to find extra time for a long run. When I’m travelling for work I always pack my gear because running is the best way to explore new cities.

At two metres tall and 103 kilos, on a lean day, I’m no racehorse. My half marathon PB is 91 minutes. I’ve done all the major city half marathons, but I don’t actually like running in crowds. I prefer to have the space to myself to think about the things I have to do in my day ahead.

One of my favourite places to run is southern France where my latest book The Food Clock is set. If you’re travelling there don’t just visit the wineries, run the hills of Bordeaux, it doesn’t get much better than that!

I like to eat fruit before a run. Bananas or mandarins are good choices because the natural fructose is quickly absorbed, giving you energy for your run. And I carry sesame snaps for an energy hit on a long run.

For breakfast afterwards I have two boiled eggs, a piece of rye toast and whole bunch of chilli sauce, which always makes me a very happy man!

Four years ago I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, which needs maintenance through exercise. If I don’t run I stiffen up. So, I’ve got an extra form of motivation to stay mobile. Some people run because they love the art of running, but to me it’s what running does that’s so important.

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