I’m a Runner: James Tobin

James Tobin, 34, Sydney, host of Beauty and the Geek

My dad was a keen fun runner. I always saw him stretching in the living room or going out for a run, which instilled in me that a fit and active lifestyle was a normal thing. I picked running up through imitation.

I run two to three times a week. I work breakfast hours on the weekend, so during the week I keep up that sleep schedule and get up early to go running.

I feel much better if I run in the morning – it helps me spring into the day with all kinds of energy. I’m kind of lethargic and desperate for coffee if I don’t. Every time I leave the house, it’s the same: “Oh my god, what am I doing? It’s going to be so cold.” But by the end I think, “This is so awesome, I can’t believe everyone doesn’t do this!”

I also cycle and swim. Every year, I do a 10-day cycling tour called Tour de Cure that covers about 1600km in 10 days. When I came off the ride last year, I was actually running faster even though I hadn’t run for a while. I ended up doing my fastest time over 10K in a triathlon in Byron. The cross-fitness really helps improve my running.

I work on weekends so it’s hard for me to do organised runs, but I’ve done a few including the City2Surf and a 10K run in Lindfield. Last year, I stood at the start line at the City2Surf in Sydney and the City2Sea in Melbourne because Channel 7 was sponsoring them. I watched wave after wave leave and I had butterflies in my stomach and all this energy, so I went for a run when I got home! I hope I can finish a bit earlier this year and do the run with the back of the pack.

When I travel, I always bring my running gear. I feel really cramped up when I get off the plane and I like to go for a little run to stretch my body out. In Melbourne I love running around The Tan in the Botanic Gardens. And in Adelaide the hotel I usually stay at is by the river, which is beautiful to run along. I get to see a bit of the city.

A lot of people say running helps them organise their day and think out all their problems. I don’t feel like it’s good thinking time for me at all! I always just think about running. It’s more like time out from everything than time to think about everything.

By the end of a run, I’m thinking, ‘Shut out the pain, you can get through this.’ I like the challenge of mind over body – that moment when you think, ‘I could slow down and it will hurt less, but I could keep going this fast and it will be over sooner, so toughen up.’

Related Articles