I'm a Runner: Ziggy Marley

The musician, 43, on how he’s followed in his legendary father Bob Marley’s footsteps.





Fitness has always been one of the top priorities in my life because that’s the way I grew up, with football being the sport of choice. There’s a lot of running in that.

Until a few years ago, whenever I couldn’t play football, it was like, ‘Oh, no, I have to go running – boring.’ But I started doing it more and more, and now I really enjoy it.

I run four times a week. I push myself to strengthen my heart and lungs. On tour, I spend a lot of time on the bus and can’t do hard runs – so before a tour, I fit plenty in so I have strength in reserve.

I’m the worst dresser. My wife hates it. Even when I go for a run, I look terrible. I wear a sweatsuit bottom and light top. I look like a tramp. ‘Look: there’s a tramp running!’

My hair is long, so I run with it tucked into my sweatshirt. I don’t want it getting snagged on bushes or trees.

My father used to run on the beach in Kingston, Jamaica, and I would go with him. When I was a child, it seemed such a long way. But when I grew up, I continued to do that run, and it kind of wasn’t that far. It was a very scenic route: nature, fresh air, early morning, the waves hitting the sand – all very good vibes for running.

When I go back to Jamaica and run on the beach, the fishermen come in around the time I finish. I’ll help them push their boats on to the shore, buy their fish, cook it on the beach and have tea.

When I have to, I’ll go on a treadmill. But I hate being on a treadmill. I don’t like running on the streets, I don’t like running in the city, I don’t like running on the concrete. What I love is running among nature, and Jamaica provides a lot of that for me.

I’m a fan of my fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt. I really like watching the sprints. I don’t watch marathons though. How long is a marathon? I prefer more action, more elements.

Running inspires me. Songs, or parts of songs, come to me while I’m out. It really opens my mind to ideas.

I don’t count miles. I don’t care about that. I run according to how I feel. Some days I run and I say, ‘I can’t go long today,’ and so I just go with that.

My Favourite...Reason: Running is meditative. It’s spiritual; medicine. It relieves my stress and helps me escape from what’s going on in my life and allows me to find out who I am. I feel terrible if I don’t run. I have to do it.

Route: I live close to a park in California. There are hills, trees, rabbits and birds. The hills remind me of Jamaica. There’s one big one. I’ll think, ‘Here comes this terrible hill.’ It’s so hard, but that is where I make the greatest gains.

Tip: I don’t listen to music when I run. I listen to nature and look around me. In the Californian hills there are coyotes, so I want to hear if something is coming up behind me. I need to keep my ears and eyes open.

Previous article
Interview: Blind Faith
Next article
I'm a Runner: Sian Williams

 
TwitterStumbleUponFacebookDiggRedditGoogle


Discuss this article

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.