I’m a runner: Roy Stride

When I started running I hated it. A lot of people get into bands because they’re crap at sport; that’s what happened with us. Now we’re enjoying getting fit and it’s good to have a new challenge. The bonus is that lyrics and melodies come into my head when I’m running.

I was in the pub with the band when we had the idea to run the London Marathon. It’s our 10th anniversary this year and so we decided to do 10 challenges for charity. For three guys who’ve never done any real sport, the marathon is the ultimate challenge. I’m quite competitive, but I just hope [fellow band members] Greg and Pete finish before the barriers get taken down.

I live at the end of a farm track in a beautiful part of the country. If I run to the end of the track and back, it’s 5K, and if I go the opposite way, down a country road and back, it’s 10K. It’s a nice way to measure it, but there are always lunatics driving their tractors too fast.

Wearing cotton boxer shorts is like running with barbed wire in your pants. I wore some on my longest run and the chafing meant I was in agony afterwards. I got in the bath and if my legs had not been knackered I’d have shot out of it. Now I have proper kit.

I’m nervous about running my first marathon. What freaks me out is that I’ll never have run that far in my life. I’ve got this terrible fear of getting to mile 23 and just dropping to the ground, sobbing, then getting round in 18 hours.

I’m an Archers fan. On the run I listen to that, Desert Island Discs or the podcast Sodajerker, which has interviews with songwriters such as [1970s star] Gilbert O’Sullivan.

The only unhealthy thing abot my lifestyle is beer. My wife took all food pleasures from my life long ago. Everything we eat is gluten-free. I’ve lost a stone since I started running, but I’ve got half a stone to go before I lose my beer belly.

I like to refuel after a run with a strawberry milkshake. I love the ones from McDonald’s but they have more calories than a meal, so I make do with a diet whey protein shake from PhD.

My wife will be embarrassed if I don’t finish in under four hours. She’s a fitness fanatic and comes running with me. She won’t do more than 10K, as she worries about her knees. It’s nice to have time for just the two of us because while our children are fun, they’re full-on.

We’ve had advice from people who’ve done it. One of my friends advised getting a training plan instead of winging it, so I train four times a week: cardio and strength, a killer interval session, a long tempo run and one at marathon pace. It’s gradually getting harder – I’m like a lobster in the water!


Roy Stride is the lead singer of Scouting for Girls. He and the band are running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon for the Alzheimer’s Society. Sponsor them here.