My guest today has lost around 100 pounds on his journey to a healthier lifestyle.
I’m not completely sure if he’s a runner that dabbles in triathlons or a triathlete that dabbles in running, but either way, we will have no shortage of topics to cover.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Craig Richards today.
Learning The Ropes
Craig Richards considers himself a novice runner.
He has only been running for about one and a half years.
The farthest he has raced so far is a half marathon and that is currently his favorite distance as well.
Craig has plans to run his first marathon in 2023.
His life before he found running looked a lot different.
At one point in his life, Craig had reached 300 pounds.
His weight had always fluctuated, but he had reached a point where he knew he needed to make a permanent change.
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It had taken Craig a few years to put on all the extra weight and taking it off would require patience.
Craig wasn’t able to run at first so he began by taking daily walks.
He would walk for 45 minutes to 1 hour and also began to incorporate lifting weights.
His walk eventually progressed to a run/walk.
Craig worked up to running without the walk breaks.
His progress served as a motivator for him to continue working on his health each and every day.
To date, Craig has lost about 100 pounds and tries to find a balance between strength training and running.
Getting Back On Course
Craig is no stranger to falling back into old habits when it comes to his health.
It was 12 years earlier when he completed his first triathlon and lost weight in the process.
Shortly after that, his daughter was born prematurely and spent 21 days in the NICU.
That was more than enough to throw him off the healthy habits he was beginning to establish.
The covid pandemic followed a short time later, which didn’t help.
Craig knew he needed to shift his mindset.
He committed to tracking all his food, walking for 45 minutes or more a day, and drinking a gallon of water daily.
Craig focused on each day and considered it a win if he met his goals regardless of what the scale was showing.
More Than The Scale
The habits Craig was creating were beginning to become ingrained.
Along the way, he realized that the gauge to his success didn’t always point to the scale.
Each month Craig had a body scan completed.
The scan was an invaluable tool for him because it would often reveal positive changes in his body composition even if he hadn’t lost much weight that month.
Craig had fallen victim to a variety of diet gimmicks over the years, but they were never realistic for the long term.
Putting in the hard work and being patient was the key to longevity and better health.
Working Towards Inclusivity
As a newer runner, Craig has occasionally noticed a negative side to running.
For the most part, the running community has been extremely welcoming.
The negativity lies in the elitism that can sometimes go along with the sport.
Craig believes that most runners don’t intentionally talk down to other runners.
Veteran runners just need to be aware of how they say things and how they may be perceived.
Craig is a firm believer that more awareness of what we say and how we say it extends to all areas of life.
Craig has completed two half marathons so far.
He completed each race in roughly the same time on vastly different courses.
The difference in his times was related to a variety of factors including a lack of enough easy running and strength training.
Craig learned more lessons from his second half marathon.
He realized that he is a strength-based athlete and performs better when consistently incorporating weights.
His goal is to eventually lift 3 to 4 times a week along with regular running.
Craig grew up without much money in a poor area which shaped his perspective on life.
He is running a 50-mile race in December and raising money for kids that are food insecure.
While raising money is great, Craig wants to do even more long-term.
Everyone is not given the same opportunities and that got Craig thinking about what he could do to help.
He is in the process of starting a non-profit run group focused primarily on kids in the city.
Running should be an accessible sport, but that isn’t always the case depending on where one lives and what resources are available.
Craig has noticed that distance running isn’t pushed in urban areas and he wants to change that.
He wants more people to realize that running can be a means to a healthier life.
Along with working to create a non-profit, Craig continues to be consistent with his running.
He has plans to run his first marathon in the fall of 2023 along with another half in the spring.
Running has taught Craig a lot of lessons over the years.
He is able to accomplish a lot more than he ever gave himself credit for.
The process of losing weight has taught him about goal setting and how to succeed.
Running has drastically altered his life and he hopes it can do the same for others.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Craig’s fundraiser for the 2nd Annual December 50-Mile Challenge
- Atomic Habits, Book by: James Clear
- The Gettysburg Festival Of Races
- Love Run Philadelphia Half Marathon
- Wineglass Marathon
Stay connected with Craig Richards by following him on Instagram.
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