Recently Fast Running had the opportunity to get some advice from British international trail runner George Foster. The former Fast 10 scribe gives away some gems.
Foster, who is part of Team Hour 7, is rather quick running up and down hills, with a penchant for going to dark places for a long time. It’s been an up and down year for the Yorkshireman, with victories in Gran Canaria, Italy and the UK, but injuries stopping play at other times.
We asked the standard set of questions, but these aren’t you standard set of answers. Get ready for your eyes to be widened. The secrets of high performance are coming forth.
*Please note that some answers may contain sarcasm. Taking sarcasm at face value can be dangerous for your health. Be wary kids.*
What’s your approach to nutrition and hydration for peak performance?
The night before a race I will eat past the point of sickness and flush myself with caffeinated energy drinks until my body fits itself into a state of delirious exhaustion. I ‘wake’ up screaming, hungry for rest knowing that all that stands in the way of blessed repose is the arbitrary goal of self-indulgent competition with similarly befuddled and narcissistic braggarts as myself.
When ‘just’ training (FYI my ‘training’ is NEVER ‘just’ training, I tackle each and every session like it’s my last and race my former self at every opportunity to slay the demons of my wretched, fragile ego) I follow a strict ‘sweet-savoury-sweet-savoury’ protocol based on years of my own research wholly unsubstantiated by any grounding in academia.
The theory, nay TRUTH, is as such, eating a sweet then a savoury, then a sweet, then a savoury allows you to eat FOREVER.
Let that sink in.
Can you discuss your pre-race rituals or routines?
I stare at a photo of Joss Naylor and visualise EVERY F**KING INCH of the course I’m about to blitz for the exact amount of time that I expect that course to go on for.
I run ultras. You do the math.
Oh, and I do it without blinking.
How do you set and work towards your running goals?
I look at what Usain Bolt achieved then belittle it. I wouldn’t demean myself by crushing such a 100m record as his, what’s the point? I’m here to challenge myself and, frankly, NOTHING challenges me.
People say “aim for the stars”…piss off. I see stars as stepping stones to my ultimate goal of winning the Grasmere Guides race. Nothing else matters.
What advice would you give to aspiring runners looking to improve their performance?
Simple. STOP. BEING. SHIT.
Stare at your bathroom mirror every morning and repeat that mantra whilst self-flagellating with a Walsh PB adorned whip.
How do you adapt your training and racing strategies for different weather conditions?
I put on or take off my 1950s Ron Hill, unwashed, split shorts. I train and race so fast that I am able to create my own weather conditions. If (IF) people can get within 100m of me they can SOMETIMES catch the briefest of slipstreams to propel their pathetic frames to some bullshit PB, but what does that really achieve?
To quote a famous person, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only shit bastards who can’t run for f**k”.
That ‘famous person’ is ME by the way.
What mental strategies do you use to overcome race-day nerves or challenges during a race?
I wrestle a monster that I created in my home laboratory that’s a cross between a Tiger shark, a black bear and a Portuguese Man-o-War for 6 hours. I would do it for longer but the monster needs a break. That’s pretty f**king mental eh?