Comedian Eddie Izzard is currently in the process of running 27 marathons in South Africa for Sport Relief. 27 marathon is 702 miles which is nearly as far as London to Edinburgh and back – it’s a hell of a feat.
The comedian-turned-ultra-runner tackled a similar challenge back in 2009 where he completed 43 marathons in 51 days, raising over £1 million. The comedian said himself that a physical challenge like this requires more mental training than anything.
No doubt this is one of the inspiring stories of the decade but what can we learn from Eddie Izzard and his mega-marathons?
1. Keep your hidden talents under-wraps
Eddie Izzard doesn’t look like much of a long-distance runner. He’s 54 years old and currently running 700 miles in pedicured feet but, it goes to show, you should never judge a book by its cover. As well as being an exceptional comedian, he has a hidden willpower that meant he could run 43 marathons with only 5 weeks training.
2. Instill meaning in everything you do
The 27 marathons in South Africa represent the 27 years Nelson Mandela spent in prison during the apartheid era. Eddie is renowned for his political beliefs and uses them to install meaning and purpose in all of his feats be they comedy or running.
3. Be willing to make sacrifices
As the BBC report, Eddie Izzard, because of his age, won’t struggle anymore with the actual task ahead of him but the recovery will be problematic. Dr Li from Birmingham University says: “Swelling is possible. You can grind your teeth and so on, but at some point you have to make a decision: ‘Am I ready to risk permanent damage to achieve the goal I have set for myself?'” You’ve got to be in it to win it.
4. “The first 10 miles are always the hardest”
“Then your body and brain gets used to it so it gets easier” said Izzard himself of the monumental jog he’s set out on. Starting something big, whether it’s at work or in the gym, is always the hardest part but as soon as you get moving, it gets easier with every step.