Name: Josh Harris
Hometown: Launceston, Tasmania
Years in the sport: 18
How did you get started running?
I started running in 2000. it all started after I went to the local schools athletics carnival and placed 2nd in the 800m. One of my friends said that I should come and try Little Athletics, so I went out there the next evening and instantly loved it.
Goals for the next year?
My honest goal for next year is to continue making progress and to stay as fit and healthy as I can in the process. It’s been a hard 18 months will a fractured talus bone, and I can’t really look too far ahead with it.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’d love to imagine myself at the height of my running career, getting ready to make an attempt at making the 2024 Olympics in the Marathon. I hope my life balance outside of sport is still similar to what it is now.
Eluid Kipchoge is the man right now. He can do no wrong in a sport that is so hard to get everything right all of the time.
What has been your biggest challenge as an athlete and how did you overcome it?
Definitely my broken talus. I broke it 2 weeks before the World Championships in 2017 and it’s caused me over a year on the sidelines and is something that i’m still overcoming. Having a positive mindset, shifting focus to other aspects of life and setting small progressive goals has allowed me to stay motivated throughout this time.
Best advice that you have been given?
There are so many little bits of advice that have been helpful. From starting running, being consistent, focusing on the process rather than the outcome are a couple that spring to mind.
I like to play my Playstation in my downtime and also enjoy following sport around the world.
I’m a bit of a dance music guy, so some stuff you’re likely to hear if you head to a nightclub gets me pumped up.
What’s the best part of competing?
Working towards personal goals that have been set and then the satisfaction of accomplishing these. Whether it’s running a PB, winning a race or simply just enjoying being out there with friends in many different places around the world.
“Through consistency is where i’ll realize the greatest gains.”
If you could train with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Maybe Derek Clayton. Everyone says he was an animal of a guy and I feel like i’d love to be in that environment back in the day.
If you could compete in another sport what would it be and why?
Cycling. I have started to enjoy it and it’s probably the best sport that I could use my endurance to be okay at.
Favourite place to compete?
Year after year my favourite event would have to be the Gold Coast half marathon. I’ve ran well every time I’ve raced there.
Do you have any special warm up routine?
About 45 minutes before the start I head for a 20 minute jog, followed by some dynamic leg swings and then a few 100m strides once I’ve put on my racing flats. Pretty stock standard for a distance runner.
What time is your alarm set for?
This always depends on what’s happening, but lately I’ve been working most days and it’s set for 7am.
Ice cream or cake?
Definitely ice cream.
What do you do on your rest days?
Generally just rest and chill out. I am more likely to have a full day of work on an easy day too. I’m a relief teacher which is a really relaxed, flexible job.
Last non food item you bought?
A cycling jersey
Do you have a lucky number?
No lucky number, I’m not into superstitions and am a big believer in hard work. 3 is my favourite number though. I think because i’m born on July 3rd.
Best thing you’ve done in the past 3 months?
Hard to choose between going on a holiday to Canada, or getting back super motivated and putting in many hours on the bike and getting back down close to race weight.
Scariest thing you’ve ever done?
I nearly drowned a few times when I was younger. So I won’t make it as an Olympic triathlete.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what one person and thing would you like to have?
I’d take my playstation or phone depending on internet connectivity (which would be unlikely) and i’d take my girlfriend with me!
What would be your perfect meal?
All you can eat pasta and pizza on the same dining table.
What performance are you most proud of?
My Marathon PB in 2017 at the Lake Biwa marathon is my proudest performance as it qualified me for the World Championships last year.
Hardest sport moment you’ve had to push through?
Getting myself to the start line at world champs last year was difficult. Training on a broken foot for 2 weeks was pretty agonizing and then as it started to really hurt during the race it became so bad that I could no longer continue.
What have you learned from running that has helped you in other parts of your life?
I’ve learnt so many transferable skills. I’ve learned about hard work, I’ve learned to have a strong, resilient mindset. I’ve been in many pressure situations that make real life situations easy to handle. I’ve learned to set regular goals and the power of a positive mindset.
Favourite place to eat?
I am a fairly regular visitor to Subway or to a sushi place, but because I can eat so much while training Sushi is ridiculously expensive to fill me up.
If you had to travel either forward in time or backward in time, which would you choose? Why?
I’d travel forwards simply for the reason that you can’t change the past and you should look ahead and be working on the future. I don’t even know what i’d do but it’d be interesting to see how things have panned out.
What is the most unusual, challenging, or creative workout you’ve ever done?
Several years ago I actually held the World Record for the Beer Mile, so I’ve done some pretty unusual training sessions to get ready for that involving more than just running.
Dog. Gotta love them.
Dream job besides an athlete?
Elite level coach.
What motivates you to keep training?
I want to make an Olympics or another World Championships, but right now i’m motivated by the process of getting back. I’m motivated to stay light and healthy and to look good and feel fit.
Favourite time of year?
The best time of year to run is Autumn or Spring. The weather is just nicer for training.
Of all the people you have trained with over the years, from whom have you learned the most and why?
I’d definitely say my former coach Andrew Willis. He instilled many of the values and strengths that I have as an athlete today through our relationship. Much more than any athlete has taught me.
How many hours do you train at a given week?
At my best running form I would be running 15-17 hours a week, up to about 240km per week in heavy training. Right now it varies between 12-21 hours of mainly cross training. I try and do 2 hours of deep water running, 3 hours of strength work, 3 small runs a week and the rest is made up of cycling as I continue my road back to fitness from my injury.
Best memory you have from a time when you were training?
The best feeling I’ve ever had in my running career was in the month of my Marathon PB. I had the best session of my life about 2 weeks beforehand which gave me a lot of confidence. I then suffered a few really emotions setbacks in life, but overcame them to run my PB and the feelings I got in the next 48 hours after that will always stay with me.
I don’t read too many books. I enjoyed the Harry Potter series when I was a kid, and I like reading about sports and sports statistics.
What does a typical day of training look like?
At the moment it depends if I have work or not. If I don’t have work I like to get it done late morning and it can consist of any of running, cycling, deep water running or a gym session at the moment. Prior to my injury it’d consist of my longest run of the day at about 9am, lots of relaxing in the middle of the day and another run at about 5pm, before more relaxing. Nothing too exciting.
Anything people be surprised to learn about you?
Either that i’m a qualified maths teacher or that I can run the Beer Mile very fast as well as being an elite marathon runner.
Forrest Gump is a classic.
Favourite food while training?
What inspires you?
Doing what makes me happy and trying to reach my goals.
Do you have a saying or motto you live by?
Not really I just pride myself on being a resilient person with a positive mindset and am a big believer in getting results for the work you’ve put in.
What do you enjoy most about your running?
I feel like it’s an identity. People know me for it and it makes me feel like me. After my injury I know there’s more to me than running and I simply want to enjoy running.
Advise that you have for someone starting out running?
Don’t do too much too soon, have fun and set goals. If you don’t have fun you probably won’t stick at it.
What is the most crucial part of your training?
All of it. There are no secrets or sessions that make you a champion. It’s about putting all the pieces together to make the body of work that will eventually come out in your performances.
Anyone you would like to thank?
I’m very thankful for the support that Brooks Running have given me for the last 7 years and continue to do so. Physiotas have also supported me over the past few years and I am grateful they’ve stuck by me over the last year.