Matt Cheuvront is the founder and author of the popular entrepreneurial blog “Life Without Pants”. He is also the Founder and Brand Craftsman at Proof, a Nashville-based branding firm helping businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs to think creatively and strategically about their brands. Matt is now living the “new” American dream by going out on his own and tackling the world on his own terms rather than climbing the corporate ladder.
We interviewed Matt to learn more about his growing love for running and how he got involved in the sport. Enjoy!
Age: 27 years old
Current City: Nashville, Tennessee
Current training regiment:
Training for two upcoming marathons (New Orleans and Nashville). I mostly follow Hal Higdon’s marathon training plan.
Goals for 2013:
Run 1,500 miles and run a sub-4 hour marathon (though the latter may be wishful thinking, I came PRETTY close in 2012 (4:14)
How long have you been running for?
I REALLY got started running regularly about 2 years ago.
What got you interested in running?
I didn’t want to be a fat ass anymore. Haha – in all seriousness, I wanted to be healthier and running is something that I really love – it’s challenging but also relaxing. As weird as it sounds, sometimes the only thing that makes sense, when I need to clear my head or step away, is to go for a run. As an entrepreneur who’s constantly on the go, It’s been an amazing release and I can’t imagine a life without running being a part of it. Not to mention, I’ve dropped 50 pounds since I got started two years ago!
Did you play sports growing up?
Unless you count little league baseball (which I don’t because I was terrible) – Not at all. I was the “fat kid” who was always picked last.
Was running intimidating to you at first?
Hell yes. The first time I went out and decided to go for a run I could hardly run a block without feeling like by heart was going to beat out of my chest. It’s pretty incredible how far I’ve come in a couple years.
How did you work your way up in distance?
Little by little. I’d always run the same path outside around my apartment at the time – and I’d set little milestones for myself. EVERY time I ran, though, I’d push myself – even if it was just a few steps further. I wasn’t satisfied unless I was able to go even one step further. That’s what kept me going – that’s what got me here – pushing myself to do a little bit more, every time I laced up and hit the pavement.
What motivates you to lace up your shoes and hit the road?
What I love about running is that it’s a competition against yourself. It’s an inward struggle and at the end of the day, the only thing you’re in competition with is your own will. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from John Bingham: “If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get in. You just run.”
Which products do you use before, during and after running?
Water is your best friend. I learned the hard way while training for my first marathon that if you don’t hydrate – and hydrate well – you’re going to pay for it. If I go for a run longer than 10 miles, I usually bring a Gu energy gel with me to replenish some calories.
Do you follow any particular diet regiment?
I’m horrible with this and it’s honestly something I have to get better at. When I first got started and running was really more about weight loss for me, I kept the carb consumption to a minimum.
What is the furthest distance you have ever ran? How did you feel after this run?
I ran my first marathon last year (then ran another one later in the year). It’s hard to describe just how amazing it feels to cross the line after pushing yourself for 26.2 miles. Completing a marathon was and is in the top 5 best moments of my life – and it’s something I absolutely thought I’d never be able to do.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you either during a run or a race?
I’ve been REALLY fortunate so far with, you know, not getting the trots or anything horrible like that during a run. I’ve been pretty severely dehydrated during a couple training runs, which basically cripples you to stumbling through the last stretch and feeling like your going to pass out – but for the most part, so far so good.
If you could do any single race in the world, what would it be and why?
I’d love to run the Napa/Sonoma marathon – and I’d love to get overseas and do some marathons through Europe, New Zealand, etc. I overhead talks of a marathon that takes place entirely on a glacier – doing something totally off the wall and extreme like that sounds pretty damn amazing, too.
Do you have any tips or suggestions for others looking to get into running or who are looking for motivation?
Get started. Honestly. I am evidence of someone who couldn’t run a few steps, and is now actively running marathons. If I can do it, you can do it. The best piece of advice I can offer is that you MUST schedule your workouts into your day to day. Don’t just say “I’m going to start running” -follow a training plan (like Hal Higdon) and schedule your runs into your calendar. Last piece of advice: DO NOT focus on speed. Just get out there and log your miles. Do a little more each day. Push yourself a little further – but don’t let yourself get hung up on speed. ENJOY your runs – it’s the only way you’ll stick with it.
How does being an entrepreneur help/hinder your running?
It’s helped a TON because running my own business and setting my own schedule allows me to go for runs when it’s most convenient for me. Today, running is simply a part of my day to day – and it gets a spot in my calendar like any other important event or meeting. That’s the key to making sure I stick with my training.
Do you have any future athletic inspirations?
Not particularly. I’ve considered doing an ultra-marathon, but triathalon’s aren’t really my cup of tea (the swimming especially is what would get me – I’m about as graceful as a hippo in the water!
Are you superstitious? Any rituals you have or something you always do before a run or race?
Not really superstitious – but on raceday mornings I wake up insanely early and allow myself PLENTY of time to have a little something to eat, shower, listen to some music to get me ready. I have all of my running clothes laid out and ready. There’s definitely a race day ritual – but nothing too crazy when it comes to superstitions.
Any parting or inspirational words?
Again, I can’t stress enough that I am NOT a special individual and I was in horrible shape when I first started. Let that serve as motivation. Two years ago I thought running a marathon was COMPLETELY impossible for me to even consider – now here I am, training for my third and fourth marathon in the past year. If you want to do it – you can do it.
KickStart Endurance truly thanks Matt for taking the time to do this interview with us! We can not wait to hear how the next race goes!
To learn more about Matt and his work please check out the links below:
Life Without Pants- http://www.lifewithoutpants.com