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Paul Freary

Senior Shoe + Gear Editor
Running Shoe Guru, 3:56 Mile PR, Certified Running Coach

Meet Paul Freary!

Paul Freary really does have a lifetime of experience as an athlete. Paul’s father, Mike was British record holder over 10,000m in 1966, so Paul was almost born to run.

With best times ranging from 3:56 for the mile to 13:55 for 5k, and ran 2:40 at the 2023 Berlin Marathon at age 55.

Having worked with several leading brands as well as in retail he also knows running footwear inside out and also has experience in gait analysis and orthotics.

Paul writes regular running shoe reviews for our site and our Youtube channel!

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How long have you been running?

I’ve been running for around 45 years. My father was former British 10,000m record holder on the track, so I was brought up with the sport.

Paul’s PRs:

800m – 1:50.5
1500m – 3:34
1mile Track – 4:01 Road 3:56
5000m – 13:55
10miles road – 48:35
Half Marathon 64:55 (former British Champion)
Marathon 2:35:57 (2002 Chicago) 
2023: 2:40:55 Berlin Abbot World Marathon Majors Age group ranking 2023 = 18th

 paul freary

Favorite running or racing memory:

Winning the Front Street Mile in Bermuda 1995.

A popular international mile race at the time and I beat Steve Cram (former World record holder) into 2nd!

Your bucket list race:

I guess both the Boston Marathon and Tokyo. Yes, they’d complete the majors for me, but Boston is just such an iconic race. Also, the Peachtree race in Atlanta.

I’d have loved to run the 5th Avenue Mile too, back when I was fast enough.

Your typical weekly mileage:

Around 45 miles typically building up to 55 miles when training for a marathon.

paul berlin
Other than running, what are your favorite pastimes?

I like to travel, although that’s mostly associated with traveling to events. I’ve been fortunate to have seen some great places while running. Fiji, Bermuda, Barbados, the Himalayas to name a few!

Running shoes and gear of choice:

Right now, I am enjoying running in several Saucony models, but for racing, I’m still in the Nike Vaporfly.

The apparel I like is Tracksmith and Saysky.

Do you prefer a hard mile or a slow long run?

A fast mile for me.

What do you listen to when you run?

The thoughts in my head.

Trails or road?

Road mainly, but trails for easy runs.

paul freary
What does your typical week look like?

Monday – Easy 1 hour
Tuesday – Easy 1 hour
Wednesday – interval day, usually between 5 to 10 miles of hard efforts
Thursday – Easy 30minutes
Friday – Easy 30 minutes with stride
Saturday – Parkrun (5k) or rest
Sunday – Long, steady up to 2 hours

What’s your message to new runners?

Take it easy; plan a long and gradual increase in mileage. Get the right shoes. Just enjoy. Believe in yourself.

Why do you love running?

I guess is somewhat of a habit now. But I’ve just traveled so much and enjoyed the sport and people I’ve met through the sport.

What motivates you as a runner?

I try to have a race in mind in a few month’s time to keep me focussed. The marathon is usually a good target to focus on for a few months.

What is your biggest strength and/or weakness as a runner?

Strength would come from years of experience and my weakness to not listening to myself and developing the weaknesses.

paul freary

What’s your favorite post-run indulgence food?

Chocolate – I like to eat chocolate most days.

What’s your favorite quote about running?

“The older I get, the faster I was.”

What’s one myth about runners you wish was debunked or done away with once and for all?

Anyone who tells runners to change their running style of technique.

Basically, just relax, you’ll run how you run, and this will develop naturally as you run more

Do you have any pets?

A dog, a Cockerpoo called Taffy