You know we how much we love a collab here at Gymbox – but our latest might just be the highlight your 2020’s been waiting for. On 14th October, Gymbox x TrackMafia’s brand new run club launches with the legend that is Coach Cory at the helm. Having fell in love with running back in 2006 “when I was a fat kid who loved cake”, he promises to bring his unique approach to pavement pounding to beginners and pros alike. How about we get you acquainted?
Welcome to the Gymbox fam! Of course, this ain’t your first rodeo – but for those unfamiliar with TrackMafia, tell us a bit about your background…
I joined my first running club in 2009 and had been with Dulwich Runners for a few years when I was introduced to Charlie Dark and RunDemCrew. I worked with them for many years and got RunDemCrewWest set up in Maida Vale.
The road runs were popping on a Monday night, but we wanted something more to help build consistency and strength to help us get faster. That’s how TrackMafia was born.
Me and my friends Jules and Jeggi would show up every Thursday and run like metronomes, no watch, just searching for what this run was supposed to feel like. As time passed, we let others join. For years that’s all it was (and to a point it still is) yet so much more. We also do a lot of mentoring with young people as well organise events and experiences.
That’s not your only credentials either… what’s it like being involved in Nike Run Club?
I’ve been working with Nike Run Club for years now and I have to say IT’S AMAZING. The opportunities I’ve had, people I’ve met and worked with, and places I’ve visited because of running keeps me smiling. Being one of the coaches and voices on the Nike Run Club App has been great as it means I reach so many more people and help them find their feet, which is what changed my life.
What was it about Gymbox that made you want to get involved?
Gymbox’s willingness to have a conversation about the work that needs to be done to make the industry a more diverse place, as well as its willingness to act. It’s not money that motivates us. Of course, we all like to get paid but at a time like this, it’s about what good can be done – not just for ourselves but for our communities and the next generation.
What can we expect from a Coach Cory class?
More often than not, the things that can’t be found in books. Lots of high energy and good vibes. To sum it up in vehicular terms, I help people find their ‘red line’ – as once you know where it is, you’re in control of your workout, not the other way around. As I’m sure you’ve seen, everything I do is done through the lens of FUN and JOY. Even when your legs are tingling, you should find the time to smile.
As with all our classes, you can get stuck in whatever your level. What first inspired you to lace up and get running?
I went to go and watch a friend run the London Marathon back in 2006, and I was really inspired. So there and then I said to friends I would love to run the following year. They laughed, so I said COOL, I’ll do it. I went from non-runner to runner overnight. I started training and a year later, I did it for charity.
There’s plenty to keep the more seasoned runners busy at our club too – how will you be helping them chase down their next PB?
Regardless of what level people are at, we will have something for them. That’s the beauty of working with mixed groups. Much of our session is based on effort, so we look at streets like racetracks instead of just roads. If you’re an F1 fan you’ll know that Lewis races on the same track as Latifi, but they are both still racing.
We’re definitely on the same page when it comes to creating a vibe. What’s your secret to staying pumped?
Good music, good people, and good vibes on repeat. Aside from food, water and utensils, that’s all I need.
What’s your top tips for improving performance between runs?
Rest and recovery. Stay hydrated, get the sleep you need, eat a balanced diet. Visualise the next run and how wonderful it’s going to be. STAY POSITIVE and SMILE.
Best sprint track of all time?
MOZAMBIQUE - OTHERLINE REMIX
Best post run-snack of all time?
TrackMafia has been running since 2012 now, and since then we have always gone to a restaurant called Thai Rice straight after Track as it’s right outside the park. So… I have to say Thai Food, Noodles, Veg and Protein.
Finally, it seems lockdown has exploded the UK’s running population this year… what’s your parting words of encouragement as the weather starts turning shit?
Honestly, we know that it’s going to get cold and wet so if you’re searching for inspiration or motivation I always say visualise how wonderful the run is, how wonderful it will feel when you finish. Think about what you’re going to eat after your run, then layer up and run for a reason. Whether that reason is food, coffee, friendship, something new to do and look or a route you’ve never been on. Just tell yourself things will be amazing, and they probably will be.
Follow Coach Cory on Instagram. Gymbox x TrackMafia launches at Gymbox Elephant & Castle on Weds 14th Oct, and Gymbox Stratford on Sunday 18th Oct.