Introducing Nathan Pearce - Melbourne local running legend and shoe geek. After a successful junior career, injuries led to a hiatus from the sport... but now he is back in a big way.
Nathan is a regular at Australian race meets, taking it up against the big dogs and chasing down PB’s. He has focused on keeping the fitness strong over the last few months, hopeful of a big summer season on the track. This was highlighted in early September, when Nath busted out a 5k TT in 14:40.
A big few months are approaching for Nathan, so in the meantime - enjoy a beer on us.
Tell us about yourself:
Name’s Nathan Pearce from Williamstown, I’m a sub elite runner with motivation to someday be competitive on a professional level. My interests include rooting for McLaren in F1 and Donning the Sash for the mighty Bombers. I also enjoy a festival or night out here or there and traveling. I was Duty Managing at a Leisure Centre but with covid I was let go and since then have been coaching when we’ve not been in lockdown.
We hear you're a shoe collector/seller (or something like that)?
I’d say I’m a shoe geek, some would say I’ve got a problem haha. I’ve been collecting shoes since 2012 and the collection has now grown upwards of 200 pairs, including every colourway of next %.
I also started supplying/selling Nike’s super spikes to people around the world to the likes of the Oregon University team as well as athletes without access to them, through an insta page OneRun.
You've been on the running scene for years with some breaks? Tell us about your running over the years:
I started little Aths as a little tacker but wasn’t coached until I was 15. From there, my junior career was pretty successful with a number of state titles and multiple national appearances, culminating in representing Australia at the 2015 World Cross Country. After experiencing such a high the following year was tough as I felt lost. I graduated from school the year before and I really thought my running would take off but unfortunately it felt like I was going backwards with injuries and not being in the right headspace. My summer season in 2016 went well with 2nd at States in the 1500 and thought things were on the up until another injury, I decided to take a few months off, got myself a job, found the festival scene and before I knew it, it’d been 2 1/2 years since I had ran.
My first coach and good mate Michael one day said I should get back into it, with XC season just around the corner I said, why not. The beginning of getting back was probably the hardest thing I have had to do, with only being able to jog/walk 5 laps of a track. I slowly built back up, set out some goals but in this build up I learnt that running isn’t only about fast times and winning medals, it’s all about the buzz you get from having fun on each run to getting that PB you set out to achieve. By the end of 2018 the competitiveness was back and I started to chase down my old PB’s. I’m now regularly racing in A grade races and most times I step out I’m getting a PB, which is a great feeling.
How have you stayed motivated after all this time, and in particular over the last 18 months?
Well my motivation over the years has always been up and down but since having time away from running, I’ve learnt that running isn’t everything in life. It’s more of an outlet where you can step out and just free your mind and enjoy every step.
With all the lockdowns it’s been pretty good for myself and my running. The majority of it I’ve lived like a professional athlete not being able to work, being able to recover properly and really create a good balance and consistency which is key. Setting small goals along the way has also kept me motivated.
5k TT in 14:40 the other week - tell us about this:
This was just another one of those goals I set myself in lockdown to keep me motivated. It was a great way to see where I’m at with training, but most of all was great for me mentally. It's hard not knowing when lockdown will end and setting a goal and being able to achieve it, well there’s no better feeling!
What's next for you?
What’s next is to continue my progress, consistency and staying healthy. Coming into summer I’ve got set time goals and a few races lined up that I’d like to be competitive in. My focus for the season will be over the 1500 & 5k, with potentially a few steeple races thrown in. With two chances to represent Australia next year at both the Comm Games and World Champs, I’ll be giving it my all to achieve my best!
Two Birds Sunset Ale