Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% ‘Ekiden’ with Oliver Hooson | Available Now

To celebrate the launch of Nike’s latest iteration of their Next%, we sat down with photographer and keen runner, Oliver Hooson to learn about his love for running and why the Nike Next%’s are his go too!

Footpatrol: So, for those that haven’t come across your work before, could you give us a little insight into who you are and what you do?

Oliver Hooson: Part time photographer part time mood boarder curating my hobbies and interests via Instagram and other forms *sometimes commissioned* nothing really makes sense I just go with it

FP: Getting straight into why we’re here today, when and why did you get into running?

OH: About a year in to living in London roughly, the move was so good but also mad, my social life had never been better but both my mental and physical took a hit. On one hand, I was really happy and fairly active but being in a huge new creative city was overwhelming and did have its downfalls. 

Whilst it takes me away from day to day distractions, the most important thing is that it reminds me of the importance of looking after yourself.

FP: You mentioned about the fitness aspect, but a lot of brands have started to focus on the mental health side of things, with Nike introducing their Headspace guided runs, do you think it helps on a more mental health perspective?

OH: Yeah, that’s what did it for me. Initially, I knew the health benefits were amazing but the moment I became infatuated with running was the moment I realised the mental benefits. You just completely remove yourself from the daily hustle and take every weight off your shoulders, from that day’s work, no matter what the hell happened and just removing yourself from  all devices and just run. It’s a complete nirvana. 

I’d have moments where I’d just sit on the laptop, not doing anything, just procrastinating, doing mindless work but then I’d stop myself, throw on my runners, head out and I’d come back an hour later after not thinking about anything with a complete fresh mindset and smash out more in the next hour than that whole day.

FP: What about when your head says “I don’t feel like running”?

OH: I think that’s the most important time to and the time you get the most from it. I understand that running when it’s cold or raining seems stupid but in reality, that’s when you’re pushing your limits and that’s when you get back home, soak up them endorphins annd appreciate the warmth like never before. For me it’s about pushing capabilities.

FP: So, having recently started your running club, ‘Your Friendly Running Club’, what made you start that?

OH: It was a mix of good timing and good people, around the time of hackney half 2k19 I met my now good friend Mat Horrocks and we started running together, a couple of friends joined in and a year later we can call it a club! although running time is sacred theres only so many times a week I can go solo and running with the others in YFRC has helped so much with progression

FP: Back to looking at today’s choice of footwear. We’ve noticed you’ve worn a few Next%’s in your time and being someone that likes the finer details in life, is this something that drew you to towards the silhouette itself?

OH: Joking aside, I was told by a few people just how good these are and that they genuinely knock a lot of time off PB’s during races, I was skeptical, thought it was nothing more than overly keen friends and marketeers… it wasn’t propaganda nor placebo… the narrow midsole, the rocker, the carbon plate all come together to make these things PB killing machines

FP: Is there something that makes you choose these over everything else within your rotation?

OH: Well, I wouldn’t wear them as an everyday shoe as I associate these with going really hard, race days only essentially (or for the cheeky finesse on a saturday run club) I feel like they actually do give you that little bit more energy when and where you need it. 

FP: Finally, after completing in a few half marathons last year, what are your goals within running for 2020?

OH: Well, my main goal was the London marathon but sadly, that isn’t going to happen this year, but my aim is to still complete a marathon, that is my main aim between March and May if the dates line up well, I was thinking of Seoul, South Korea. So, at the moment, just training like a mad man and nailing some PB’s but mainly, the goal is to complete a -3 hour marathon. I said once I’ve done that, I’ll slow it all down but I’ve said that after every race so far. 

After the initial feeling of death, the reality is a sense of “No way did I actually  just achieve this” and wanting to explore how far I can take this journey. So yeah, the plan is to try and do a sub 3 marathon, I’d like to say I’d give up the insanity after that which is vigorous training and being anti-social but the reality is I think I’ll just keep going further and further after that…

Available in-store and online, sizes range from UK6 – UK12, priced at £240.

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