Not long ago, we were contacted by Johns Manville employee Anthony Hug who is working at our Defiance, OH site. When he heard about #JMextraMile and the JM Athletes he couldn't help but tell us about his own passion for running. We were really inspired by his story of pushing boundaries and setting new goals, so we didn't want to deprive you of it.
Through this interview with him, you'll learn more about his love for running and what motivates him to always go the extra mile. You'll also get some valuable tips on how to become a runner yourself. Read on to get inspired by Anthony's incredible journey!
#JMextraMile: Tell us about yourself and your journey with Johns Manville.
Anthony: My name is Anthony Hug and together with my wife and three kids I live in beautiful Ohio. I've been with JM since 2015, first working in the pipe department as well as a floor operator and machine chief. For the past 1.5 years, I have been a batch mixer at the Defiance, OH plant, responsible for producing glass marbles. My daily tasks include unloading raw materials, making batch cans, and ensuring correct material weighting and transfer.
#JMextraMile: When and why did you start running?
Anthony: I had sporadically worked out and went for runs over the past years but stopped during COVID. After restarting in May 2022, I trained for my first half-marathon – the Goodyear Half in August 2022, in Akron, OH. After completing it with a 10 min per mile pace, I signed up for another half marathon, the Churchill Half in Perrysburg in November 2022 which I finished with a 9 min pace. I pushed my training further and ran the Night Owl Half in Waynesville, OH in January 2023. My next goal is to run the Glass City Marathon in Toledo, OH on April 23, 2023.
#JMextraMile: How do you fit running into your daily routine?
Anthony: Working night shifts and having three kids can make it difficult to fit running into my daily routine. To work around this challenge, I run to work and back home (7.5 miles one way). I also try to make time to run anytime I have a chance, whether it's hot or cold outside (the only thing that stops me is a combination of cold and rain!). I always stick to my night shift routines even when I don't have to work. This means that when others are sleeping, I’m cleaning the house, washing dishes, or going for runs. To remain safe while running at night, I wear reflective vests and a headlight. My wife also supports me a lot by taking care of the kids while I'm out running. It’s also about the simple things. For example, I make sure to take regular walks during my shifts to keep my body moving throughout the day (or night).
#JMextraMile: How does running help your body and mind to feel better?
Anthony: The human body is not made for sitting all day long, so it is important to incorporate physical activities into our lives. I find that when I don't run for three days, my legs start shaking. Running has helped me become stronger both physically and emotionally. It has also been a great mental outlet for me.
#JMextraMile: What are your future running goals?
Anthony: My future running goals include running my first full marathon, possibly the Glass City Marathon. To prepare for this race, I'm reading a book from an ultra-runner and following its training program. My ultimate goal is to run an ultra-marathon and naturally, I plan to fit in as many other races along the way as possible.
#JMextraMile: Please share your best 5 tips on how to become a runner.
Anthony: It wasn't too long ago that I started running. So, I can still understand the initial obstacles quite well. If you are looking to become a runner, here are my best tips for you:
- Take it easy and build up your mileage gradually to avoid injuries.
- Invest in a good pair of running shoes from a running shop - they will fit them to you correctly.
- Sign up for a race like a 5k – it gives you the motivation to train for it.
- Eat properly - running consumes a lot of calories.
- Constantly work on your running form – this will help prevent injuries and improve your overall running ability.
And here’s a bonus tip for you on what helps me with my runs: I always have a lot of fun running with my dog or when one of the kids ride their bikes with me. And when I’m running alone, I almost always listen to music. Open ear headphones are the best for hearing what's going on around you while listening to your favorite tunes. In my case it could be anything from just the violin, to Beethoven, country, and even Christmas music for a little while. Unless I'm pushing it then it's usually some heavy metal or rap.
Anthony, thank you for sharing your story with us. We wish you good health in all your runs and all the best for the upcoming races. We look forward to hearing from you again soon. Keep it up!
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