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I’m A Competitor: Ellie Goulding

  • By Linzay Logan
  • Published Sep. 6, 2013
Ellie Goulding is a musician by night and a runner by day. Photo: Ben Pigao

Even musicians that tour the globe find time to run.

Three months into her year-long “Halcyon Days” world tour, singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding took a bit of a detour. Putting some of her European tour stops on hold, the 26-year-old native of Herefordshire, England hopped on a plane across the Atlantic to run the Washington D.C. Nike Women’s Half-Marathon on April 28.

An avid runner, Goulding regularly takes to the pavement for a 5- or 6-mile jaunt — even while on tour — and often invites fans to join her on her Facebook page. Goulding, who recorded the hit single “I Need Your Love” with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, ran an impressive 1:41:33 in D.C. and finished 362nd out of 15,000 runners.

When did you start running?

I started running when I was 18. I can’t remember the exact day, but I remember waking up and thinking I really need to run. I never was a massively athletic child, and I don’t remember where the urge came from. My boyfriend at the time was very athletic, and might have spurred my interest. I’m not really sure. But I’ve been running ever since.

How do you find the time to run?

I’ve managed it, but it’s taken a lot of motivation. It’s really the toughest thing I’ve done. When I was training for the last half-marathon I was at home and had the comfort of knowing where I was going to run. It’s been tough because I’ve had to ring up the hotel the day before I get there to ask where I can run. It’s been very odd, but very fun.

RELATED: I’m A Competitor: Esther Lofgren

How would you say running and music intersect in your life?
Music and fitness are two of the most important things in my life. Running has become a huge part of what motivates me. I’ve been working hard to balance my training while on tour. I was running way before I was a musician. I’m not diva-ish about anything apart from always having tea and always being able to fit in a run. It’s hardly rock ’n’ roll, but it keeps me happy and then I perform better.

Is running part of your warm-up routine for a show?
Yes. The bus usually gets into the city at like 11 a.m. after traveling through the night. I might take a little nap — because the bus can be a bit bumpy — but if not, I’ll get straight into my running gear and find a run or go to the gym. Sound check is usually at 5 p.m. Then I usually relax, have a drink and get ready for the show around 9:00-ish.

Do you find inspiration for your music when you’re running?
I’d like to say yes, but I don’t. I find it very hard to think about anything other than my run when I’m running. I think about how fast I’m going or how I’m feeling. I always think about the next step. Where if I’m listening to music, music really does spur me on. I listen to remixes of my own songs and that makes me very happy. It’s like affirmation for what I do.

Any plans for a full marathon?
I’ve done three other half-marathons, but hopefully next year I can do a full marathon. I know people who have run marathons and they aren’t like big, big runners and they found it OK, so I’m sure I could do it, too.

Do you have a favorite food you splurge on?
Well, I had ice cream last night! Since my job involves being very active and my hobby is very active, I’m not too hard on myself.

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Linzay Logan

Linzay Logan

Linzay Logan is a contributing editor to Competitor magazine.

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