We’re delighted at ZEM to be inspired by our ZEMbassador Bren Tompkins who just keeps upping his game and WOW’ing everyone one his achievements. Here is his story:

Hi, my name is Bren Tompkins and I love to run. How I started running is kind of funny; in 2010, I quit smoking three packs of cigarettes a day and gained a good bit of weight. My back went out shortly after and the doctor told me I would not be able to ever run again. Up until that point in my life I hadn’t run at all, and I almost took it as a challenge. I slowly started running 1-3 miles every other day until I could run 3 miles straight through. It’s funny; I remember driving to Daffin Park near my house, run-walking the 1.5 mile loop, then driving home exhausted. Now I take a 2-3 mile detour and then run 3-4 loops before running home.  Through running I’ve met some pretty amazing people who have helped me along the way; Dan Hernandez comes to mind because I remember him talking about running 6-7 days a week and running ultra-marathons, and recall how I didn’t realize it was possible at the time.  Because of him and other people like him, I started doing it myself.

I train a little differently than most. I’ve found that six to seven miles a day is the sweet spot for me, and quality miles are more important than quantity.  I do hill and speed work every week.

Ido tempo runs every two to three weeks. I try to get in a longish run on the weekend, but I like to use races as long runs if I’m training for a big race like a 100 miler or a 24 hour. I believe core work is essential to running because as you get tired your core will hold you together. Leg strengthening is also something that I use in my regimen three to four days a week. Working on your form is very important and with ZEM I’m able to do that easily because I can feel everything.  Without the amazing support I’ve had from the Savannah and LowCountry running community I’m sure I would not have been able to accomplish the things I’ve done this year. ZEM has also been behind me with their amazing shoes that are perfect for me, and I hope others will begin to enjoy them as I do.

What I like so much about running is you get what you put into it, just like with life. In 2013, I ran my first 50k and suffered through it terribly. I kept working and listening to my body; now I sit here having finished my 2014 racing and just completed One Epic Run 24 Hour in which I covered 100 miles in 22:52 and finished first overall.  I truly believe there is nothing that anyone cannot do if they set their mind to it. There will be people telling you it’s impossible-the worst one will probably be yourself-but you really can accomplish your goals as long as you put in the work to do it and give it your best. It will not be easy, but anything is possible if you try.