Fitness guru Gavin aims to outrun illness

Gavin Holmes who was diagnosed with ME two years ago, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, United Kingdom on 22 March 2016. Photo by Glenn Ashley Photography
Gavin Holmes who was diagnosed with ME two years ago, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, United Kingdom on 22 March 2016. Photo by Glenn Ashley Photography
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When super fit Gavin Holmes returned from a trip to America two years ago he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t shake his jet lag off.

Feeling constantly fatigued the personal trainer and fitness instructor, from Brimmington, visited his GP several times before he was diagnosed with M.E.

Gavin Holmes who was diagnosed with ME two years ago, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, United Kingdom on 22 March 2016. Photo by Glenn Ashley Photography

Gavin Holmes who was diagnosed with ME two years ago, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, United Kingdom on 22 March 2016. Photo by Glenn Ashley Photography

He said: “In July I went on holiday to the states, within a week of getting back I didn’t get over the jet lag. One day I was driving and had to stop at my parents because I was so tired. I collapsed exhausted on their sofa and slept for five hours.

“It got to the point where if I wasn’t at work I was fast asleep on the sofa.”

Before the diagnosis he was told he could be feeling unwell because of too much exercise. When he was diagnosed he was told not to do too much: “I was advised to sit in a dark room for 15 minutes of every hour but I just didn’t want to do that.’ he said, ‘You hear of people not leaving their rooms. I did some research and one of the things that came up was graded exercise therapy. I gradually worked out that I struggled with tiredness following strength training but cardio was fine.

“Most of the time I have got it under control and in November I started to feel things were getting better.”

Gavin, who works 50 hours a week including taking 15 fitness classes, has now committed himself to ten gruelling challenges this year to raise funds for Action For M.E. The latest one was the The Grindleford Gallop in the Peak District.

He said: “I didn’t do this amount of running before I was diagnosed. Since January I have stepped things up and do around 20 to 24 miles on a Sunday.

His next challenge will be the Sheffield half marathon on April 10.

Gavin’s challenges include:

Dukeries ultra marathon, a 30 mile off-road race.

The Brecon Beacon trail ultra, a 50 km trail race in the Brecon Beacons south Wales.

Round Sheffield run, a 20 km stage race

The Dig Deep Intro Ultra – A 30 mile ultra-marathon in the glorious surroundings of the Peak District.

Man vs Mountain – a 22 mile run up Mount Snowdon polished off with a lovely abseil and a potentially arctic swim and obstacle course (in the water).

Sheffield and Derby Half Marathons.

Huddersfield and holymoorside 10k

You can donate at Gavin’s Outrunning M.E at justgiving.com/Gav-Holmes1. He also has a blog and Facebook page. Search for Outrunning ME.