Nike-sponsored golf pro Rory McIlroy takes fitness seriously. In March 2015, he shared his reasons for being a gym rat, and now he’s sharing with the brand the reasons he’s passionate about running.
“The notion of running came to me a little after I started to seriously consider my fitness. Perhaps I felt that training for golf would be more along the lines of upper body strength and core to improve stability and, therefore, driving distance,” he said. “Holding me back also was the fact that I hadn’t been a runner at any time in my life, so I considered it a little alien. I found it difficult to begin with, but the benefits very quickly followed. I took advice, found a technique that worked for me, got the right gear and never looked back.”
Now McIlroy is an avid runner, and he has incorporated running as a regular part of his healthy lifestyle.
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“Now I see running, either in shorter, explosive bursts or of a longer duration, as a very important part of feeling fit and healthy. It sets me up for the day and clears my mind, helping me to focus and concentrate,” he said. “Sometimes I like being on my own. Other times it’s nice to have a sparring partner. I enjoy doing shorter, faster running bursts on my own and the longer spells with company, if only to ensure I keep my pace from flagging — 5K can be a lonely 15 minutes.”
The product of Holywood, Northern Ireland, said he’s already seen the benefits of running on the golf course.
“During competitive play in every weather condition, through delays, on the range and in practice rounds, my fitness has saved me countless shots over time,” he said. “That’s all the motivation I need to make me put my trainers on and take to the road, track or country lane.”
McIlroy is the third-ranked golfer according to the Official World Golf Ranking. In November, Nike released the Lunar Control 4, a golf shoe built with insights from McIlroy.