October 16, 2015

Running – Interview for MagazynLokalny

By Marek

Running Inverview!

Not long ago, I have been interviewed by a local community magazine, who wanted to find out what prompted me to run. As the interview was published in Polish, running interviewhere is the full text translated into English. The interview originally featured in the July edition of Magazyn Lokalny (www.magazynlokalny.co.uk)

A few days ago you have taken part in a 50km race. How did you start running, especially such long distances?

I began my adventure with running in late October 2012. It was shortly after taking part in a short event featuring Anthony Robbins, where the energy in the room was amazing, and where I was totally exhausted after a few hours. That day I made an important decision that I must find a way to get more energy. I was quickly led to a book written by Stu Mittleman, thanks to which, I have learned to run efficiently, gaining maximum energy.
Coming back to the second part of your question, looking back about 18 months, I was not even contemplating much about running a marathon and I was not even familiar with the topic ultra marathons. However, with time, my passion for running has been growing and as I read more and more about running and runners, my appetite for more adventurous challenges grows.

You have mentioned that you have learned how to run from a book. We all knew how to run ever since we were able to walk. What can be learned?

I remember when a few years back I was attempting to run. 15 minutes after leaving the house I was exhausted, I could barely catch my breath. This was caused by the fact that I would go all out and try to run at top speed so as to finish the exercise as quickly as possible. However, this type of running has no positive effects. I know from experience, that most people start running in a similar fashion and give up after a short period of time. The biggest mistake we make is that we try to run too fast. All other sports require training and learning at least the basics but when it comes to running, we assume that we know everything about it. This is where all the injuries come from (80% of runners are injured each year).

Running too fast? What does that mean? Is it not the main objective of running to get from one point to another in the quickest manner?

Let’s not kid ourselves. Most of us don’t start running in order to win competitions. Most of us start running at a more mature age than the world running elite. In my case, running was a means of achieving higher energy levels in everyday life. Some run to lose weight whilst others to improve their health. To achieve either of these and many other goals, there is no need to run fast. It is actually more beneficial to run slower.


What benefits do you get from running slow?

Running at a slower speed we maintain our heart rate at a lower level – this is known as aerobic exercise. This allows us to tap into our fat reserves to fuel our exercise. As we speed up our run, our heart rate increases and we shift to sugar burning phase. As we have a limited amount of sugar in our body, we will tire more quickly in this phase. Keeping to an aerobic phase, our body gets used to burning fat, which helps us keep a steady weight and teaches the body to tap into fat for fuel even when we are not running. Lighter physical activity is also beneficial for our blood circulation.
Please do not get me wrong. I also like to run fast, however, not more than once per week – I just do not have such a need.

Those are general answers. Please tell us truthfully, how much time do you spend on running, what have you achieved until now and what plans in terms of running have you got in the near future?

When I started, I ran 3 – 4 times per week for about 30 – 40 minutes. Now I run 4 – 5 times per week for about an hour each time (10 km).
The 50km ultra marathon mentioned at the beginning was my first ultra. 50k ultraUntil now, I have mainly competed on shorter distances 10km – 30km. Recently, I have even started running in the very popular ParkRuns. These are informal 5km runs organised in local parks on Saturdays in many cities across the UK and several other countries. In the Fall, I will be running The Royal Parks Half Marathon. Next year is already looking very interesting. I have already secured a spot in the Paris Marathon and am awaiting the draw for a spot in the London Marathon. I am also thinking of running a few ultra marathons.

I can see that you have running in your blood now. How can our readers catch the running bug?

First of all, you need a good reason to run. Running for the sake of running is usually not a good enough motivator. Second, it is important to feel more energised after each run than we were feeling prior to it. This is why I encourage to run at a slower pace. For beginners, it is a good idea to mix a quick walk with short running stints. Finally, it is beneficial to learn the basics of proper running techniques.
There are numerous materials that can be found online but it is best to learn from experienced runners, those who have been running for 20 or 30 years. If they can, so can you. Most importantly, have fun. Feel free to explore this website (www.HelpGetFit.com). I try to share my experiences and what I have learned from experienced runners. After the summer holidays, I will be starting running groups in Watford. These will be free of charge once per week for runners of different abilities. Please feel free to contact me. Thank you very much for enabling me to share my passion with your readers.