Arek

1. What do you like best in running and what is your pet peeve?

When I train I like the fact that I spend my free time doing some physical activity, and get rid of any stress I might have in life. I treasure each minute spent breathing fresh air. I choose the pace: if I feel like running faster, I go for it, or if I want to slow down, I slow down. In races I enjoy mingling with other runners and being satisfied with the finish timing I get :) Two things I'm not a fan of: victory through suffering and when someone shows off. Running is something that should bring happiness and joy, and not be a torture. 

2. What would ideal running/racing conditions look like to you?

First of all, it's fresh air, so I usually try to train in the forests or beaches near the place where I live. Also, it's important to have different kinds of surface beneath my feet: I don't fance running on asphalt only.
In my opinion, no conditions are ideal when it comes to races :) Usually, there are a lot of participants at the start of the race, and not all race organizers have the skills to cope with such crowds. I'm not surprised by this: it's a tough task to handle, especially when some of the participants break the rules set by the orgs :)

3. What running dream do you have? If you had everything you needed, what would be the wildest, most impossible dream?

For now, my first dream goal is to run a marathon in less than 3 hours (and it won't be long till I do that), and the second is to run the New York Marathon.

4. Tell about the toughest training you had. What was the outcome? And what was the most valuable takeaway?

Hmm, every training session is hard, when you prepare for a race. But, for me the hardest are the ones where I have to maintain a certain pace and not speed up. And then there's always the strength training, which I also find challenging, but without it it's next to impossible to achieve a running goal you set :)

5. What body part would you name that would be the most important when it comes to running? What body part you're most thankful to?

Every body part is important. I tend to work on abs and legs a lot (thanks to football, my legs are quite strong! :)

6. Did you do sports when you were a child? Was running among the activities you were fond of? If not, why did you eventually decide to start running and when did that happen?

I've been into sports since I was a teen. Football was my favourite, and I managed to achieve a lot in that sport while playing for the school team and for the football club I trained at. I also participated in school football contests at that time. I started running thanks to my brother-in-law, who was the first one to get hooked on to this activity. To this day we're running together. Besides that, reading articles on running and listening to other runners' advice was a great help as well.

7. What do you feel when you're at the start line and when you've just crossed the finish line? What is essential for you to have when you're about to run a race and what do you usually do after you've run it?

When I'm standing just before the start line, I always feel a bit of stress, but it's important to keep calm and think positive. Start at your own pace, because your body knows all too well, what it's capable of. It will be quite evident closer to the finish line, whether you started too fast. After the race remember tofill up on the liquids and vitamins.

8. Was there something that changed in your views on running since you started?

A lot has changed since I started on this adventure. Each training session and each race rings more knowledge and skill... So, I now have quite a solid experience which I will use in my future runs and races.

9. What goal that you set to achieve in the beginning of your running journey now seems to be something that's too ambitious or maybe even impossible to do?

I'm an amateur runner and my goal is to run a marathon in less than 3 hours. This is quite a huge effort, and not every runner is capable of it.

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@2020 Anna Shilonosova