As part of my blog I (MM) believe it’s important to share common and similar experiences. I’d like to introduce you to my friend and one of my favourite people on Instagram, Silvia (SRC) her positive and fun personality really comes across in her posts. Below she talks about the great impact running has had in her life
MM: How did you get into running and why do you continue to do it?
SRC: My first memories of running was taking part in cross country in school, although I enjoyed it, I never really did it competitively.
For me running has always been a passion but initially I never took it seriously or trained for a specific purpose. Following my school years I used to run spontaneously but not routinely, around 2 or 3 times per week.
In 2012 following the birth of my daughter, I was very devoted to my her, so running naturally wasn’t my first priority and I only did it intermittently. However I later developed a back condition, which kept me out of running for several months.
Towards the end of 2012, my back started to feel better. However my Doctors advised me against running and wanted me to work specifically on strengthening and conditioning exercises, which I did. But running was my passion. I wanted to prove the Doctors wrong, and show that running was not bad for my back, this drove me forward to running my first race which was a 10k in summer 2015.
When things get difficult in my training, I remember how I overcame this challenging period in my life. At times it felt as if my body was not allowing me to run. But I kept believing in myself and little by little I got stronger. In 2015, I completed 10k and half marathon races.
After completely my first couple of races I felt the most amazing feeling, like I wanted to run for the rest of my life, and I was determined to run a marathon in the future.
MM: You’ve multiple marathons. From these races what was your worst and best races and what did you learn from them?
SRC: I’ve run 4 marathons. My first marathon was in November from last year. This year I’ve run 3. I can’t say I’ve had a bad marathon. They’ve all gone very well, including my third marathon where I was sick and even so I still set a new Personal Best and qualified for the London Marathon.
Also all my half-marathon performances have left me satisfied. I think my worst race was my first race, which was the 10km. It was a very hot day where I suffered from dehydration. This was my biggest lesson and I started to pay more attention to hydratation and pre-race meals. That was an unknown concept for me. I had absolutely no idea about what to eat or drink and when. But following this experience I’ve learnt my lessons and found what works for me in terms of hydration and fuel.
MM: Bar running what other training do you train to improve your running performance?
SRC: To be honest although running is my passion, I rarely do the rest of the things I know I should do. However I may do one strength or flexibility activity once per week in the form of yoga, pilates, weights or step aerobics.
However I am very active, and across a year, I do a range of different activities, from rock climbing to snowboarding, I allow myself to diversify to keep exercise fun.
Overall I aim to do at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, but I know I should do more consistent training alongside my running.
MM: You have a great social media presence, especially on Instagram. If you could accomplish anything via social media what would it be?
SRC: I think social media already has given me more than what I could ever imagine it would give me. I am learning so much, I’m growing as runner, on an intelectual, physical and emotional level. To share my running enthusiasm and receive such positive feedback is something that motivates me everyday. It’s an honour to know that I inspire other runners, in their journey to continue pursuing their dreams and to know that I had a direct influence in other’s lives to pick up running as a sport is amazing. That’s the most valuable accomplishment someone can get as runner. I am very thankful for all the support I receive on a daily basis, and to be in close contact with many fantastic athletes of all levels. Including yourself as you’re a reference to me.
MM: Injuries are apart of running, but not always easy to deal with, what advice would you give to runners for coping with injuries?
SRC: When you have an injury, the best thing you can do is to occupy yourself with other activities, if you can’t run, you can lift weights, train your arms, or work on your abs. Basically do the exercises you usually don’t have enough time to do when fully fit. I also find that regular stretching is so important for preventing injuries.
I think it’s important to do other things, like taking a walk and enjoying nature, or reading a good book, spending time with family and friends, as it helps you appreciate other things.
But it’s important to learn about the injury so you can actually improving your training, and add something new to your existing knowledge, such as learning about hydration, nutrition, new training programs. I find that learning more about the injury improves the quality of your future training.
MM: What’s your favourite training session and what’s the session you dread but you know you must do?
SRC: I love long runs, I barely go out for anything less than 30 minutes, I need at least 10k to feel like I have actually completed a workout.
A long run surrounded by nature is my favourite. I love the trails, but I don’t take it just as training, because I get lost in the beauty around me. I like running by feeling. I also find that hill running makes me feel alive.
In terms of my least favourite sessions, intervals are the ones I still fight to do, but I have learned they are important, so I made an effort to include them into my training over the last 4 months.
MM: What is your favourite pre race meal?
SRC: Without a doubt spaghetti bolognese. I can’t have enough of it!
MM: From your experiences running, what do you believe to be true?
SRC: I believe that the biggest truth is that hard work pays off. You get the results from the training you put in.