Runners' StoriesOver 80 000 runners. Those all were running with us in 2017. They toe the starting line with a different kind of motivation and reasons to run. One runs to lose weight, another for a good cause and the third just simply loves it. Each of them has a unique story. You can read them here, get inspired and write your own. Share your story with us at [email protected]
“I never thought I could run 21 km. But it is possible, in fact anyone can do it if they really put their mind to it. It’s all about willpower,” Tereza Koňaříková reveals. She has completed the half marathon twice now in her home-town and is currently getting ready to take on her third Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon. You’ll not only have the chance to catch a glimpse of Tereza at the race scheduled for the end of June, but literally everywhere you go. Her face can be seen on all the posters, announcing to the world that All Runners Are Beautiful. So what’s the twenty-six year old runner’s story? We thought we’d let her tell you first hand…
“I’d sometimes go for a run, either alone or with my dog. I couldn’t believe it when I first ran four kilometres. It never occurred to me to run a half marathon. My brother bought me my first start number for the Olomouc race. My brother has always been in good shape so I told myself I had to do it and took it as a challenge. I started running more plus did a bit of training including some interval work. I ran 16 kilometres, ouch! Followed by 20! By which point it seemed realistic. And it was…
The first half marathon was amazing and I really enjoyed it. Despite the fact that it was scorching weather and I’d only just been reading articles about how to compete, keep my head covered and ideally not go out at all. In the end, though the heat didn’t bother me at all. There was plenty of water everywhere and I found I could run fine after a splash of water. The atmosphere was out of this world, I couldn’t believe the huge number of people who came to support us in the heat. When I finished I treated myself to a beer and a banana and was pleased that both me and my brother managed it.
Then I started reading books such as Born to Run and Scott Jurek’s Eat & Run. As someone who’s been vegetarian for the past ten years, I’ve never had any doubts about the benefits of a plant-based diet (even when under greater physical strain), but it was still great to read about how a man can run ultra marathons on a vegan diet. If you fancy trying a life without meat, you can have a go for yourself on the Vegan Challenge.
Personally I don’t’ make a huge fuss about food. Before big races I like to make myself some porridge with fruit or peanut butter and then take along some dried fruit. Carbs are best to give you energy. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to eat something light and keep your intake to a minimum around two hours before a race. When I’m really hungry, I prefer to eat a dried fruit bar which doesn’t take up much space in your tummy. I like to drink Vincentka to top up on minerals before or after a long race. When it’s hot you could try a Tarahumara drink – chia seeds and water with a few drops of lemon. It’s also good to get a magnesium boost every now and then even if it’s just a bottle of Mattoni. It varies a fair bit from person to person of course.
Personally, I love how running enables you to get to places you’d otherwise never go, and quickly too. When I arrive in Olomouc, I like to have a run around and check out what’s changed. And it’s great to discover new places through running. Right now I do most of my running in Prague and I would never have believed how many beautiful forests and parks there are just a few minutes from the centre by metro.
Running allows me to see, think, experience and work out loads, not to mention discuss things with my brother or a friend. Run whichever way makes it fun and you will enjoy it. You might want to run through the early morning city and soak up the aroma of freshly baked cakes, vegetables and herbs on the market. If you head into the forest early in the morning, the sunrise warms you up and you get to see the landscape bathed in light. And in the summer you can smell the pine needles, cool off your feet in a stream, eat fresh forest strawberries and maybe even bump into some dear. Winter on the other hand offers up a white landscape without you feeling cold. That moment stays with you forever.
Running has allowed me to see some amazing places, make some incredible friendships, attend interesting events and have fantastic experiences – such as with SK Babice. It has been tough at times with some blood, sweat and blisters involved along the way but as Scott Jurek says “not all pain means something” so I’ll see you at the half marathon in Olomouc!”