Apolline has been training with Zoë for about a year and a half. Although already very sporty, having done team sports in her childhood, her initial goal was to learn how to do strength training and become stronger. During the time she has been at Slim Living she has run two full marathons and a half one and so her training has become accessory strength training to support her running. She has made incredible progress and is almost at her first chin up. Below she will tell us about her experience at Slim Living and talk about her running, giving advice to all runners and runners to-be.
How has your experience been at Slim Living?
My experience at Slim Living has been fantastic. The gym is such a nice place and the people are wonderful and encouraging. I started out just wanting to get back into fitness and feeling fit again but what I’m most proud is also the change that I am seeing in myself, both physically and mentally.
What is your favourite and least favourite exercise?
My favourite exercises are: hip thrusters and hamstring curls. I can’t choose between them. A close second are Bulgarians which I know can be odd as its mostly others’ least favourite.
My least favourite are burpees. I’ve never liked them and never will .
Tell us about the first moment when you were triggered to run.
So in primary school, we didn’t have a playground or any sport facilities so we did a lot of sport activities in a park near my school. We did 1 hour of sports per day. The park had a huge lake and one of the weekly sports lessons was to do a lap around the lake. I was a sporty kid and competitive so always tried to finish first every week. This is when I got the first taste of running.
How did you motivate yourself to go running when you really didn’t want to?
Marathon training in the winter is hard as it’s dark most of the time. However, if you don’t train you might not finish your marathon. This fear always motivates me to go out for a run even when I don’t want to and I know that once I have the adrenaline running through my body I’ll keep going.
What are three of your running essentials?
- 1Geat running shoes (you should always have 2 pairs)
- Music and
- Running app to track your runs (I use adidas running app which includes a marathon plan).
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made during a race and what would you say to others to avoid this mistake?
Once, when I was a teenager, I didn’t have a proper breakfast before my race. I was starving throughout the race, felt very weak and didn’t have a good run at all. So always have a good meal before a race and give yourself 1.5 hours to digest it.
Anything else you would like to share to aspiring runners or people that would like to sign up for their first race?
For aspiring runners, it’s never too late to get into running. It can be a lonely sport so maybe start with friends. As for those signing up for their first race: start small with 5km races and slowly make your way up to full marathon. I did a lot of half marathons before my first marathon. But also remember, running isn’t for everyone but it is an easy and cheap sport to stay fit. Most importantly: enjoy it (especially the endorphins and adrenaline!)
Tell us more about your running history and experiences.
So in primary school I developed my love for running. Then in my secondary school, sport lessons were differently organized. There were more team activities and in sports I had never tried before (like lacrosse). So I did try outs in these new sports but sadly didn’t get on any team – which was disappointing as I was always sporty and always made teams. Cross-country team was the last sport I tried out for. And fortunately because I was always sporty and already liked running I got easily on the team. This is when my running journey fully started and it even allowed me to become third best runner in London. I was also given the opportunity to be an athlete and train with an Olympic trainer but running was never a career I wanted to pursue.
One of my favourite runs then was the mini-marathon in London. Children ages 11-17 compete by representing their municipalities in London and race the last 3 miles (4.8Km) of the full marathon. I loved it, as the atmosphere was electric with the crowds cheering and the amazing route through the landmarks of London. After completing all the mini marathons, I was ready to try a full marathon at 18 years old and wanted London to be my first one. Sadly it is extremely competitive to get a spot and after 10 years I gave up. So when I moved to Amsterdam I decided to try my first marathon in my new city. I did it last September (it was postponed from 2020 due to covid) and I loved it 😍