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Ekaterina Bashmakova: Put on a Pair of Trainers and Run!

Running as a Lifestyle

ASICS front runner talks about what running means for her and shares useful tips for beginning runners.

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What does running mean for you and how did you get started?

I started running just over two years ago. Not that I'd never run before that, but those were just random runs here and there to lose a couple of kilos.

It all changed when I decided to run a marathon. To run a distance of 42.2 km, you need more than 'craziness and audacity'. It requires hard work and a long preparation process. That's why I joined a running club where I continued to train even after passing the marathon stage. My ambitions and the joy from the training process made me set new running goals. That's how I started working not only on my stamina but also on speed.

For me, running is much more than just a hobby. It's a lifestyle. The sense of completion, freedom, euphoria that you get from running—there's nothing like it. Totally legal endorphins that are available to everyone. What else can you wish for?

How often do you go running?

I have been running five days a week for several years, apart from periods when I catch a cold or overtrain. That's when I take a break and stop running until I'm fully recovered.

What's better, running on your own or in a company?

It depends on your personal preference. I enjoy both. Sometimes I like running on my own so I can reflect on things or listen to music. But other times I enjoy completing my instructor's task in a company of like-minded people. It helps make even the hardest routine go smoothly.

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What kind of terrain do you prefer, concrete pavements or park alleys?

I like running along the embankment. I enjoy the atmosphere of the urban jungle, running in busy areas. But for everyone else, I recommend park alleys! Running on bare earth is much better for you than on road tile.

What are your favourite routes in Moscow?

My favourite one is without a doubt the route from Novospasskaya Embankment to Luzhniki. I choose it above all other options if I'm planning a long run (12–25 km).

What is the best way to get back to running after a long break?

First and foremost, do not run fast. You need to slowly get used to the training process after a break. Run slowly, for shorter distances, and listen to your body. It's best to follow a plan prepared by your instructor.

What is your preferred time for running, mornings or evenings?

Right now, I prefer mornings. In the past, I used to run in the evening, but that caused me to have difficulties falling asleep. When I switched to exercising in the morning, I've stopped having such problems, and now I have free evenings to spend with my family.

What kind of clothes/equipment do you prefer for running?

I am currently an ASICS front runner and I choose their equipment for training.

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Do you use any exercise apps? If so, which ones?

Right now I'm using a Polar fitness watch; after a run, I synchronise my training session with their app and send the results to my instructor. Previously, I used Strava. It's kind of a social network for athletes. Right now I just don't have enough time.

What would be your five tips for beginning runners?

Don't aim for long distances at early stages. Start with short runs at a slow pace. If you get tired quickly — switch to walking and get back to running once you're ready. Increase the speed and distance gradually. And remember that the hardest part is putting your trainers on and forcing yourself to go out. It gets better after that! I've tried it myself.

How well-developed do you think the culture of running is in Moscow?

I think amateur running is currently at its peak in Moscow. A lot of new and free stadiums are opening, new running clubs are emerging, and sports shops are offering more and more running equipment at a range of different prices and styles. Physical exercises are becoming a vital part of life for growing numbers of people. And what's easier than putting on a pair of trainers and going for a run?

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