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Lyudmila Vasyutina: I Plan My Holidays Around the Dates of Marathons

How running becomes an integral part of life

IT specialist Lyudmila Vasyutina talks about how she got into running and shares useful advice for beginners.

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

I started running on a regular basis in 2016 after my first Butovo parkrun. Now it's not just a hobby, it's a lifestyle: I plan my holidays around the dates of marathons organised in Russia and abroad, and I've made new acquaintances — people who love running like I do.

How often do you go running?

Five to six times a week, on average.

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

I enjoy running on my own, it's my form of meditation. But I also wouldn't say no to a long run (30–40 km) in a company of friends. It depends on how I feel that day!

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

Park alleys, or even better — paths through the woods.

What are your favourite routes in Moscow?

I enjoy Bitsevski Park.

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

The most important thing is to put on a pair of trainers and go out. Start with a relatively short run, perhaps 30 minutes or so, but don't time yourself, just listen to your body. If you feel tired, switch to fast walking. Repeat a day later.

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

On weekdays I go for a run in the evening, after work. And on weekends I plan long training sessions starting early in the morning.

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

I prefer dedicated running clothes: leggings/shorts and a t-shirt. The main part of running equipment are your running shoes; the right pair of shoes is your guarantee of comfortable and injury-free running.

Do you have any life hacks/recommendations on running techniques you would like to share?

There are dedicated instructors to help you master the right technique, I can only emphasise the importance of warming up before the run and stretching afterwards. Also consider including special running exercises into your training routine.

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

I do, I use the app called Strava.

What would be your five tips for beginning runners?

  1. Run on a regular basis.
  2. Gradually increase your speed and duration of runs. Do not force it.
  3. Monitor your heart rate during the run.
  4. Find the right pair of trainers.
  5. Make sure to warm up before the run and to stretch afterwards.

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

Running is gaining popularity, more parks are being renovated, pavements are getting wider, more and more people are deciding to go for a run near their homes. Numerous running clubs and, of course, the parkrun movement also contribute to the development and growing popularity of running in Moscow.

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