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The Realistic Run Diaries: “At 30, I’m Now Healthier And Fitter Than I Ever Was In My Twenties”

Hong (@nothongry) works out almost every day. The runner gives an insight into a typical week in her life and shares how she maintains her drive.

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Hi, my name is Hong and I live in Berlin. I used to be one of those people who thought they weren’t runners. Now, I’m training for my seventh marathon. I exercise almost daily and it’s important for me to feel good while doing it. I value comfort a lot. Like others, I often hit the snooze button and really need my morning coffee before I attempt to do anything.  Sometimes it’s challenging to incorporate my training into my busy week and still enjoy it. To maintain my motivation I focus on feeling comfortable. This can include things such as picking the right running shoe, finding your running community and your post-workout snack. Here’s what a typical workout week can look like for me:
I’m a designer and also work as a flight attendant so my weeks are quite packed. If I want to stick to my weekly workout routine I can’t afford to lose the joy of running. The absolute essential: my running playlist. I don’t always listen to music while running, but when I lack motivation, it’s my lifesaver. If I run out of breath during a run, I slow down and start singing. It makes me regain control of my breathing. The run becomes much more enjoyable, and I notice people smiling as I jog past them.
Today, I borrowed my friend’s dog, Mia, for some company on the way. Mia has a lot of energy, and it’s fun to race her. She pulls me at the beginning, but with time I end up pulling her. I may not be as fast as her, but when it comes to endurance, I win.
My training isn’t all about running. I go to yoga class a lot. Strength training is also crucial to prevent injuries, along with physiotherapy sessions. This holistic programme helps me when I want to push my limits during my runs. It provides me with a solid foundation, so I’m not completely exhausted after particularly challenging runs.
Rest days are as important as workouts. Besides, I still have work and a social life. As a flight attendant traveling the world, I try to meet as many friends as possible when I’m in town. Today, I’m taking a little break and going to see an exhibition.
Some people think marathon runners jump out of bed at 5 a.m. and effortlessly run 20 kilometres. The truth is, I sometimes need an extra dose of motivation. That’s why comfort is essential to me, whether I’m going for an easy run or a tough track workout.
Today is one of those days I push myself to new limits on my run. After all, I’m currently training for a marathon. I love competitions because I enjoy challenging myself. During today’s track workout, I test my speed and how long I can maintain my pace. I like to wear the Nike Invincible 3 on my runs because they make me feel secure on any surface and I like the bouncy sole.
Yesterday’s workout really took a toll on me. Aside from a small yoga session, I’m taking a break today. I meet up with friends, and we go to another exhibition. Since I’m often away, working as a flight attendant, I want to absorb as much as possible when I’m back in Berlin.
I usually run along the Landwehr Canal. Sometimes on asphalt, sometimes on grass, and sometimes on mud. I listen to a thrilling podcast and forget about everything else for a little while. Sometimes I don’t listen to anything and just absorb the city’s sounds. I enjoy watching the people around me while I run. Afterwards I treat myself to a cup of coffee and a small snack at the market stand in Kreuzberg.
Thanks to my running group, the Joy Run Collective, I found a fantastic community. Today, we’re doing a long run together. It’s cold outside so I need to be well prepared. After conquering a long distance run through the Berliner Tiergarten, we all meet up for brunch. This time, the host made dumplings. I’ve been looking forward to these dumplings all week.

I started running four years ago. At 30, I’m now healthier and fitter than I ever was in my twenties. But running is so much more than physical training. As a runner, I gained a lot of confidence because I know now how much I can push myself, even when I feel a bit low. I’ve learnt: Focusing on comfort helps me stay consistent. I can set new limits and feel comfortable doing it. The next stop? Running my seventh marathon.

Hong’s three tips to make your run more enjoyable:
• Wear comfy clothes and shoes
• Have a great running playlist, for example with disco, house and techno
• Choose a scenic route and a treat after
When it comes to comfortable running shoes, you have to feel it to believe it. Learn more about the Nike Invincible 3 and try them for yourself.

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