micke-midlife on April 4th, 2010

Ilkka and his projectA couple of times today, I heard steps closing in from behind. Wasn’t out in the streets and I’m not (yet) paranoid. It happened, as so often right now, in the Esport Arena. The steps got closer and closer, but then the other guys interval run was finished. I could well have done with some company on the 2 x 6km long long intervals that the training program had for me today. He came around later while cooling down, he is Ilkka, a long time marathoner with a respectable personal best of 2:43h in Vienna “a couple” of years back. Anyway, Ilkka is not just running marathons himself, but rather mostly animating others to do so. With his project 42195.fi he’s actually a professional running instructor. But I guess for him it’s not so much a project but more of a lifestyle. 

The difference between a project and lifestyle is that with a project there’s a defined beginning and end. As with 400days, the beginning was August 24, 2008, the end … eh, well it was supposed to be September 20, 2009. Now it’s more likely September this year. But still, you get the point, there is an end to it. Running as lifestyle knows no end, it’s until doom’s day or until whatever injury forces you to let go. Regarding the latter, Ilkka can tell you how to draw that out as far as possible. The key aspect is in the variety of activity. A good mix of playing football or basketball, cross country skiing, cycling and running provides a healthy allround approach and can even get you a long way in ambitious long distance running. Many good 10k and half marathon runners do competitive running as a side product.

But with the marathon, I think it’s slightly different. The marathon requires a certain amount of running kilometers, which quickly makes it the only sport for an ambitious runner, at least for most parts of the year. There are times, the weeks after a marathon, the winter months where other forms of sports can be built in, but going totally without the long efforts (long runs or long skiing sessions) in the winter, isn’t the best option for anyone’s 42195 project.

Ilkka’s t-shirt also had some advice on the back. It always generates some good comments when appearing on any event with it. Apparently some Scotts (or were them Irish) wanted to add something about dringking there, too. What a surprise.

run long, run fast, rest well, race great

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