On interview: Ambassador Kelvin Steyn on how to reignite a love for runningThe Social Media Company
On-running.com recently conducted an interview with London-based musician and design student, Eleanor Dunlop. After growing apart from running due to developing an unhealthy association with the sport, Dunlop’s love for taking to the road was reignited during the lockdown brought about by COVID-19.
On South Africa decided to send the same questions to some of our On Ambassadors, to gauge how someone who has grown out of the habit can again find the initial spark that led them to running in the first place, and how the lockdown has affected that relationship.
On Ambassador, Kelvin Steyn, told us his story.
When and how did you discover running?
Coming from a swimming background, running always offered a great chance to do some cross training, and allowed me to mix it up a little. It also offers a great opportunity to de-stress and enjoy the surroundings.
What brought you back into running?
When a friend challenged me to attempt a triathlon after going through a hard time. During the race, I realised that I actually really enjoy running.
Can you remember your first run or big run milestone?
My first run was with my mother (she has always been the runner in the family) when I was quite young. My biggest running milestone to date is running just over 50km through the Prince Alfred’s Pass for the Knysna Extreme Triathlon. It was beautiful and awesome to learn how far I could push my body.
What does running mean to you?
Running, to me, is a form of freedom. It gives you the opportunity to just be you, and not only allows you to explore and experience nature, but also teaches you where your limits are and opens up the doors to many great places.
Is running a constant in your life?
100%, yes! If I cannot run, I get upset. It has definitely become a part of my life!
What do you think about when you are running?
Generally, I think about everything. Sometimes it’s the next event, work or family. It really helps clear the mind, so you can find some answers at times.
What effect has the pandemic had; how did your relationship with running change in 2020?
It changed the way I value running! It’s like they say, you really miss something when it’s taken away from you. So, after lockdown, I was more determined to make running a priority and to be better at it!
Do you have a set schedule each week?
Yes, I do. I’m very lucky to have a really awesome coach that helps me plan and prepare my weeks to suit my goals and race plans.
Do you ever find it hard to get out there?
Yes. Some days are harder than others, and to motivate myself to get the session done is not easy. The one thing I tell myself every time is that the run will help, and that I will feel better after! 99% of the time, I feel fantastic afterwards!
How does running help the rest of your life?
It helps to instill discipline. It teaches you when to pace yourself, when to slow down, and when to give it your all if you want the reward!
What would you say to someone new to running or sport?
I’d say, do it for you! Take the pressure out of it and find the fun and the enjoyment. Once you do, everything else falls into place, and before you know it, you’re running more and further each day.
What did you fall in love with: running or winning (if you are competitive)?
I’d like to say both. I can be competitive when I need to be. The rush you get from racing is out of this world, and the feeling after a long solo run is just as fantastic. So, basically, I run to win. I count every completed run as a win!
Do you still get the same buzz, now that running has switched from a hobby to professional ambition or from elite level to hobby?
Yes! As an age group athlete, I still get the rush – from a race, to just going for a run where I can still push myself and enjoy it, whether it’s for speed or distance, it’s always rewarding.
What does your typical run look like?
On average, during the week I have two chilled runs, and one pacey set that helps develop some speed. Then, on the weekends I have long runs that allow the body to find a good rhythm.
How does running help with other areas of your life?
It helps with teaching me smaller things, such as time management and listening to your body!
When you do not feel like training, what inspires you to get out there?
The thought of going backwards! Going back to where I was – that scares me and motivates me to strive to be better!
What is the best running advice you have received?
Listen to your body! It will tell you when to go and when to hold back. When you do not listen to it, it will always come back to hurt you!
Apart from running/sport what are your passions? .
My first passion has always been swimming, I love the feeling of the water. Then came triathlons – they offer an amazing opportunity to test oneself mentally and physically.
Besides sport, I love to spend time with my family and friends, relaxing and exploring the surroundings.
Which On shoes are your choice and why?
I really like the whole range! For training and distance, I use the Cloudstratus. For racing and speed sets, I use the Cloudflow, and on trail runs, I use the Cloudventure.
Finally, why On?
Well, why not On? In terms of the shoes: they are supportive and comfortable, light and fast, colourful and fun. I’ve only had good experiences with the brand, and they have been able to help support me to achieve my goals!