On interview: Ambassador Louzanne Coetzee 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, Louzanne Coetzee told us her story.
When and how did you discover running?
I actually started running by accident in my first year at varsity. I volunteered for our first year athletics meet. The student in charge of sport at my residence found it such an inspiration that someone with a visual impairment could run, and insisted I get coaching. Soon after that, I was doing long-distance races.
What brought you back into running?
What brought me in to running was the fact that I realised I enjoyed the sport, and could inspire other people through it. I could therefore combine my passion with making a difference in people’s lives. That’s really cool for me.
Can you remember your first run or big run milestone?
The day when I broke the world record in the 5000m on track for totally blind (T11) female athletes was really cool.
Is running a constant in your life?
Most definitely. I am training for the Tokyo Paralympic Games, and therefore have to give it my all every day.
What effect has the pandemic had; how did your relationship with running change in 2020?
It didn’t change much. I just started to more greatly appreciate the fact that I am healthy and can run. Still training hard, though.
Do you have a set schedule each week?
Yes – I train from a programme, and do strength training twice a week. I train every day and only take a rest day on a Sunday.
Do you ever find it hard to get out there?
I think we all have days that are hard, but it is those days that matter most in the end. They teach you to push through what you are feeling.
What would you say to someone new to running or sport?
Never forget to have fun in your sport. It is great to run/play well, but always keep the fun element.
What did you fall in love with: running or winning (if you are competitive)?
Haha, I think a bit of both, to be honest.
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, I definitely do. Running professionally just means that I have to focus more on the harder days to get the little things right.
What does your typical run look like?
It depends, I do different sessions. Some are speed sessions, others are longer runs, and others are intervals. Typically, I would jog, stretch, do some strides, and then start with my session.
When you do not feel like training, what inspires you to get out there?
The fact that I am training to run well at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Apart from running/sport what are your passions?
I love reading, baking, a good movie, and I also do some art. I enjoy spending time in nature, as well.
Which On shoes are your choice and why?
My favourite pair of Ons were my first pair, the Surfers. I love them because they are very versatile – I can do speed work in them, as well as longer stuff.
Finally, why On?
I love the On brand. Their shoes are good quality and something different to your normal running shoe. The technology in the shoes is also amazing.