On interview: Ambassador Nicky Greek 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, Nicky Greek, told us her story.
When and how did you discover running?
I started running when I finished school as a way to meet people, get fit and overcome the huge barrier to being able to run. I am not a natural runner, and was a professional horse rider and competitive swimmer at school, but struggled to make it across the field during our physical education classes. It was a personal goal to prove to myself that I could run.
It took me about six months to be able to run a 5km route, and once I was able to do that, I loved the freedom of running and the feel-good hormones it gave me.
Needless to say, the rest is history.
Can you remember your first run or big run milestone?
My biggest milestone was a 21km run. I suffered through it and my body, legs and feet were sore for at least a week.
I never stopped there – I have entered 4 x 42km runs, and although I never loved them, it was a great achievement.
I have competed in several 70.3 Ironman events, and loved every minute of the run and experience.
What does running mean to you?
Running is the feeling of freedom. I gives me a clear mind, allows me to process the day, the week, and put things into perspective. Running is my medicine.
Is running a constant in your life?
I balance running, cycling and some swimming, hiking, and anything active. I believe the different disciplines give my mind, body and soul something that is unique to each activity.
What do you think about when you are running?
Everything, initially. Then nothing. The less I think, the more I benefit from the complete feeling of a clear, rational, and calm mind.
What effect has the pandemic had; how did your relationship with running change in 2020?
It has been very restrictive. I haven’t run nearly as much as I would have liked to, nor competed in the events that would have been huge goals for the year. I have still run – shorter distances and less frequently – but it has been mostly to keep fit and in shape, and to get some fresh air.
Do you have a set schedule each week?
No. At the moment, I run and exercise early in the morning or late in the afternoon. My children are at home, as the schools haven’t opened, so the juggling act to balance it all and be everything to everyone at home has been tough.
Do you ever find it hard to get out there?
How does running help the rest of your life?
It gives me perspective. It keeps my body strong, my mind clear and my ability to handle stress is a lot better.
What would you say to someone new to running or sport?
At first, when it feels hard, and you feel exhausted and want to quit, never quit. Keep going. It takes time, but when you feel you have conquered your goal, you will feel strong, you will find your passion, and you can do anything you put your mind to.
What did you fall in love with: running or winning (if you are competitive)?
Running. Winning is finishing what you started. Finishing what you entered. Winning, for me, is loving every moment and each challenge.
Do you still get the same buzz, now that running has switched from a hobby to professional ambition or from elite level to hobby?
Did 2020 make you value the running/sporting community more than you had?
What does your typical run look like?
As long as I run. As long as I sweat. As long as I am tired, I beat yesterday!
How does running help with other areas of your life?
It helps with stress, balance and clarity.
When you do not feel like training, what inspires you to get out there?
I always feel better after a run.
The longer you don’t run, the harder it is to start again, so never stop moving forward.
What is the best running advice you have received?
Never stop moving.
Apart from running/sport what are your passions?
Anything active, outdoors and physical. I love running, trail running, cycling, mountain biking, triathlon, hiking and pilates.
Which On shoes are your choice and why?
I run on the road in the Cloudflows and I use the Cloudsurfers for trail running, gym and cross training.
Finally, why On?
I have stayed injury-free with my On shoes – something I haven’t been able to do with any other shoe. I love not only the flexibility in the shoes, but also the stable, firm platform.