A few days ago I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing “The Bull Runner” herself Jaymie Pizarro, about running and life in general. In this quick interview, I had hoped to address typical “newbie” questions and debunk common misconceptions about running.
1. People who are aspiring runners are afraid to try the sport because they fear they might injure their knees in the process. What’s your response to this?
I think it’s a common misconception among the older generation, but I believe runners nowadays know that running is good for the body. Of course, injury in any sport is a possibility and a risk, but as long as you practice good training habits then you can easily prevent injury. Key is to increase your mileage gradually. Follow the 10% rule which means you shouldn’t go over 10% of your previous week’s mileage. And, stretch after each run.
2. Is there a particular diet for me to follow to be able to run as well as you do?
I’m an average runner haha! But, in terms of diet, another misconception is that runners can eat everything they want. The truth is, when you start getting serious about running, the natural tendency is to eat clean and well because food is fuel to improve your performance. So, I eat clean most of the time, meaning more food that is wholesome and natural such as vegetables and fruits, I avoid processed food, and I drink a lot of water.
3. I am a runner, I do jog no more than twice a week. But I always stop too soon as I get tired early in the run. What would you suggest to cure this?
This means that you are going at a pace that is too fast for you. Do not rush the process. Run comfortably at a good pace that you can sustain. Next run increase your time by 5 to 10 mins and increase this gradually as you run more. Beginners have the tendency to focus on speed when they shouldn’t. Focus on building your base mileage and the speed will come naturally.
Another strategy that works is to use the run-walk method. Run a certain number of minutes then walk a specific number of minutes. Use this interval throughout the run. The following week decrease the walking minutes and increase the run minutes until you can comfortably run all the way.
4. How do you manage to juggle running with work, family and all the other important things in life?
It’s all about time management. I fell in love with running because it’s a convenient sport that you can squeeze into your busy day. All you need is a good pair of shoes and an hour to run a 10k. So, I wake up early, drop the kids at school, and run before work. It’s quite simple really. If you want something bad enough, you’ll do what it takes. As I always say, no excuses.
5. I am an overweight individual who has zero experience in running but I have a dream too, of someday running a marathon. How do you suggest I go about starting?
After getting a go signal from your doctor, you may start running gradually. If you are severely overweight, then try walking first to reduce the weight and gradually start running. When you are ready, target a 5k first to motivate yourself. When you’re comfortable with that, move up to a 10k then a 21k. Build your base, reduce your weight, and strengthen your legs. Do not rush the process. Do not compare yourself with others’ progress. Focus on yourself and see the improvements within yourself. When you can run a 21k comfortably, consider signing up for a marathon that will guide you with proper training and good support.
Jaymie Pizarro is a running freak, a mother of two, and the first Filipino to finish the World Marathon Majors. She’s also the founder of thebullrunner.com — a community where you can find highly motivated individuals to help you run your first legitimate (42k) marathon.