Do you need some motivation at the beginning of the year? You will surely find that in our interview with Gold coach Ingalena Schömburg-Heuck. The certified sports scientist and nutritionist is a mother now. However, being a former high performance athlete (German champion in marathon 2010), she is still constantly on the move.
What reputation and importance does running have in the country that you live in?
Running is very popular in Germany and city runs are getting more and more popular, too. Running is a national sport – that’s great!
Running has always be a part of my life. As a child, I played handball and football, I was a member of a tennis squad and I would always go for runs with my neighbor. When I was as fast as the ”big ones” already as a ”little one”, I was approached by a club. At the age of 14 I took up running guided by a coach. Well, and with success came specialisation. I decided to focus more specifically on running, I became German champion several times and I participated in international cross-country running competitions. After an injury in 2013, I quit my career as a professional runner, but enjoy running even more intensely now being a coach.
What has been your favourite running experience so far?
Oh, there are so many. Actually, every run. An especially memorable experience, however, was the Wings for Life run, which I won in 2015. Out of the blue, I had decided to take part and I originally only wanted to run 30km, but then I got all euphoric and I suddenly ended up in the leading group. The interesting thing with this competiton is that the finish is not fixed but decided by the moment when the so called «catcher car» catches the runners. So, I was being chased the whole way and I did not know for how long I would be running. In the end it was about 50km and I was totally surprised. Awesome feeling.
What is your next goal? How do you prepare for that?
At the moment, I just run according to intuition, as my son Frederik is only nine months old. But this is nice for a change. My goal is to feel good having a break from running.
What is your favourite type of training?
I’ve come to love short, intense sessions, such as for example the «running Tabata-training », comprising 10 min warm-up, then 4×4 min Tabata (20s fast running, 10s easy jogging, repeated 8 times) with 2 min easy jogging in between. Then cool-down. Great!
Which is your personal piece of training advice that you can share with us?
Qualitiy over quantity. Have the courage to push yourself a little sometimes and don’t simply take it easy all the time.
Do you have any ritual which you do before a competition?
Not anymore. What is always important though: your meals should be standardised. I would not experiment there!
What is your personal tipp for competitions?
Relaxed in your head, relaxed (à fast) in your legs. Easier said than done. Try to always remind yourself of why you are doing this. For yourself!
Do you mind your nutrition?
Of course. Without nutrition training is only half as efficient and good, balanced food is essential for your health. I surely nibble, but I love eating healthy, it’s just good for me.
What is your favourite running brand?
Odlo. Easy one! Odlo has an excellent quality. The products last forever, they fit perfectly and they feel great. Furthermore, Odlo is very conscious of sustainability and they for example produce a collection with shares of yarn residues. They are also a member of the « Fair Wear Foundation », so, the working conditions are monitored. I find that extremely important.
What was a special moment for you as a running coach/ Gold coach?
When my runner Andreas achieved his marathon goal brilliantly!
Why should a customer book you as a Gold coach?
A coach who is always there for you as a runner, who gives you feedback and sometimes also gently drives you is just «worth a mint». This way, you can achieve your running goals more easily, you get to know more about nutrition, recovery, alternative training etc. – just an ideal and complete running training package!
Ingalena Schömburg-Heuck has got her own category on our blog – new entries will follow.
This post is also available in DE.