Find Your Strong Project: Week 1 Spotlight

Last week, thousands of dailymilers and others across the globe shared their strong face with Saucony. The photos were full of emotion: joy, exhaust, accomplishment – all raw and palpable. This first week of the Find Your Strong project was a huge success, and we’d like to thank everyone who participated and shared their strong face!

Each week there are 10 winners, and we’ll try to spotlight one or more of them here on the blog. This week, one of those winners – Gerald H. – shares what inspires him in a Q&A with dailymile below:

Gerald's Strong Face

You’re looking strong in this picture! Can you tell us about the race and how you were actually feeling so close to the finish line?

This marathon (Berlin 2011) was actually my first, and so emotions were running high! My thighs started to hurt at around km 25 (mile 15), but the pain luckily did not get worse, so I was able to push my body to a negative split (second half of the marathon faster than the first). The last kilometer was the best and most unforgettable, as the finish line was already in sight and it was just a pleasure after 41 km on the legs! I will never forget the feeling of finishing this first marathon!

When did you first start running?

I started to run longer distances (> 5km) on a regular basis in 2008, but I did other sports before like sailing, cycling and kayaking.

How do you find your strong during races?

Oh, this is very different, depending on my current shape. Sometimes other runners in front of me challenge me to close the gap. Other times, when I’m in very good shape, the distance signs help me push even harder to the finish line – but the opposite can also be true! And last but not least, cheering spectators also help me to gain some extra seconds

Gerald’s weekly running distance (km's) up to Berlin Marathon race day

What is the most difficult part of race day for you?

The first two kilometers are always the hardest. It always takes some time to bring me into the right and fast running mood. But when I have found my “flow”, I am able to keep this pace for a long time.

Do you prefer to train alone or with friends?

I prefer to work on speed and interval alone, but I meet every weekend with other dailymilers from Berlin for a long slow distance (LSD) run, which I really enjoy. I’ve also just started to run to work (15 miles) with a colleague at least once a week!

Gerald at the finish line of the 2011 Berlin Marathon (3:39:57) with the famous Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Tower (Fernsehturm) in the background

What are your goals for 2012?

1st Triathlon (Olympic distance), 3:20:00 Marathon, and 1st ultra-marathon (~60 km)

Do you have any advice for other dailymilers out there?

When you start running, you should always record your workouts (time & distance). This helps to find motivation and achieve personal bests. Of course posting of your workouts to dailymile also helps receive motivation from the comments of other runners!

What is going to be your first route in your new pair of Saucony Guide 5s?

I can’t wait to wear them on my standard 18 km route: http://www.dailymile.com/routes/1092927-running-route-in-berlin-de

Thanks to Gerald for his time, and congratulations to all the first week winners! You can find all other submissions at saucony.com/strong.

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