Over the last few years, running has experienced a pretty important spike in popularity, one that doesn’t seem to be loosing any momentum. With no gym membership, no expensive equipment, and no specific location required, this probably shouldn’t come as a shock. Even fashion is up to speed with certain brands designing running gear that’s style-conscious.
What was once primarily a solitary sport, running is now seeing the emergence of clubs around the globe, created by passionate individuals with common beliefs and goals. As simple as running may seem, there’s more to it than just putting one leg in front of the other. Marc Langevin, co-founder of the Club de Course les Courailleux was kind enough to enlighten us on the subject.
D: Physical activity seems to be a big part of your life, has this always been the case?
ML: I’ve always been into in sports. Like most Quebecers, I started playing hockey at the age of five. During the summer months, soccer is what kept me busy. I was pretty good at both, but at around 16 years old, I quit hockey due to double fractures in both arms. This incident drove home the fact that I just wasn’t built for contact sports.
D: Why running? Is there a specific feeling or something else that led you to it?
I appreciate the freedom of being able to go out at all hours of the day or night, in any city in the world, and do my thing. There’s also the feeling of stopping time for the duration of a run and being alone with my thoughts that I enjoy.
D: Tell us a bit about the Club de Course les Courailleux. How did it come about?
ML: With running’s growing popularity, I was noticing a lot of people around me picking it up and injuring themselves. Being a trainer and very passionate about running, I saw this as an opportunity to offer my community an expertise that would allow them to safely attain their goals. My brother-in-law Simon, who happens to be a triathlete, joined forces with me and together we created the Club de Course les Courailleux. Today, our club is made up of a network of over 800 runners.
D: Running is usually thought of as a solitary sport. What made you start running with others?
ML: Running will always remain a solitary sport, but to become a good runner, at times you need to get out of your comfort zone. Running with a group can be a great motivation for bettering yourself.
D: What is it about running together that’s so fulfilling?
ML: People start identifying with the club and a sentiment of pride instils itself within the group. At every training session, I repeat the same thing: “be inspired by your running partners.” The amount of sacrifices people make to reach their goals is unreal.
D: Can you share with us some of the steps you take to prepare yourself for longer runs such as marathons?
ML: The week before a marathon, I have a pretty special diet. I’ll bring my sugar levels way down to zero, and then during the two days preceding the big event, I’ll eat an impressive amount of carbohydrates.
When it comes to my training preparation, for a few weeks prior to the marathon, I like to run between 100 and 100 kilometres a week. I’ll also integrate some muscle-development exercises regularly at the end of my runs to avoid injury and make me more effective on the road.
D: Have you made any dietary changes that have had a big impact on your performance?
ML: As a runner, being perfectly hydrated before and during a competition is unavoidable. A few years ago, I discovered beet juice. Its benefits for the marathon runner have served me well!
D: So you’re into juicing?
ML: I am, because it allows me to easily regain the energy lost during training sessions, and doing so with quality ingredients.