Part II of our exclusive interview with our running ambassador Jaan Bathe.
Last week we introduced you to our Ambassador Jaan Bathe, who shared with us his journey to becoming an avid runner. The 39-year-old paramedic discovered running through a key experience and has since then only taken off his running shoes to sleep. If you haven't read the first part of the interview yet, feel free to do so here. Today we talk to Jaan about how he keeps himself motivated and what goals he still has.
VR: You started running a year ago and now you run a half marathon every week. Do you also keep a close eye on your times, or do you take a more relaxed approach?
Jaan: In the beginning, yes. I think it's also a man's ego. Many women I've met always say: "You focus so much on the time and when running. Get a crown here on Strava and an oak leaf there." Of course. I have a friend who runs the same course as I do, so if he takes my crown, then I have to run the course again. ;) It's this kind of competition, and I think it's really mainly for men. And yes, at the beginning I was also really keen on the time, but in the meantime I don't care. I run a half marathon in 2:21h and I'm still just as happy as running a half marathon in 1:45h. The main thing is to finish, it doesn't matter how!
VR: I think many people can understand the playful ambition! Apart from running shoes, do you recommend any special equipment for running?
Jaan: Yes, I recommend shoes to everyone! Other than that, equipment, I don't know, but yes, of course it's more fun to run with good equipment. In the beginning, I bought some good trousers, and then I got the shirts from VirtualRunners. I wouldn't run outside with a cotton T-shirt. Simply because it's not breathable at all and it's no fun.
VR: You really run every day, do you ever have days when you don't feel like it at all?
Jaan: Yes, and usually those are the best running days. You feel like you've done 30 km and 500 altitude kilometres, so you're really pushing yourself. Those are the days when you think that the weather is not right, the shoes are laced wrong, the socks are wrong, and so on. And then you do the first kilometre and think: "Today a king!". Then you come home after 35km and you could add another 10km. Nah, but those are really usually the best days, when you pick yourself up in spite of everything.
VR: You are married and have two sons. Does your wife share your passion?
Jaan: My wife also runs, but not as excessively as I do, I would say. But she often rides her e-bike next to me and the boys have already won their first medals in the Family Run.
VR: So you have your own personal pace maker?
Jaan: Yes, and she makes a pace that isn't easy to keep up with. That's how we combine it. Sometimes she lets me run ahead and then catches me, so we do our own "Wings for life" runs. She often runs with me for a while until we part ways and meet up again just before we get home. That's fun too!
VR: The whole family is on their feet! Do you prepare differently for the marathon than for other races?
Jaan: No, I just start running in preparation for the marathon and hope that I can do the 40km in October. Of course I'm trying to run further and further, but I don't want to do 40, because then I'd have already done it somehow and that would be stupid. When the time comes, you can do the last few kilometres that are still missing!
VR: Once you've run your first marathon, do you have any other goals? To improve your time or to run an ultra marathon, or to run through the desert with Joey Kelly?
Jaan: Yes, that would be great. So if he called me now and said: "Look, I still have a seat on the plane, are you up for it" - I would fly with him. No, seriously. I don't know what happens after that. Of course, you have these fantasies in your head that you could run further than 40 km, but first you have to manage those 40 km, right? An ultra sounds cool too, a triathlon like that, but let's see first. The ideas in my head change from time to time.
VR: We can imagine that one or two of the fantasies will turn into reality. We'll definitely stay on it. But for now, thank you for taking the time to give us a deeper insight into your running routine!
Your VirtualRunners family
Take part in the second edition in 2021 of the popular family-run together with your loved ones. The routes offer the ideal distance for every age group because running is fun and connects people.
Picture 1 and 2: Jaan Bathe