Exclusive interview with Veronique Bourbeau: 8 Tips to Improve Your Running Time !
I first met this wonderful lady at Standard Chartered Marathon 2018. Unassuming with a pleasant demeanour, Veronique was casually browsing through our selection of goods at the booth. As I approached her to offer assistance, I had a deep impression that she was no ordinary marathon runner. It veered towards more of an extreme… As though her life depended on running! While conversing, I was in awe of her passion for running and her innate desire to change the world, one stride at a time. Today, I’m extremely privileged to introduce Veronique Bourbeau, the first CamelBak Singapore Ambassador! Read on and get ready for a bonus offer below!
How does it feel to be an ambassador for CamelBak Singapore ?
I am privileged and excited to represent Camelbak Singapore as an ambassador. I am proud to be associated with this extremely talented and generous team. Camelbak always carried this passion for outdoor and sports and transmitted it to the world via the first-hand free hydration bag. I am honored to represent the world leader in hydration solutions. I am looking forward for our collaboration together! Thanks for having me on board!
How would you describe yourself as a person?
I have always been active, always loved the outdoors and the different individual sports. To me, the best feeling would be able to be outside and enjoying the sunrise- sunset wherever you are. There are so many beautiful things around and all we have to do is open our eyes and enjoy.
What inspired you to start running?
As a child, I grew up being bullied by my peers because I was big and was nicknamed – Blue Whales. However, when I look back at those years, I am actually grateful for whatever that happened because it shaped me to the person who I become today. Through this painful experience, I learned how to always come back stronger when I had a setback, learned how to be positive and mentally stronger. Till today, I have already been running for 10 years and I will and still continue running.
Initially, running was quite intimidating for me. I still remember when the first time I thought that I could run, it was in Senegal. I was amazed by the African runners who ran with any kind of shoes as the high-tech shoes do not exist there. There were even those who ran barefoot with a smile on their faces their passion for running was admirable. I remember saying to myself that if those guys can run, I could do that too!
I did one marathon after another, ultra-marathon, running adventures with all the same spirit of being in this unique flow between my environment and myself. For me running is more than just the sport by itself. Running is about pushing my limits, enjoying the incredible place around the world and meeting extraordinary new people. Running is about a space where time doesn’t exist, where I am in true connection with the environment, with myself and with the people that I am surrounded by. When I run, I am thankful for everything that life gives me. Gratefulness for me is the key to a meaningful life.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
My greatest achievement would be a marathon a day for 72 days straight in Japan which totaled up to 3010KM.
What is the next big challenge that you have signed up for?
My next great challenge is to run from Alexandria (Egypt) to Cape Town (South Africa), which means around 14000km, approximately 1 year and 3 months. I will be the first female to undergo this adventure. My goal with this run, is to reduce the misconceptions that society could have regarding the African people (we are all the same) to promote true and real connections among each other.
I wish that my running journey can inspire people to go beyond their limits, that people can realize that they can do so much more of what they think they can. I am a woman who once thought that I could do all those things, and I did it! If I can do it, everyone can! I wish to create a real contact with people and push boundaries. If we all collaborate with each other’s we can create a peaceful and more meaningful world, this is what I am aiming for.
EXCLUSIVE BONUS – 8 RUNNING TIPS TO GET YOU FRESH AND READY FOR THE STARTING LINE
You’ve just registered for your next race. You are still on the high and super pumped for your next challenge! Now, it’s time for the blood, sweat and tears. It’s time for the real thing: training!
I will share with you a few tips to help you to get ready for the big day.
1. GET YOUR PLAN
Having a good running plan is a pillar in a runner’s life. No matter the distance: 21km, 42km or 60km+, a running plan helps you stay structured and motivated. In your training plan, you will find different types of sessions: speed training, hills training, long runs, etc. The variety will make your experience while training all the more worth it as you will not only see the improvements as you go but also give you a breath of fresh air every week. Moreover, plans help scale the mileage slowly over time and avoid injuries. If you are interested in FREE running plans for distances from 21km to 100km, go check out veroniquerun.com where we provide advanced programs for runners of all levels.
2. BIG WHY
What is your big why?
The reason you registered for your race, the reason you stay motivated day by day, the reason you run…Keep this goal in mind and keep reviewing it to stay focused and motivated until the race day.
3. ROUTINE IS KEY
Routine is the key to successful training. Determine when is the best time for you to train and stick to it. Do not let your cats or dogs, the weather or the temptation of the couch distract you from your ultimate goal! Make your running routine a part of your daily life. After a few weeks, you will see the transformation and be proud to have stuck to your original plan, all while overcame the temporary obstacles along the way.
4. Running Buddies
Running buddies will transform your life as a runner. Finding the right person allows magic to happen: the distance will fly by without you noticing! A running group can also help you improve your speed through interval sessions. Other people will give you the extra push you need to go out for a run when you don’t feel like it and create a much better experience than expected. When you find your running buddy, hold on to him/her! They are priceless!
5. Strength training
Strength/Core training is an essential part of your training. Doing strength (core) training makes you stronger (duh) and helps avoid injuries. When you put many hours in running training alone, it’s difficult to find the extra time to undergo strength training. However, strength training doesn’t need to be long! A 15-20 minute session before or after a run is more than enough to bring you to the next level.
6. Listen to your body
Your body is your best ally, treat it as so! It might not talk to you as we sometimes wish it would, but try to understand the signs it communicates to you. Do not hesitate to take a day off if you feel that you have niggles or feel unusually tired after a long run. Keep in mind, it is better to get to the starting line fresh and well-rested rather than tired and injured.
7. Do not freak out if you miss training
I’ve come across so many runners that completely freak out when they miss only a couple trainings. Life is life and what is done, is done! Accept and move forward. You have to start the race with a clear and powerful mind: ready to give your 100%. Do not let the fear of being under-trained take over your mind and performance. Stand at the starting line happy and with an empty mind, there is no point in fermenting in negative energy!
8. Mental training
Mental strength training is the foundation of your running potential. But what is it really about? Mental training is the ability that allows you to endure pain and carry on, stay positive in hardship, keep your mind in the present (not getting in your head), be grateful and being able to visualise your success.
Thank god, it’s something you can train and improve on every day of your lifetime!
Mental training should have a solid place in your training: it’s the difference between crossing the finish line or a DNF.
I hope these tips bring clarity and improve your experiences may it be for your next running training, race or even in life! They have certainly been strong pillars in my running routine over the years. For any purchases on Champion’s Drawer, quote ‘VERONIQUERUN15’ for a 15% discount on all CamelBak items!
If you are interested in more content, please make sure to stay updated to Champion’s Drawer and Veronique Run . We hope you enjoyed this article as much we did and feel free to share with your friends ! Do drop us a comment if you have any questions or inquiries as well.
See you on the road,
Veronique Bourbeau & Royston