Interview with Yiannis Christodoulou
Yiannis Christodoulou started running back in 2012 after being inspired by the London Olympics. He initially wanted to get fit and stay healthy, but then lead him to competing for the Great British Triathlon Age Group Aquathlon team at major Championships. Follow his running journey on Twitter and Instagram.
What is your proudest running achievement, and why?
My proudest running moment is when I represented GB in my age group recently at the 2019 European Aquathlon Championships and becoming European Champion. It has shown me how far I have come and for me it’s not about how talented you are; it is about training hard to achieve your goals.
What has running taught you about yourself?
Running has taught me a lot. I love that after a hard, stressful day of work you can just put your trainers on and go for a run and get lost and relax. The most important lesson is that enjoy what you do and don’t let anyone put you down, they do not have the right to do so and you should be proud of what you want to do/achieve.
What is the most ambitious running goal you’ve ever considered?
I know this sounds a bit odd but I think setting unrealistic targets are a good way to go. Because you try your hardest to get there. My most ambitious goal was to run a sub 1:20 half marathon, which I did achieve but when I did my first one it seemed too ambitious.
How far in advance do you plan your running races?
At the start of the year I plan my races for the rest of the year.
What is the most miles you’ve ever run in a week and why did you run that far?
65-mile weeks. I know it isn’t much. I was doing marathon training then. These days I don’t get above 30 miles per week as I have to cram in other training.
What is the longest period you’ve ever trained for a race?
Start of the year for the World and European Aquathlon Championships. The last race was in October so 10 months, then I have a good break with complete rest.
What has been your most serious running injury?
I have had a few serious injuries when I first took up running for the first few years and nearly quit as it was getting too much. I was out for just over 3 months with an achilles injury. All my injuries were due to over-training – going too hard and not listening to my body.
What cross-training exercises do you commit to?
Loads because I compete in multi-sports. I go to the gym twice a week, swim four times a week and cycle three times a week. I stretch after every session and every morning. I also foam roll after hard sessions.
What would persuade you to work with a running coach?
For me I would like to meet them in person or speak on the phone, It’s not a big deal. However, I would like to know their qualifications and background into the sport. But I would send my plans for previous races and discuss what they can do for me and training techniques. I have to make sure the training will be tailored for me and not training that is copied for every person such as in books. I am very critical on choosing a coach as being a running coach myself I know it’s important to get the right coach for that person. I normally interview the coaches and then go from there.
In one sentence, what does running mean to you?
Having fun and enjoying it; most of all the friendships and people you get to meet along the way.