A professional athlete and Olympic runner, Julia Bleasdale placed 8th in the 5000m and 10,000m finals of the London 2012 Olympics, cementing her status as one of the top British born long-distance runners. Whilst adhering to a demanding training regime, Julia enjoys the dynamic nature of the trails, using the terrain to build her strength and develop her speed endurance. Holding dual-nationality, she is currently representing Germany internationally.
HOW ARE YOU GETTING ON WITH #RUN1000MILES?
My training is currently a combination of trail running, cross-country skiing, with the classic technique and gym work. Mixing skiing with running is new to me and, so far, has felt like a positive complementary duo! Gym work predominately focuses on keeping the body subtle, aligned and balanced.
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST POST-RUN RECOVERY TECHNIQUES?
Living in Switzerland I do drink a lot of milk, which is the perfect post-run recovery drink. Stretching can easily be neglected and often in the afternoon following a run I will spend some time on the yoga mat seeing that all the muscles are somewhat in harmony!
WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED OUT ON THE TRAILS?
Spreading out a big map and seeking out the undiscovered trails motivates me no end. Revisiting routes in different seasons has the same effect, it is energising to observe the changed scene as well as the unseen.
ANY WORDS OF WISDOM FOR YOUR FELLOW #RUN1000MILES RUNNERS?
Be patient. There will be ups and downs, some weeks you will feel full of energy and others may be a struggle. It’s about the long view and looking back at the end of the year it will be worth the extra effort – that’s the beauty of goals.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT #RUN1000MILES?
#Run1000Miles is a wonderful target and a manageable challenge – let’s get together, inspire each other and do this! It’s good to set goals and it provides a fantastic opportunity to meet new friends and explore new trails as part of the process!
HOW FAR DO YOU USUALLY RUN EACH WEEK?
At my peak I was running up to 100 miles per week, of which 90% was away from tarmac, but right now it stands at around half of that. Currently, I am spending a significant amount of time in Switzerland so training also revolves seasonally, with less running but more snowshoe running and cross-country skiing in the winter months!
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT RUNNING 1000 MILES YOURSELF IN 2017?
I hope many of my #Run1000Miles will be traversing breathtaking landscapes, covering technical trails, running some big climbs and time spent sharing my joy for running with others.
HOW EASY/HARD DO YOU THINK THIS CHALLENGE WILL BE FOR YOU?
#Run1000Miles is certainly achievable, but the goal should give everyone a real incentive to plan a schedule and make the most of every running opportunity. One never knows when injury will strike or circumstances will change!
WHAT/WHO IS GOING TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED?
Just knowing that there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of runners taking up the challenge will be a motivating factor. I hope that I can also do my bit to help inspire everyone en-route when the going gets tough – we will definitely run better together.
WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL(S) SHOULD PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ON?
Find me on twitter @JuliaBleasdale and watch this space for a fresh new trail running blog for 2017!
DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE YOU WANT TO DIRECT PEOPLE TO?
This is a whole new running website which combines imagery, video and news content, coaching and training possibilities, with focus on the hidden trail running haven of the Engadin Valley in Switzerland.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO TELL TRAIL RUNNING READERS BEFORE YOU START THE #RUN1000MILES CHALLENGE WITH THEM?
Just get involved, get fitter and explore trails further afield than you have ever done before as new places inspire you - 2017 is the year!