When we heard that Annette Fredskov was running 366 marathons in one year, it sounded a bit surreal. We watch millions of our users log miles using Endomondo all the time, but this project seemed to be rather exceptional. We knew we had to find out more.
“If anybody can do it, it is you”, said Annette’s husband Ulrich Fredskov to her when she told him about the idea for this project. He clearly knew what he was talking about — Annette has already run more than 100 maranthons, one every day since the start of the project on July 15, 2012. Diagnosed with sclerosis, she found personal empowerment through running.
- Why did you start project 366? It all began when I was diagnosed sclerosis. I realized that I could do something about it. I can change the way I think and make a difference. I do believe that if you choose to be sick, you will be sick. I was curious, how much can be accomplished if mind and body work together. I fell in love with marathons, it’s the perfect distance.
- How did you train for this project? I didn’t really do anything special. I ran my first marathon two years ago. From the beginning of 2012 to the start of the project in July 2012 I completed 41 marathons.The biggest part of training was to prepare mentally. I had to convince myself that the project is not a big deal by cutting it into small pieces, taking it day by day. My personal best is 3h 36min marathon from last spring in Copenhagen, but I run much more slowly, around 5h during this project so I don’t deplete my energy completely for the next day.
- What do you love most about running? I love the way it makes me feel. It makes my body stronger and my mind healthier. I have never been a nature person but now, when I run every day for such a long time, I can see things around me I have never seen before.
- What tips would you give to someone who is about to run their first marathon? You should never question yourself if you can do it or not. Don’t look out of the window and ask yourself if you feel like running every time you are supposed to be training. You need to stick with your plan and just do it.
- Who have been the most influential people throughout this journey? The most important thing is my family, I could not do this without their support. Once a week we sit down and talk about how everybody is doing. If my family thought that we cannot and should not go through this, I would have never start this project.
- Describe a day in the life of Annette during this project. My alarm goes off 6:45 am. I put on running clothes, wake up the kids, prepare breakfast and eat it with the kids. My husband is usually already at work. The kids bike to school and I take a car to wherever the start of marathon is for that day. And then, I run for 5 hours. Most days I have appointments after run. I spend about an hour writing my blog, on the website. Sometimes I take the kids to their trainings, I go grocery shopping etc.. The evening is my time to relax and get ready for the next day.
- What do you do to recover after running your marathon for the day? I am using electrodes on my legs for muscle stimulation every evening. I try to keep my legs up but it is hard when you also need to do the laundry. Once a week I go to the physical therapist. The therapist examines my body and gives me a massage. The biggest hospital in Denmark is also taking a good care of me. I have monthly check-ups including MRI to monitor bone and muscle structure.
- What does your diet consist of to keep your energy up day after day? I eat oatmeal, yogurt with muesli or whole-wheat bread with cheese for breakfast. I don’t eat that much because I also eat during the run: bread with nutella, banana, candy (licorice), health bars. And when I run, I drink Faxe Kondi (Danish soda brand — similar to Sprite). Generally I eat a lot of carbs. I try to eat whole-grain pasta, bread, rice, mostly chicken, a lot of vegetables — the same as my family.
- No evening treats? Oh, yes! I eat more ice cream than I have ever eaten before.
- What keeps you motivated to run a marathon a day? I still have a lot to learn. I have not challenged myself enough yet. I feel I can make a difference. Running a marathon every day is not as much fun as it was the first few times, the satisfaction is not that big but I still enjoy running. People are following me, telling me how I inspired them and that’s a huge reward for me.
- What has been your biggest challenge during this project? My mind. That overwhelming feeling of tiredness. Sometimes I am just so tired that the only solution is to go to sleep. I have such amazing kids who support me and will tuck me into bed.
- Do you have a message for Endomondo users? I am grateful for all the support and new friends on Endomondo. Their comments are very encouraging. And yes, keep going! Whatever your efforts are, just do it, it is good for you. It is important to remember that everybody has tough times, but you can always decide for yourself what you will do about it. We create our own lives.“There’s always a race tomorrow.”
If you have a project you would like to share with the Endomondo community, then feel free to contact us.