You VS the Year: 2 Runners Share Their Experience

You VS the Year
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We’re more than halfway through 2016 and it’s time to check in on our running goals. Two of our intrepid community members, Emma and Morten, have stepped up by joining “You VS the Year”—the most inspirational digital running challenge to ever unite over 1 million runners in a single goal. 

We reached out to Emma and to Morten to find out what’s their secret to taking on the year. They shared their pointers on how they’re approaching the challenge and their best tips to run strong all year long. This is what they had to say.

You VS the Year runner: Emma

Emma, You VS the Year runner
Emma Holmes. 40 year old mother of two from Sevenoaks, Kent

What she does

Part-time model, part-time run leader, and also, part-time work for her husband’s recruitment company.

Average weekly distance

30-40 miles a week

“On a typical week, I would run 4 times. A 10 miler co-leading my running group, adding on any extra mileage at the end on my own; a shorter tempo session; a hill or speed session and lastly a 10 mile run on my own at my marathon pace. This would total between 30-40 miles a week. I also do 3 cross training sessions per week.”

Motivation to run

Her next big race & her running group

“I love running with others, so my Monday group runs are very special to me because I love seeing the girls progress each week. On a personal level, I enjoy looking forward to the next big run/race. Once the event is booked, I tailor my training to the event and on the longer distance trail runs, I love running with friends. This is my main motivation at the moment.”

Post-run recovery tips & tricks

Stretching, massages, and protein shakes straight after a run

“I always stretch immediately after a run, and also consume a protein shake within 30 minutes if possible. I like to look after my legs and have a massage every 3 weeks in training and then a few days before a big race, followed by one a day later. This has served me well so far.”

Why join You VS the Year

Shared motivation, encouragement, and celebration of the 1000 km goal and beyond.

“You VS the Year is a fantastic worldwide campaign that is achievable by all types of runners because it spans the whole year. 1000 km gives each runner a target for the year, and is their motivation to keep going when it’s tough. By linking in with other runners on the challenge and logging the miles, we are all part of this wonderful journey and can motivate, encourage and celebrate together.”

Advice for fellow runners

Tap into the shared knowledge of the  “You VS the Year” community.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There are so many experienced, knowledgeable runners willing to help and share advice. By being part of the You VS the Year challenge, you are part of a community with a wealth of knowledge. So, if you are lacking in motivation or struggling with a training plan, ask your fellow YVY runners.”

You VS the Year runner: Morten

You VS the Year runner, Morten
Morten Lidegaard. 36 year old Danish expat living in Oxford.

What he does

Engineering PhD student, and avid runner.

“I’ve completed 2x half-marathons, 1x full, 1x ultra and have signed up for another ultra mid-July.”

Average weekly distance

60 to 130 km per week.

“On 3-4 work days a week, I get up at 5.30am to run 10-15 km. I mix up my training with intervals, hill-repeats, trails and recovery runs to keep it interesting. Weekends are for long runs ranging from 20 km single day to back-to-back sessions of each 20-45 km. A week’s total mileage range from 60 to 130 km depending on whether it’s a recovery week or not.”

Motivation to run

Fitness, meditation, and renewal.

“I like being fit and staying fit for whatever life throws at me. I like the solitude of my runs; the quiet early morning hours watching the rising sun; catching that crisp cool air in the winters; feeling the heavy rain and wind against my face. It makes me feel alive!”

Post-run recovery tips & tricks

Stretching, compression gear, sleep, and milk

“I always do some stretching after my runs and usually drink a glass of milk before hitting the shower. I’m often found running with calf guards and wearing compression socks for recovery. And I try to get my much needed sleep to help my body recover.”

Why join You VS the Year

Crushing yesterday’s personal record

“The challenge is set for 1000 km for 2016, but for me “You Vs The Year” is about getting out there, crunching those miles to beat yesterday-you, no matter what distance you may cover. It’s about finding motivation within yourself, among friends, and even among strangers whom you’ve never met before, to smash your running-goals.”

Advice for fellow runners

Listen to your body to avoid injuries.

“The best piece of advice I can come up with is to listen to your body, so that you don’t get injured (or at least reduce the risk). I’d rather call it a day off and be safe(r), than risking an injury, which may keep you off the trails for a long time.”


To join in and run it too, check out the challenge on MapMyRun and Endomondo. Don’t forget to join the official You VS the Year Facebook group, where you’ll meet your fellow runners and share your runs all year long.

Run with Fight. #IWILL

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