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SONJA VON OPEL’S WORDRAP Alone or in a team? Alone. I would never leave the house for training without … my dog. That’s my response to people who say they have no time to go running… get up earlier. Everyone has half an hour. I love training in this country: At the moment I’ve lost my heart to Portugal. Before becoming a self-employed Personal Coach, she was an event manager and trained to become a fitness coach in her free time. At the gym, where she worked during her training, she was quickly approached by customers who wanted to go running with her and be coached by her. In 2011 she was overwhelmed by positive feedback and new coaching requests and decided to become self-employed. Event manager turned Personal Coach Today Sonja von Opel lives in Munich and coaches about 100 athletes each season – beginners and pros alike – mostly online. She coaches and motivates marathon runners to reach new records and caters to the athletes’ individual wishes. As far as marathon preparation goes the athlete has the following advice: “If you’ve done endurance sports for two years you should plan to spend three months preparing. Long runs are particularly important. In general, you should try and run 42 kilometres total in one week – that way you’ll also manage the entire distance in one go on the day of the marathon.” The coach also offers running trips. “A training camp motivates and makes it possible to get to know the country, the topography, and the climate. And altitude situations, like the one we get to know during the training camp in Lech am Arlberg, are a great training tool to improve performance. The altitude effects really boost one’s stamina.” 66 No sugar, no bread The ideal diet is extremely important for long runs. Sonja von Opel counts on natural foods. “Because of their longchain carbohydrates, bananas make sense, I also like eating nuts. And for very long runs I’ll also boil small potatoes. They don’t give you the same kick as sports gels, for example, but they give long-lasting energy.” And the runner also pays attention to her diet in her daily life. She eats no sugar or bread and conditions her fat metabolism with long breaks between meals – that way the body can push through extreme situations like a marathon.
Fighting spirit In 2017 Sonja von Opel was at the height of her fitness and in the same year she was thrown back by a cancer diagnosis. In spite of this she continued to run. At least a mile every day. Moping on the couch was never an option for Sonja von Opel. She fought her way back into life and not only completed a half marathon in an impressive 1:26 hours, but she also ran the New York Marathon. “I was really happy to see that the illness would not defeat me.” This chapter in the life of Sonja von Opel is now over, she is cured and focused on the future. PLAYLIST BY SONJA VON OPEL Michelle Lewis – Run Run Run AronChupa – Little Swing Klanglos – The Divide Parov Stelar – Booty Swing Mark Forster – Auf dem Weg Alle Farben – Bad Ideas Culcha Candela – Dieses Gefühl Gramatik – Hit that Jive Mogli – Wanderer Oliver Koletzki – Bring me Home Higher, faster, further? The pro runner is currently busy training for SwissAlpine Irontrail T88 which leads across 84.9 kilometres from St. Moritz to Davos and covers 3,600 altitude metres. Giving up is never an option. Sonja von Opel is a fighter. Her goal: to reach Davos healthy and happy – and to enjoy the unique mountains to the fullest. Less focused on fastest times and new records and more on running for the sake of running. For more information: www.opelrunningteam.com Sonja von Opel © Stephan Wieser 67
START FINISH Ein Blick auf ⁄ A vi
10 11 Legende Caption Marathonstrec
Denn Du erhöhst den Pulsschlag, hi
Gernot Weigl Geschäftsführer MÜN
UNGEWÖHNLICH ... SPORTLICH! Unusua
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