Our PROs are passionate athletes and experts in their sport – but why do they enjoy their sports so much? Our running PRO Isabell explains why she’s so in love with running

“Guys, why are we actually doing this to ourselves?” is a question I asked repeatedly and out LOUD during the Rennsteig race. The fact that just a few days later I’m telling you why I love running is a clear sign. What’s more: I’d say I’m actually addicted to running.

I started running at university, mainly because my master’s course involved any hardly practical sports modules and I felt I needed to move more. I didn’t really enjoy the three kilometre run through the park in Jena. In school I already hated the 800m run, so for me three K was a really long stretch and we needed a good 20 to 25 minutes to run it. Once, my friend pushed me to run through the park in 17 minutes and I thought I would die, but as I got fitter I also started having more fun, so we started running two or, later on, even three rounds. At the end of my studies running became my top stress-killer and a good excuse to only sit in the library until 3pm because in winter the sun went down earlier and I “had” to go for a run.

I then started working as a volunteer at a PR agency – in the sales department! From then on, running was a way of venting my anger. I ran to switch off and, above all, to go through imaginary conversations to get rid of the frustrations you often build up when working in sales. Up until my first half-marathon in 2012 running was mainly a means to balance out my life, but then I ran through the Marathon finish line at the Munich Olympic stadium. I was almost in tears and incredibly proud to have travelled 21.1 km on foot. It was then that I caught the bug: I started running further because I wanted to take part in more competitions. In two years I’d trained myself up to run marathon distances, and in the one and a half years following that I could run almost 73 kilometres.

I love reaching the finish line in a competition and knowing that I’ve given my best. Knowing what my body is capable of doing really pushes me forward. I know that fun should be the main motivation, but let’s be honest, who really has fun while they’re pushing themselves to the limit? It’s AFTER when I really enjoy myself, because I like feeling proud of my achievements.

I run for many different reasons: to balance out my work life, to train for competitions, to improve my performance, to spend time with friends and just because I can. Because I need it. I simply can’t imagine life without running and I can’t understand how people manage without it.