Meet the Polish Marathon Runner Agnieszka Janasiak
Short Facts About the Athlete
Name: Agnieszka Janasiak
Sport: Marathon Runner Born: April 15, 1981 in Poznan
Education: Master degree in Physiotherapy from the Medical University of Poznan
Work Experience: Personal Trainer – Leads Pilates and Yoga classes, and gives courses on motor recreation. Physiotherapist – Gives classic massages but also massages with elements of unconventional therapies.
Who is Agnieszka Janasiak?
“Running is more than a passion and you should never never give up!! I will fight, because I want to!! Sometime after all, I will succeed!” – Agnieszka Janasiak
Agnieszka Janasiak has many victories in the streets of Poland and beyond. The most important successes for Agnieszka are her 2nd place in the Polish Marathon in Dębno in 2009 (2:38:15), her 2nd place in Poznań Marathon the same year with personal record 2.37.33, and her 3rd place in the Galaxy International Marathon in Macau. Last year, Agnieszka also was nominated the “Miss Running of Poland 2015”.
1) At what age did you start running and competing? Why do you still run?
I connected with running when I was seven, going to primary school. For two years I represented Olimpia Poznan. During high school and college, I focused my time on the studies. However, the running always accompanied me. During my studies I was also working but running was my way of “public transport”. I was running to work, from work, whether it was 3 am in the morning or 11 pm in the evening – hence I am often called “Forest Gump”. I was running but I missed the sport rivalry, so I decided to start competing again, and then I started to win! Each start was a treat for the soul, and it still feels this way today, and I even love the running more with each day. Running gives me sense of life and it gives me meaning in it. Unfortunately, the past few years have plagued me injuries. Two years ago, I had the diagnose I suffer from osteoporosis due to estrogen deficiency. Maybe running saved my life for the second time because the running stopped the progression.
2) How often do you train? Two times per day? How many kilometers, or how many minutes in one week?
I train every day, except breaks after a hard race, for example a marathon. The most unwilling break is when enforced by an injury, both my body and soul suffers. In direct preparation for a marathon I run twice a day plus additional exercises around running. My weekly mileage ranges from zero to 180 km.
3) How do you plan your training week? Hard day followed by an easy day?
My weekly plan depends on many different features. For example it depends on what kind of race I am preparing for, my overall daily schedule, and the training conditions (i.e the surroundings and the weather). Usually I blend two stronger trainings of running strength and overall efficiency in between easier running.
4) How do you keep track on your training and your progression? How do you follow-up your training? Do you keep a training-diary?
I plan and execute my training based on how my running paces correlates to my heart beat at a given time. Sometimes I control my level of acidity after effort. I write down my training in a diary, which helps me analyze my progression and plan my future training.
5) Do you have a trainer? What is your training program?
I have been trained by the famous Polish marathon runner Zbyszek Nadolski, PR 2:11.57. But when my injuries started to appear I became my own trainer. I still rely on the plan drawn up by my previous trainer, but I have learned to listen more to my own body.
6) How often in a week do you run intervals, and tempo runs? What are your paces at 200 meter, 400 meter and 1000 meter intervals?
Once a week I train tempo and sometimes additionally one day of fartlek (running at different paces). My pace on specific distances depends on how many repetitions I will run, my aim for the workout, and in what training phase I am. For example, if I run fifteen 200-meter intervals I clock them between 37-41 seconds.
7) What are the most frequent injuries that you get from running (for example knee-pains, back pains, hip problems etc.)?
The most frequent injures for me as a runners have been: Achilles inflammation, inflammation of the tibia fascia, knee pain, Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) and tibia fracture fatigue.
8) How do you prevent injuries and over-training?
To minimalize the risk of injures I personally put big emphasis on stretching and maintaining connective tissues (i. e. bones, tendon, ligaments, cartilage and fascia), as well as cross-train around running. I am an instructor of Pilates and Yoga, and I constantly care to improve my body’s strength and flexibility. I use help of physiotherapy, massage and osteopathy. I also use auto-massage, underwater massage, salt baths, etc.
9) How do you recover from your hard runs, and your competitions?
After hard training and competition the best regeneration is to sleep, get some gentle stretching and underwater massage.
10) Do you keep a strict diet to be at your fastest competition weight?
Diet is very important-not only for athletes. I prefer unprocessed foods and I eat a lot of groats, pasta, rye, vegetables, fish and eggs. My weakness is chocolate.
11) Did you ever reach a plateau in your running where you had to find new ways and methods to improve your running?
I constantly look for new ways and training methods, to improve my personal bests. As I mentioned before, I acquire complex care including physiotherapist, osteopath, nutrition, physiology and adequate equipment and wellness. Unfortunately, that also requires big financial support. My dream is to go for a high-mountain camp for example in Kenia, Ethiopia or USA (Alamosa, Albuquerque) to take my running into the next level. The world’s best runners train there.