Fizzy Mag Takes A Run With Nike Runner Lena Koro As She Shares Her Running Tips

The Interview was purely cake driven.


For someone who ran in Berlin's heat wave to show off the innovation the new Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo at The Nike Fast Lab Event, Lena Koro is one of the happiest runners to talk to. We ask her for her tips to run and stay motivated. She is full of self-love and her trials and tribulations on the track make her a fountain of knowledge! 

Hey Lena! Thanks for taking a break from all that running to give us some tips! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself! How did you start running?

I am actually from the Ukraine and I have been living in Berlin for around 10 years. When I moved to Berlin I noticed I was always very sporty and I was doing high jump for a very long time until I got injured, that is when I started running. A good friend of mine noticed that I was always in a bad mood because I need to move and I need this kind of drive, so we started running together. She then took me the The Berlin Braves (running crew) and I started running 5km and I hated it! I started running 10km and I hated it! I always had this strange relationship with running, I hate it but I need it. I have competed in 8 half marathons and I am currently training for my third marathon in Berlin. I just have this strange relationship with running, I love running with people, the movement and being active, but you do suffer for it. 

It's a love-hate relationship!

Yes! When you run it's so hard. After you finished your half marathon, your marathon, your 5km, your 10km; you feel so good. Somedays, people always tell me you ran marathons it must be so easy to run 5km, especially friends who just started running, but you know on some days I go outside and I tell myself I am only going to run 1km and 1km back home and I am proud because I ran 2km and I was so tired. It isn't always about running 42km.

You can't always be running in a marathon, that is too hard. So what is your role with The Braves? We heard you've been doing a lot of training with them.

I used to work for Nike at The Nike Run Club and I noticed I really like to motivate people as I am the type of person that didn't really like running at all. But I have the talent to show people that it is not always hard to start and you can do it. So when I started running in marathons I noticed I love to run with other people, some people have this thing that they can get lost in their own thoughts when running. But I hate it. I love to run with other people. SO I thought let's make this a group thing, let's organize the long runs, let's get informed with all the training and stretching. For me it's not only the running but spending time with the people  you like. 

What is your top tip for motivating yourself to run? 

My main idea is you shouldn't start off running 10km, or see people on Instagram running 10km in 30 minutes and you are upset with not being able to do that. Start with running 1km and set nice realistic goals; not goals like run extreme miles, eat right all the time, don't eat sugars. It is nice to see people do that on Instagram, but on the other side of it all, you should always work on yourself and love yourself, so when you run 1km forward and 1km back, be proud of yourself, celebrate yourself and the fact that you moved! That is my way to get motivated.

It is so interesting you mention Instagram, because we see all these runner and we all want to like them running on treadmills. So to hear the other side of it, that runners don't always want to run is very different! And speaking about food! What do you eat as a runner because you look amazing?

I eat a lot! I love cake! But I am also slim because my mom is slim. Thank you mum for the genes! I eat a lot of carbs, it's the one thing I take care of the most. After a run I am not the type of girl who likes to take protein shakes but I always eat eggs, because I like eggs or a piece of salmon. After a run you need to give your body back the proteins and carbs it has lost. I love cake so much! I always treat myself with cake. With food you need to be kind to yourself. I failed so many times in my training because I was too harsh and too mad at myself and I noticed it is all in my head. You just have to love yourself because your body gives you so much in those runs. Imagine all the force you put on your knees. Your body is strong and you should appreciate that.

Be kind to yourself, eat that cake, eat another piece of cake!

You could be our new spokes model: Eat cake and then run. 

Cake. Run. Repeat, Cake!

What is your favorite shoe to run in? And what is your top tip for running?

I love the Nike Pegasus! I ran in the Pegasus for my first and second marathon. Shoes are very important! My top tip, us girls we really know how to take care of ourselves and what we look like, actually boys as well! If you look good and feel good, you will also feel good when you are running. You don't have to be afraid. It can be as simple as a nice sports bra or a nice pair of leggings. Invest in yourself. You don't always have to buy expensive clothes or expensive shoes. When you want to run just wear something to make you look and feel good. I always do my race braids (two french braids), I do them within one or two minutes in the morning with my eyes closed. It is all about the mindset.

You see a lot of things on Instagram and Facebook. I also got influenced by social media. I thought I had to eat this and I have to run that much. But I noticed that my body is different. You have to listen to your body. When you start to run too much you start to get injured, you can't find the right motivation to start again. 

Top Tips:

1. Be kind. Be motivated but be kind.

2. Treat yourself! Find the balance!

3. Kick-ass! 


Thank you Lena for those amazing tips! We love your race braids!! We got some great tips and remember:

Cake. Train. Cake. Repeat. Cake!


Photos: Brit The Kid

Get the low down at what happened at the Nike Fast Lab Launch!