Mark Russell is a yoga teacher, yoga for sports specialist and Ironman distance triathlete. We’re delighted to welcome Mark to the TrailFest2 coaching line-up to host a practical session on yoga for trailrunners.
He has competed in over 70 running races and triathlons since 2007, competing in every distance from 5k runs to full Ironman distance triathlons, and recently finishing IM Frankfurt in under 11:30 hours. Mark initially began practising yoga to stretch after long training sessions at the weekends. He was invited by his teachers to begin his own teacher training late in 2010, and spent a year studying the intricacies of the postures and the philosophy behind yoga.
Find Mark at Kridaka Yoga (facebook group) and read on for his interview.
TF: When did you start trailrunning?
MR: I was coaxed into a triathlon almost 10 years ago. Which was a shock considering what I thought of running before that. I try to run off road as much as possible for the varying terrain, and I guess I started that around 4/5 years ago.
TF: What do you run for?
MR: Because it’s great.
TF: What’s your proudest running (or running-related) achievement/moment?
MR: IM Frankfurt in July this year and the odd age group podium spot in triathlon.
TF: What’s been your darkest/bleakest moment/time running?
MR: I’m rarely injured because of my yoga practice, but picked up an overuse injury at the start of the year which meant another refinement of my running technique and a lot of barefoot running.
TF: What did you learn from this?
MR: Not to be dumb and increase your load and distance by large amounts no matter how good you’re feeling.
TF: What do you think of when the trails get tough?
MR: My breath. Again a key lesson from yoga.
TF: What is your next big project/goal/race/adventure?
MR: Craggy island triathlon on 9th October; the Great Scottish Run, and Lochgilphead triathlon on the last weekend in September.
TF: Who (or what) is your running inspiration?
MR: Nick Constantine, my friend and chi running instructor. And all of the shettleston harrier hill running guys.
TF: What three words would you use to describe your relationship to running?
MR: Complicated, intense, free.
TF: What one piece of advice would you give to others?
MR: It’s all about the breath.
Mark joins us at TrailFest2 to present Run Loose: yoga for runners.