Interview with the Runners of the Daxx Run to Amsterdam Contest

As you already know, we’ve recently organized the Daxx Run to Amsterdam Contest. To give you a boost of motivation, we decided to interview five Daxxers who participated in the competition and showed decent results. Each of them shared their inspiring story and offered some handy tips for runners-to-be.


Dmytro Zhuzhniev
PHP Developer at Daxx Kharkiv

How did you start running?

I always loved running, but I never did it regularly. I participated in some events without any preparation. My knees hurt afterward, but I was satisfied anyway. Back then, I thought that running a marathon is something completely impossible for an ordinary person. One day, I went to the local fitness club. My coach – a former triathlon trainer – asked me to join their triathlon team. I was interested in triathlon before, so I agreed without hesitation. That’s how I began to learn how to run. 

What motivates you? 

I don’t need any extra motivation. I just enjoy the process. The only exception is our cycling trainings on Sunday mornings, when I need to leave home at 6:30. But at the end of September, we are doing a full Ironman in Italy (with 180 km of cycling), so I have enough motivation for it. 

Where do you get your strength from? 

When it comes to sport, the recovery between workouts is just as important as the workouts themselves. You need to have a good sleep and healthy nutrition. Besides, we have a massage therapist on our team. My teammates go to the sauna on Saturdays. It’s essential to have a well-developed training process, including some “discharge” weeks.  

Why did you choose running? 

I’m rather a triathlete than a runner. Despite the fact that running is my favorite and strongest discipline, I’m happy that I’m engaged in various kinds of sports. I realized it once again when the first week of the Daxx Run to Amsterdam came to an end. Doing a lot of daily running is quite a boring thing, but within reasonable limits, it is an easy and good way to take care of your health.

Are there many runners among your friends? 

Sport is very popular today, and running is no exception. You can find a running community in every big city. This way, you can make friends with people sharing your interests. Our team consists of 70 members. Also, some people from your environment will inevitably start doing sports. For some of them, it will become a regular hobby. 

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?  

I had some difficulties before I started running regularly. For example, I could run 10 km in 42-43 min without preparation. I just wrapped my knees with a bandage – and that’s it. It wasn’t probably the smartest thing to do. When I started running regularly, all these issues went away. Now, after completing the marathon, my legs feel much better than after shorter distances in the old days. 

What has changed in your life since you started running? 

Nothing has changed dramatically. I’ve been engaged in various kinds of sports since childhood. When I took a break, it seemed like something was missing. But I had never had 6 workouts a week before. It teaches you how to manage your time better. 

What would you recommend to a person who just started running? 

Just find a running club in your city. There will be a coach to advise you on your running technique, nutrition, and equipment; create a training plan based on your level and goals. You will meet other people with the same interests, and you won’t need to look for motivation to run in a good company. If you live in Kharkiv, join team404 and let’s run together!

Vadym Kuznetsov 
PHP Developer at Daxx Kharkiv

How did you start running? 

I started going to a fitness club. Once, I tried to run on the treadmill. Believe it or not, I was running for 2 minutes and got tired. A few days later, I was running for 10 minutes and I was very proud of it. I noticed that my performance gradually improved. All of a sudden, I overcame a distance of 10 kilometers in a bit more than an hour. My head was on fire, I could barely breathe, my heart was pumping hard – but I was completely and utterly proud of myself. my heart was beating very quickly, but my pride was overwhelming. Then I beat this “record” several times and decided to register into the Kharkiv marathon for 10 km. After that, I was running with a clear goal – to prepare for the future run. That’s how running has become a part of my life. 

What motivates you? 

A lot of things. For example, the running community. It is quite positive. Running is a sport of positive people. It’s hard to explain. It’s just like that. In general, each new victory – even the small one – brings you a dose of motivation. Every time you run a certain distance a little faster – it’s a victory. You set a challenging goal and reach it – it’s a victory. There’s one thing to realize – you are competing with yourself. And there is nothing more pleasant than excel yourself. 

Where do you get your strength from?  

It appears out of nowhere. The more you train, the more strength you have next time. The same probably occurs in any kind of sport. The hardest thing is to start, but it’s getting easier and easier with each new try. 

Why did you choose running? 

I didn’t choose it. Running is like a drug. I got addicted to it. It has a huge emotional impact. So watch out! Seriously speaking, I just went to a fitness club, where I did some basic exercises and was engaged on simulators.  But running along with a healthy diet gave the best result. I lost weight and got a substantial energy boost. 

Are there many runners among your friends? 

Yes, but it wasn’t always this way. At the very beginning, it was more like my whim. I didn’t have any friends in the running community. But as it happens with any hobby – you start looking for people who share your passion. Now I’m a member of team404. It’s about a  hundred driven athletes, triathletes and runners. It’s always better to run on the team. 

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?  

Winter. It’s the biggest challenge for runners. Frosty weather, snow, and ice… If you don’t know how to run in winter – you just quit it until the spring comes. You can, of course, go to the fitness club, but this is different. Now I already know how to dress up and where to run but it was a huge problem for me at first. Spoiler alert! – three layers of clothes and bike lanes. 

What has changed in your life since you started running? 

In general, my view of life has changed. I’ve always believed that sport is not for me. It’s for some strange (in a good way) and special people who have a lot of spare time. I envied them a bit (also in a good way), but I didn’t get how they did it. Now sports became a habit for me, and I like it. Also, I feel much better now.

What would you recommend to a person who just started running? 
Watch your knees. Buy good sneakers. Run on the soft ground. Find a coach who will teach you a running technique and will help you strengthen your legs.

Vitalii Shtykhno
Senior Full Stack Developer at Daxx Dnipro 

How did you start running? 

I don’t remember the exact day when running came into my life. I just realized one day that I spend a lot of time at work sitting in front of the computer. My body was craving more activity. 

What motivates you? 

Of course, I could tell you a heartbreaking story on how running helps me stay fit and lifts me up – it’s very popular today. But it’s not my case. I’m running so I can eat more. No kidding. Besides, it gives me an hour of “me-time” every day. 

Where do you get your strength from? 

I struggle with myself every morning. As a rule, it’s pretty hard to force yourself to go for the run so I play some mind games. I say to myself, ‘You turned off the alarm – now you should go to the bathroom. Once you are there – wash your hands and face. When you’re in the hallway, wear your T-shirt and shorts.’ And after about 7 minutes of such self-talk, you find yourself on the street running and keep convincing yourself, ‘Run a few steps and get moving.’

Why did you choose running? 

To be honest, I was always interested in rowing, but this sport requires a lot of effort, time, and money. This is why I chose running, which is much more affordable and cheaper. 

Are there many runners among your friends? 

Not really. 

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?  

Lots of challenges remain until today. You can find lots of excuses to quit running: cold weather, heat, fatigue, old blisters, dirty sneakers… And even rewarding yourself with a doner kebab afterward can barely motivate you to continue training.  

What has changed in your life since you started running?

The good thing is that now I have two hours of “me-time” every morning. I can be just by myself and plunge into my thoughts. 

What would you recommend to a person who just started running? 

If you ask yourself, ‘Should I run?’, the answer is ‘No’. You need to ask yourself, ‘Why should I run?’. That’s the thing. 

Olena Antonets 
Full Stack Developer at Daxx Kyiv

How did you start running?

At first, I was running by myself. I didn’t like it so I quit it in a short time. Luckily, a friend of mine told me about Nike Run Club. They have well-designed workouts in a comfortable place, with a seasoned trainer. So I decided to join them. Yes, it was hard. Yes, sometimes I was almost dying. But the atmosphere and the training itself – they were amazing. No wonder that I got addicted to it. What’s typical for me is that I can run fast but only for a short time. I’ve always lacked endurance in my daily life – and running is a great way to fix it. 

What motivates you? 

It’s all about that feeling of lightness and freedom. And, of course, this is the result that you see. You’re getting better at everything – your distance, pace, time. You enjoy every bit of the process. 

Where do you get your strength from? 

If you like something, it just happens naturally. The same holds true for traveling. If you’re into it, you don’t need to brace yourself for a year to embark on a journey. You just do it. As simple as that. 

Why did you choose running? 

Initially, I got hooked by the team spirit, but then I loved running. What I like most is that I can choose different routes and explore the city. I can run along the river bank or in the park… Just imagine – I’ve been living in Kyiv since childhood, but I truly managed to discover the city thanks to running. 

Are there many runners among your friends? 

In fact, yes. 

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? 

I had to force myself to go to the training at the very beginning. I simply didn’t realize why I need it. However, I got used to it in a while as running is about discipline. 

What has changed in your life since you started running?

First and foremost, it’s the people around you. I was lucky to meet lots of nice people during the runs. Secondly, your daily routine changes a lot, especially if you’re running regularly. Thirdly, your life becomes more eventful. There are many various occasions for runners you need to prepare for. Running is definitely a lifestyle.

What would you recommend to a person who just started running? 

I’d suggest finding a local running club. Most of them are free, and they’re happy to welcome newcomers. Plus, a professional coach will always help you with advice and offer some supervision. Don’t set unattainable goals from the get-go – like I want to run 100 km or so. Be patient, run a moderate distance at a moderate pace. Enjoy the process. The rest will come. 

Miсhael Korzun 
Software Developer at Daxx Kyiv

How did you start running? 

I’m an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to snowboarding and kitesurfing. However, I’ve always felt that I lack endurance to show the best possible results. That’s the reason why I started running three years ago. 

What motivates you? 

Running is a good way to avoid burnout. My head is overloaded with work, and running helps me recharge the brain. In general, I run for long distances – it’s at least 7 km each time. If I’ve got 3-4 workouts per week, I will most likely run 12 or 14 km on Sunday. 

Where do you get your strength from? 

I’m very persistent by nature. Sometimes, it’s hard to wake up, dress up and go for a run. But when you start out, your inner strength appears out of nowhere. Actually, the worse you feel before the run – the better it goes. That’s how it works. 

Why did you choose running? 

Like I said before, it’s a great way to build endurance and strength. 

Are there many runners among your friends? 

Yes, a lot. We’ve been tracking our results with the Nike Run Club app and have some kind of ranking. Each of us can see the date you were training, your records and your mileage per last week, month or year. Yet, I prefer running alone.  It’s much more comfortable for me.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? 

I had to stop making those endless excuses once and for all. It could be a sore throat, stomach pain, busted leg, clumsy sneakers. Each time I had to overcome myself before going for the run. When I started to increase the distance, it motivated me a lot and gave me a huge desire to proceed. 

What has changed in your life since you started running? 

When you engage in sports, you enrich your life with new acquaintances and a bundle of workouts and events. And, of course, you need to spend a good deal of your time on workouts. Let’s say, you want to run a half-marathon in 2 hours. You need to start training 2-3 months in advance. You have to run 80 km, 100 km, or even 120 km per month. 

What would you recommend to a person who just started running?  

If you’re doing long runs, get ready to work hard. You need to understand why you do it and what you want to achieve in the long run. Don’t forget to set the goals along the way and be persistent enough to accomplish them. 

Want to learn more about life at Daxx? Stay tuned for more updates! 

Share this article