Running has never been more in vogue than it is now. For many, it’s much more than just a fashionable trend or even just a form of exercise: it’s a way of life and can form the backbone of their community.
In the age of all-consuming media and tech that allows us to move less and consume more, many people are turning to running as a quick form of instantly accessible relief. After all, all you need is a pair of decent running shoes and you’re good to go. The urban legend of the ‘runner’s high’ is often talked about as well, but running as a therapeutic form of meditation is also on the rise. Oh yeah, and it’s a great form of exercise.
With the 14th annual 10KM Paris Centre happening on October 15, we spoke to four team captains of amateur running clubs in Paris. Each one has their own story and reasons for running, from a marketing creative to an animal rights activist and campaigner, but all encapsulate the inclusive community that running has come to stand for.
The Paris Puissance Dix is the annual Nike-supported event that takes in some of Paris’s most iconic areas and sights. It’s just one of the highlights on the city’s running calendar but it’s more than just a race. The event celebrates runners at all levels and inspires many to take their first steps, plus, it’s about the experience rather than individual performance, giving young people something positive and valuable to do with their time and energy.
Read on for why each team and their captains run, how they prepare, how they cool down, and how to start running yourself (if you’re not already).
Nine years ago running was not cool, not edgy. Nobody was running except your sporty uncle who was smoking french cigarettes right after his Sunday jog. NIKE ENERGY (formerly nikelab) came to me and BLACKRAINBOW Agency and asked us to create a concept and a team of influencers who would be able to run 10km by the end of the year for a global event called the HUMAN RACE.
The idea was to take inspiration from a young maverick crew born in New York called BRIDGERUNNERS and lead by Mike Saes. We united eight people and started to train every Tuesday night with the French national track and field team manager Renaud Longuèvre. Our idea was to teach running in an urban environment by night to be able to feel the city differently. NIKE empowered the Paris Running Club and I was leading it as captain, with BLACKRAINBOW Agency as creative agency behind it (leading artistic direction, videos, pictures). From an organic spontaneous running crew we became a global movement with running friends around the world that helped start similar kinds of projects in every global major city. We are now number more than 120 members and we’re still running every Tuesday night in Paris.
When you are a French kid at elementary you start to run in the worst way ever. A bad teacher makes you run in boots or bad shoes around a park or in the school yard watching you while he is smoking a cigarette and yelling at you. This is why you don’t love running. But I started running like that. I wasn’t really doing it before the Paris Running Club but when I started running properly, I started with my own crew.
If I am running with my crew, nothing much. Not even my iPhone. I like the new Nike Apple Watch because you can track your run without keeping your phone. When I’m on my own I love to have my Beats by Dre headset and my iPhone with my music. I love to run with music specially for a longer run on my own.
Music always depends of my vibes and my mood. I like also to choose it in order of the pace of my run. I love the whole new functionality of nike app where you can sync with your spotify by choosing beats of songs with the pace of your run. if the music is matching with your pacing the feeling is kinda unreal. I know in the official triathlon rules, that music and headset are considering like doping. And music give you extra energy for sure. I have also now special album related to special race I have made. For example JAY-Z 4:44 album saved my life during a cold 2.30 crazy 12 miles leg during 2017 hood to coast.
Fuck nipple tape. I have got pretty much strong nipples I guess.
My favorite place to run is on snow. I have got unreal run on iced snowy lake of LAPONIA. It was so beautiful. So peaceful with an unreal light. I love to run nearby ocean, on the beach or on the road next to the ocean. Then Paris is one of my favorite city, I love to run around the 13th district and BIBLIOTHEQUE FRANCOIS MITTERAND, this place has such a strong crazy vibe.
I get dressed up. I drink water. And I don’t really eat before. You mostly gonna digest it during your whole run. I totally disrecommend spicy food for lunch too before your run. Your stomach is gonna burn you after but what I can recommend is to eat fruits (fructose) 30min after your run. And proteins after 2 hours. I like to run light and clean. I do feel clean and sharp then.
Having fun and trash talk with my homies. Laughing is the best magic grooming on earth. But I guess mostly french LA SEINE river on my face is my perfect skin care tips.
I am actually injured but my goal was to go under 40 minutes. I do hope my crew is gonna have fun and our new members will enjoy their real first race. Most of the time people talk to you about your time or something but they don’t have a clue about what they even talked about. Small talk as usual. I mean the pace gap between 45 minutes and less than 40 minutes is just insane even if you train hard for it. Most of the people don’t know and don’t care but they still ask. Everybody is running for its own reason and you need to step up your own boundaries. You are your best team mate and your own best opponent. Running is mind sport something between meditation and sport.
Just don’t do it. Lol. I mean every fucking street of every fucking city got his own running club. Even my mum got a running club, brands are so out of their own market that they keep copying what we did since now. Running crew are the new basic when it’s not necessarily the DNA of your own brand.
Then everybody should run on a basic level. Running is the first layer of any sport it has to be in every kind of any athlete routine. It’s good for the body and the spirit. The only thing is that people should do it properly. Running is not an easy sport at all. it is very technical and most of the people misdoing it by running without having those basis. This is what we teach every week and I am still learning some every day. it is not about how fast you run but how well and good you are running. It is not because you have running shoes that you are a runner.
Actually, my dad’s name is yellowsushi, so I decided to call myself purplesucci cause my artistic universe is colorful and my hair is purple and, you know, as a visual artist and fashion photographer I have to put some magic fashion trickword into it. When I was young, I started to paint some colorful surrealistic backgrounds and scenes and that later translated into photography. Weird and colorful; between reality and childish fantasy—those are my rules. purplesucci is just a nickname I used to describe myself as a character through my pictures that mixe these colors and aesthetics with some fashion and darkness.
I like running in quiet places like next to the water or the park in the city because the air is more breathable and also because I hate the bad smell of the cars (and the pee). And, as a women, I don’t wanna get bothered by some loud people when I’m suffering and sweating—all alone with my dog and some music. Sometimes I’ll call my friends and we will finish the race playing some basketball.
I started to appreciate running when I was a teenager for giving me a stronger body. Then, since working in Paris, I’ve lost it… I started the big challenge of running thanks to the help of Nike. They helped with my training and my first ever race, the Hood to Coast in Portland with the whole team and soon, the 10KM Paris Centre! Honestly, a part of me was happy that I finally have this event to motivate me into running again. I was very anxious about whether I could do it; I wasn’t that convinced about my own ability: The Hood to Coast was 18 miles and it was a challenge, particularly as I wasn’t a person who’d ever really run before. Running though helps me realize how strong you can be mentally and that you can do everything you want with your own motivation and if you trust yourself.
I’m always running with a banana bag to put all my stuff in. I also take a Nike sponge collar for sweat (cause you will need it) and Nike Zoom Fly for the shoes because I’m litterally flying with those.
Here’s the perfect playlist and that’ll make you wanna start running straight away! Here’s the SoundCloud link called “SUCCI RUNNING MOOD” with the all tracks!
Across the Seine with my friends or in a gym if the weather is bad
I always eat light food like rice, salad or bread two hours before and stretch myself before the pain.
The best tip is just water, I swear! Drink a lot of water and every morning wash your face with cold water for having beautiful and naturally glowing skin.
I think I’ll try to run with all my team because it’s funnier. No stress. For the 10k, for my own pride I’ll try to run it in 45 min—that’s my goal!
If you wanna get into running, you can join the Paris Running Club—it’s a cool running club in Paris with a good energy and with a lot of different sport activities as well, like basketball and boxing (in case you’re not into running). But if you aren’t from Paris, find your local club or call your BFF just before summer and create your own club with your friends! I know people are more motivated in spring… Try to run 4km in the beginning and evolve with a longer distance and doing it faster each time.
I’ve met multiple people through the past two years from the PRC club through the opportunity created with a company I co-founded, Dear Muesli. I also follow the PRC instagram. I eventually got involved with the club via Nike that organized training sessions to help my crew train for the Paris 10km run.
“RUNNING SUCKS” (inside joke for Jay, and Camille…). I started running so I could increase my endurance for my martial arts training and the other sports I did, like swimming.
From running gear to shoes to accessories, you can’t run without. Very simple. Right now I run with the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 and use the Nike+ NRC app.
I don’t listen to music—I like to hear my surroundings and focus on my breathing.
Hahah… I don’t often go on long runs so that really isn’t an issue for me, though I know medical tape works just fine to prevent chafed nipples.
In the forest during the day or the city at night.
I will usually eat a bowl of dear muesli with a banana an hour before my runs.
I’ll stretch during my cool downs. Eat another banana for glucides or a sport bar that I make myself, if I have the time, to help my body recover.
My goal for the 10k run is 45 minutes. I don’t want to push myself too hard since I’ve only gotten back into running regularly this year after around two years of on-and-off.
Just get out there and enjoy yourself. You need to enjoy it before pushing yourself to get a personal best. Have a vision of where you want to be and set small goals to reach that vision little by little. Consistency is key. Consistently injury free, consistently eating well, consistently warming up before a run… (do you see a pattern?), consistently doing everything you should be doing to reach your goals. The best feeling to me is after giving it all in a competition or training is knowing you are better than before because you may have more insight on your weaknesses or that you learned something new.
Julie (@julinifnity_) and Cassandra (@cas_sans_draps) were originally behind the project, they wanted to build something new in the French blogging world: a girls sneaker crew. They chose some ladies to be part of the adventure and I obviously accepted!
Actually, I’m living in the suburbs, one hour away from Paris. It looks like the countryside. I have a forest and a few ponds very close to my apartment so except when I’m running with the Paris Running Club I can’t really answer this question!
For one reason only: the Hood to Coast race, when Nike challenged me I felt like I was unable to do it but they trusted me so I didn’t want to disappoint them.
I’m running in the Zoom Fly even though I like the Pegasus 34 too. I don’t really mind about the gear or the accessories. As long as I’m wearing a bra, tights and a t-shirt, it’s all good.
I’m all about hip hop and RnB!
When I’m running on my own I like to do it in the forest, it’s very peaceful. I spend a lot of time in Paris so it feels good to be far from this pressure.
I can’t say I’m a good runner or athlete as I don’t really take care of what I eat before a race or training. I try to run one or two times a week, I also have some boxing lessons twice a week and that’s it. Maybe I should get more into prep but it’s not really my thing.
I’m using a lot of essential oils. I always have a little roll-on balancing oil concentrate in my bag and I like to apply some Siberian balm on my legs, arms and shoulders after a run too. About the skincare tips, I try to run without any makeup on as often as possible so my skin can breathe. Just a cleanser, some lotion and eye contour cream.
It’s actually linked to the group as I’d like us to run the whole race together so I don’t put myself under pressure.
I receive a lot of messages on Instagram and Twitter asking me if I have any advice on starting running. The thing is: I don’t have any advice. It’s about challenging yourself, breaking your routine. As I answer these questions, I still don’t like running or exercising, but I do it anyway because I want to be better week after week.
The Hood to Coast relay was one of the best experience I’ve ever had. At first, I was very anxious as I started running only one month before. But as soon as I got into my first leg, I felt released and I enjoyed everything from the first minute to the very last. I bonded with people I didn’t even know 24 hours before. I won’t ever forget it.
Fortunately, Nike helped me through despite my lack of preparation. I had training with a coach three times a week and I learned how to run, it was very educational. The whole experience was a challenge and a highlight at the same time.