Q. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do for a living?

I run a digital and influencer engagement firm called WordStart where we connect brands with influencers and I consult in the marketing industry, as well as speak at conferences.



Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life?

In recent times exercise has become part of my lifestyle, it is balancing random things with exercise and work. Most of it is guided by the goals, both health and fitness, that I aim to achieve.

Q. When and why did you start running?

I started seriously a little over 2 years ago, prior to that it was all seldom and unplanned. A lot of it was because I was unfit and I shallowly wanted to walk around the beach topless without feeling too self-conscious. The reality is that I enjoyed it and it was one of the most accessible ways to get fit and healthy. 



Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?

It is mostly the goals that I have and the fact that I need to cover some distance to reach these aspirations. When you have a marathon or an ultra-marathon in a few weeks or months that you have committed to, you have to get on the road. 

Q. What is the longest distance you have ran?

It was just over marathon distance.

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?

I never think about that, I just get to it. Confidence isn’t something that comes up about running, it’s mostly increasing distance and improving performance. 

Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise among the youth?

I think we can all do with more activity in our lives, adults more than youth to be honest. That said, I think we can give young people more options. The youth, in part, emulate the rest of society and we all need to make exercise a part of our daily lives.

Q. What was your best running experience?

Fighting past exhaustion and broken legs to finish my first marathon ranks up there with the ultimate running experiences I have ever had. Another one was when my parents (70-years old and over) and my cousin all came out to a race and took a 10-kilometre distance while I ran the half marathon. I can’t choose one over the other.

Q. What was your worst running experience?

Getting cramps and desperately needing the toilet, both at the same time, were lows and water shortage at another race.

Q. How do you push through the pain?

Sometimes I just walk through it to regain mental and physical composure, other times it’s the experience of past moments and positive thoughts that help me through it.

Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to start running?

Start now. Pick up your shoes and slowly.

Q. Which Social media sites are you on and how can one follow you?

Twitter: @Mongezi
Facebook: Mongezi Mtati
Instagram: mongezimtati
Web: mongezimtati.co.za



#RunRevolution

So ever since I started running there has always been one thing that I have always desired. See when I started social running, I went to Nike Run Club Rosebank quite a bit and I was always so jealous of Tasneem and Ashraf. They always ran together and in life that it was I always wanted a running partner. Who would drag me out of bed if I did not want to, who would tell me that today we running 10km no questions asked. However, in life we don't always get what we want now do we? 

While I appreciate my partner, these are the tunes dedicated to all the running lovers out thurrr! 

This is also my official February Running Playlist. 

1. Into You - Ariana Grande

2. Love You Still - DJ Kent (feat. Dominic Neill) 



3. Don't Wanna Know - Maroon 5 (feat. Kendrick Lamar) 

4. Let Me Love You - Dj Snake (feat. Justin Bieber) 

5. Nguwe - Culoe De Song (feat. Thandiswa Mazwai) 


6. What I Did For Love - David Guetta (feat. Emeli Sande) 

7. J'adore - Four7 (feat. Tiffany) 

8. Sweetie - Heavy-K (feat. Nokwazi)

9. Charlotte - Prince Kaybee (feat. Lady Zamar) 


10. All this love for you - Ralf Gum 

So Which is your fave ?!!?!?!? 

#RunRevolution

I started seeing adverts on Instagram for this race last year, my initial thoughts were "this is another overpriced, crowded 5k race". So, naturally I did not pay attention to it, even though I saw more adverts. It wasn't until I received an email asking me to be an ambassador that I started taking this race seriously. To be honest, I did not really fulfill my duties as an ambassador but January was a very hard month for me adjusting to a new job and the stress of being a tax paying citizen. 

As I type this it out, I declare that I am slowly adjusting to my new life and the experience I had today has encouraged me to stay blogging. A few days ago I received entry vouchers to this race and so I honoured my entry and participated in the race. This was the best 5k of my life and it wasn't even on the road. I didn't even run it, instead I live tweeted the race. If  you don't follow the blog on twitter, click here and click follow :) 















THE BEST PART we got a medal beyps!


Thank you so much to the team at The Music Run for sending me tickets to this event, it is now Permanently on ThatIndieRunner's Race Calender. 

#RunRevolution 


Hi there! My name is Ken Romanello (@kennyromes on Instagram). A little about myself: I am 32 years old, from Port Chester, NY. I began running in the summer of 2014 while incarcerated in a CT state prison (can go deeper into that if you want to include this). 


At the time, I was out of shape and overweight (220 lbs). My first day of running I could only do 1 lap of the dirt track in our rec yard. Slowly built up my stamina to be able to run 30 minutes consistently. Was released from prison Jan 2015. Ran my first ever race (5K) in Feb that year. Fell in love with racing and signed up for at least a dozen others that year (all 5K). Challenged myself to do the NYC Half Marathon earlier this year. Have run 5K, 4mi, 8K, 10K, 10mi, and half marathons this year. Currently training for NYC Half 2017. Qualified for the 2017 NYC marathon (my first ever marathon), and will be training all summer/fall for it. Also trying to put together a team for Ragnar relay in the Adirondack (Sep 22-23). Began working with a running coach a month ago. 


Overall, running has changed my life. I've lost 50 lbs, feel great, and run every chance I get. Life goal is to be part of the 100 Half Marathon club as well as the 50 State Endurance Club (Half or full marathon in each state). I am a vegan. Turned vegan while still incarcerated (approaching 2 year anniversary Jan 1). I have a vegan food page on Instagram (@vegmatic) and have launched a vegan-inspired clothing line called Vegmatic Apparel (@vegmaticapparel, vegmaticapparel.com). 

For work I am a distribution manager for Green & Tonic in CT. We have 5 locations currently all in CT. We offer plant based health food grab and go style as well as cold pressed organic juices and smoothies. (@greenandtonic, greenandtonic.com). 


2017 goals include starting my own blog, podcast, YouTube channel,  expanding the clothing line, PR in Half Marathon (currently at 1:57) and completing 1st marathon and Ragnar. When not working and running, I help feed and clothe the homeless in NYC with my group Brown Paper Bag Movement (@brownpaperbagny). Our most recent outing was on Dec 21. We served hot food and handed out clothes and blankets. 



#RunRevolution
Happy 2017, this is the very first throwback thursday of the new year. I would like to throw it back to my very first marathon, the 2016 Soweto Marathon. To say I trained for this race would really be a joke hey. In retrospect, I would have liked to train more so that I maybe could have posted a better time, but it is what it is. 


A few months leading up to the Soweto Marathon the awesome folks at ARENA wellness offered to open up their doors to me as a complement to my usual running training. Even though I was not going to get paid for this, I jumped at their offer because training at the ARENA is electric. There really is no way to describe, you put in work shame. Even after a few months of workouts there, I never got used to them. They always knocked the wind out of me.



I attended classes at every opportunity I got so I can not tell in detail what went down at the ARENA. What I can tell you is that every class is an hour long, the workout consists of treadmill running and floor exercises and also the classes are killer! After my first class I felt like running a half marathon was an easier task. You can read about this class here

I spent so much time having running conversations while I was trying to survive until the instructor told us to switch the treadmills off. I came up with theories, conclusions and also had internal arguments, all while trying to burn this fat. Allow me to share some insights that I gained while training for the  2016 Soweto Marathon

Housewives Run FAST

I used to attend the 8 AM monday class, I liked this class because I could drop my partner off at work and use the car to attend class, then drive to university. Often times I would be the only  guy in the class, apart from the instructor. He is the instructor afterall so he couldn't feel out of place. I won't discuss my feelings though because most times I would be feeling nervous about the sweating I was about to do. Towards the end of the class the instructor would tell us to choose a speed between 14 16 and 18 km's per hour, I dreaded this moment because I hate sprints. I would always choose the lowest speed and struggled to maintain that for the few seconds they required us to. 

But not the women of the 8AM class, the women of the 8AM class always chose the highest speed or faster. Not just for the sprints though throughout the whole class they choose the highest speed and they slay it. I peeked over to their treadmills so many times and told myself that one day I would be able to run at those speeds. 


Lorna Jane Rules the North

So if you know me, you know that I am very much interested in running tights. I can have one pair of shoes, but I can never have enough tights. In my usual life, with my usual fitness circle all I see is Swoosh, but this was a new fitness circle, this was a new environment and all I could see was Lorna Jane. It was my first time being so close to it. I have heard a lot about it and how it is popular at the gyms in Johannesburg. Finally, I could see the market penetration and dominance. Lorna Jane you are loved... 

Beetroot tastes good 

Beetroot is that veggie that we only eat on a sunday, its part of the 7 colour's sunday lunch fiasco. We ate it so much that we don't want to see its foorprints any longer. We have had enough of beetroot so much that its now been pushed to the funeral food menu and even then we don't want it. Due to this, I rarely consume beetroot. After one particular class, I decided to live a little and buy the juice at the juice bar that contained beetroot, carrot, ginger etc etc. It was so good, I slurped it up so quickly that I regreted it and I wanted more. At that point I had driven too far to turn back

*Mental Note* When visiting Morningside shopping centre, visit the ARENA WELLNESS juice bar, just to order my beetroot juice

CORE STRENGTH IS LIFE 

I have been avoiding all core strength throughout my running life. I can't even tell you why I did that. When visiting the ARENA you can't run away from the core exercises. This is why I kept going bac because I knew that I needed core strength for the marathon. The journey towards my 6 pack had started, I failed to keep consistent because varsity got too hectic. Now my 6 pack lies beneath my dad bod.  


 
 FITNESS IS A COMMUNITY
All along I thought that community aspect of exercising was limited and exclusive to the running community. I was wrong though, there is a community at ARENA WELLNESS as well. Everybody knows each other, everybody knows what class they are going to and who will be there and who will be the instructor. Everybody knows which treadmill is theirs, just like how gamblers know which is their luckyslot machine. A fit community where no excuses are made and we just sweat our dad bods away, isnt that the dream community


I gained so many insights during my time at ARENA WELLNESS, I could go on forever telling you about how excited I got when the lights were dimmed and the neon lights came on. I could also tell you to bring semi frozen water because even ice melts during the workout. However there are insights which you have to derive on your own, You can do so by registering for a class on http://www.arenawellness.co.za just be prepared to Train Move Play 
#RunRevolution