Nikita Van Zyl

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Q. Who are you and what you do for a living?

My name is Nikita van Zyl, a Joburg girl who has converted to a Cape Townian over the past 10 years. I love exploring the outdoors and living a healthy and active lifestyle. I currently work as a Merchandiser for a Sports brand, so I am fortunate enough to live out my passion for running every day.

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

I love to exercise first thing in the morning. I wake up at 5am during the week and drive from the Northern Suburbs to Sea Point or Cape Town CBD for a run or gym session. This also allows me to miss an hour of traffic and I am at work by 8am and ready for the day ahead! 

Q. When and why did you start running?

I was never a runner, the thought of running always overwhelmed me. But then my husband and I got two Jack Russels who required a lot of exercise in order manage their high energy levels. We then started running with them and I then realised that this was not only a great workout, but a great stress reliever. 7 years later I am still running and feeling stronger than ever! 

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

Those mornings when you wake up and feel that you would rather have an extra hour sleep, I think of how energised and happy I feel post running, and it motivates me to get up. There is nothing worse than over sleeping and feeling tired when you get to work. As I run in the morning, and often along the coast, there is nothing better than fresh air and getting your heart pumping. The coffee reward after the run might also be a motivating factor J

Q. What is the longest distance you have ran?

I recently completed the 21km in the Two Oceans Marathon. It is amazing what your body can do if you put in the time and effort!

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

I run in the streets because we live in such a beautiful province. Why run in an air conditioned gym when you can run outdoors. It is also motivating to see all levels of runners out there, it gives you the extra confidence to keep going and do better. 

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

I always try motivate friends and family to get out there and exercise. Exercise can help us in so many ways, its good for your health, a great stress reliever, and generally just makes you a happier and positive person. I really wish people would discover the benefits of exercise and at least attempt some form of exercise. Often people think they wont enjoy it or be good at it, and to their surprise it becomes a healthy addiction. 

Q. What was your best running experience?

Completing the Two Oceans half marathon. It was a great achievement and the encouragement of the spectators as well as the beautiful route made it such an enjoyable experience.

Q. What was your worst running experience?

I cant say that I have had a bad experience. Running is my happy place

Q. How do you push through the pain?

You get to a point where your mind has to take over. You have to keep telling yourself that you can do it, keep going, you almost there. If all else fails start thinking of what you going to do after your run, plan your work day, think of anything else but running lol 

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

Get a good pair of shoes, your knees are important. And then take it slow, set a goal and work towards it. Start with 2 days a week and eventually add a day or two. Eventually you should be able to run 5km without stopping. And then if you enjoy it, push yourself further. If you happy with 5km, stick with it. You are only in competition with yourself, so do what makes you comfortable and happy. But tell yourself that you can do it, and put in the time and effort in order to achieve your goal. 

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

You can follow me on Instagram


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