Practioner Spotlight: The Midnight Runner

Fix Osteopath and a keen surfer, Ola Daniewska, ran a Midnight Sun Half Marathon in Tromso - a city in Northern Norway - last weekend. We caught up with her after the run and talked about local food, injury control and her rather out-there choice of playlist. Read on to get the lowdown on this exciting and unusual event.

Hi Ola, why don't you tell us a little about where you've been?

I’ve been in Tromso, a city located in the Arctic Circle, where the weather was below 10 degrees and it rained a lot.

How did you find out about the half marathon?

Through friends who did it a few years ago and highly recommended it.

What was special about the Midnight run experience?

As we began the run, the Famous Midnight Sun came out accompanied by a double rainbow! I thought that was pretty special.

Wow, truly blessed. How long have you been training for the half marathon? Did you train differently for a night time marathon?

I started training in March, doing a combination of running, yoga and strength training. I am usually quite active therefore only had to add one long run to my weekly exercise routine.

It’s not all about PBs, but just out of curiosity, what time did you start and end?

I started 10.30pm and finished 00:36am

Did you have to change your sleeping pattern before the event?

I didn't change sleep patterns before the event, which I now slightly regret. I found it tough to run 21km while maintaining my usual sleep hours. We arrived in Tromso two days before the event to acclimatise and rest. Unfortunately with 24 hours of daylight it wasn't that easy to get a good night's sleep.

I bet! Did you encounter any difficulties along the way or were you dealing with any injuries? If so, how did you go about caring for these while running and training?

I developed a minor foot injury halfway through my training, which meant I had to stop running for almost a month leading up to the run. I wasn’t as well prepared for the run as I was hoping for, however focusing on Yoga, as well as Strength and Conditioning training allowed me to keep my fitness levels up and finish the race.

Is there a noticeable difference in energy levels or mood when you’re running at night?

Definitely so. I always tend to run first thing in the morning and am usually in bed by 11pm. Running a half marathon past my bedtime was tough! Add to that three days of constant daytime and my body clock was freaking out. I felt very jet-lagged, it was rather surreal.

Did you do any other site seeing of the area? Would you recommend any places in particular?

I’d recommend lovely walks down the seafront and getting a cable car from where you can see the entire Tromso area. I particularly enjoyed a coffee and a cinnamon roll in the main harbour overlooking the mountains.

My mouth watered at the mention of cinnamon rolls… I’ve heard there are people coming from all over the world to run the marathon. How do the locals feel about the marathon runners? 

People come here from all over the world and locals are very welcoming. Tromso turns into a mini festival over the weekend and the atmosphere is buzzing. Really enjoyed it, great experience!

Everyone’s got a running playlist and we’d love to know what the sweet sounds of your motivation are. What do you enjoy listening to when you run or train?

I usually listen to podcasts when running, the topics vary from science to philosophy and psychology. During Midnight Sun run I listened to Jordan Peterson, my favourite modern philosopher but for the last 3km I put on deep house to give me a little boost.

You can catch Ola at Fix at Fix on Mondays and Thursdays. For more info go to http://www.fixlondon.co.uk/osteopathy-ola/