From colleagues to running buddies: an extra challenge for Lize and Lisa
Besides being colleagues at Pauwels Consulting, Lize and Lisa are fast friends and running buddies. Together, they run 5 km a few times each week in Ghent, while at the weekend they both train for the 11K event that is part of the Ghent Marathon. We asked them about their motivation, experiences and aspirations.
Hi there, Lize and Lisa. Can you briefly introduce yourselves?
Lize: I’m Lize. I’m 27 years old and I live with my partner and 2 cats in Ghent, just 3 minutes from our office by foot. I’ve been the Recruitment Lead of the Life Sciences team in Flanders since the start of this year, making me responsible for all our recruitment activities.
Lisa: And I’m Lisa. I’m 25 years old and I work as a Recruitment Consultant at Pauwels Consulting. I also have 2 cats, and I also live in Ghent (laughs).
Nice to meet you, Lize and Lisa! How did you end up at Pauwels Consulting?
Lize: After doing my Master’s in Social Economics and teacher training, I started looking for my first ‘real’ job in the summer of 2019. I wanted something fast-paced and ambitious, which is why I ended up setting my sights on recruitment. Pauwels Consulting jumped out from the pack. The young, enthusiastic energy here really won me over.
Lisa: For me, it was the company culture at Pauwels Consulting that appealed to me immediately. After my Master’s degree in History and Communication Sciences, I was not exclusively looking for a job as a recruiter. But then I took a kind of fun test on the Pauwels Consulting website, after which I was contacted to submit my application. So I did, and now I’m here (laughs).
That’s great. Have you been running together for long?
Lisa: No. Neither of us is very sporty. We both started feeling pretty down in summer 2021, and thought it would be a good idea to exercise. Unfortunately, we don’t exactly have the time or energy to work out before or after work. That’s why we now go running in the Zuidpark during our lunch break. Through the ‘Start to Run’ programme, we’ve slowly improved our conditioning, and we now run 5 to 10 km in one session.
Lize: I sometimes jokingly say that I like to eat, so I go running in order to keep eating. On a serious note, though, we work high-stress jobs where we sit all day long. We both felt that we needed more movement in our lives.
Thanks to running, I now have more energy and I feel better about myself. ‘A healthy mind in a healthy body’ is a saying that rings true for me. After all, it’s not just about exercising. Running for an hour is also a way to relieve stress during a busy work day.
Lisa: That’s exactly right! Evy from Start to Run also always says that you know you’re setting a good pace when you can talk while running (“the talk test”). Getting some air while having a positive effect on your body and your conditioning are all good things that come from running!
What’s more, getting started is easier than most sports. All you need are some good running shoes. Once you walk out that door, you’re on your way.
You’ve now both registered for the 11K section of the Ghent Marathon. How did you come around to doing this?
Lisa: They always say: “If you can run 5 km, you can run further.” We signed up to take on an extra challenge. It’s something to look forward to and train toward.
Lize: It’s the first time I’ll be participating in a running competition, so my expectations aren’t especially high. I would just love to reach the finish line, preferably more alive than dead. (laughs)
Are you specifically preparing for the Ghent Marathon?
Lize: Not really. I bought a good sports watch a few months ago, and I mainly use it to monitor my heartbeat. In the meantime, I know my own pace and if I can keep up I’ll be really happy.
Lisa: We’re training just the same as we did before. For us, the pace doesn’t matter much. Monitoring our heartbeats is the most important thing. Sometimes we do interval training or train at a higher heart rate. Above all, we believe it’s important to maintain our conditioning so that we stay in good shape.
Have you gotten to know Ghent better during your training?
Lize: I’d say I’m finally getting to know Ghent. I’ve lived here for two years, and during our countless coronavirus walks, I’ve been down virtually every street in the city. I find genuine enjoyment running here, especially when the sun is shining. I never thought I’d say it, but it gives me energy.
Could you do without running anymore?
Lisa: It depends. I get a runner’s high if I run more than 5 km. The first 5 km are always the hardest, but after that, I just keep going. I also feel the itch to run. If I can only run once in a week, I find myself really looking forward to running more the following week. It gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction.
Lize: It’s the same for me! Sadly, I don’t get a runners high, and the first few kilometres are always a battle for me. That’s something I still need to get over. Still, I’ve never regretted running after a run.
How do you motivate yourself to go running?
Lize: Our recipe for success is to run together in the afternoon when we’re both in the office. That allows us to spur each other on. Or, if I’m being honest, it’s mainly Lisa dragging me along with her (laughs).
I also like to listen to upbeat music. That gives me energy. When I’m having a longer running session, though, I prefer to listen to a podcast. It makes me forget that I’m running.
Lisa: I can’t run while listening to a podcast. I just chat with Lize or listen to music. I need something with a beat to give me energy.
Do you have any final tips for other consultants who would like to start running?
Lisa: If you’re not used to it yet, it’s best to build up your fitness through a programme like Start to Run. And be sure to buy a good pair of running shoes!
Lize: It’s not hard to get started. You just have to get out there and do it. Then it’s just a matter of sticking with it. My biggest tip: if you find it difficult to motivate yourself, find someone with whom you can run at the same pace together. That helps me enormously. Good luck!
Thank you for the interview, Lize and Lisa! We wish you every success and enjoyment in your training. I’ll see you on 27 March at the Topsporthal in Ghent for the 11K. Looking forward to it!
Ghent Marathon 2022
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