Jean Mathieu: Outaouais runner

Jean Mathieu: Outaouais runner

Briefly tell us about yourself, who you are and what your sport is ?

Backwoods bum with a big heart, I’m more in my element on a trail than in an office. In fact, I have some difficulty finding my place in this modern world and that’s why I prefer to be in nature. The world seems so much simpler, so much more beautiful when I’m running in the woods.
I’m an amateur trail runner with a little competitive edge who’s trying to use his passion for trail running to contribute positively to his community.
In order to do so, I’m volunteering during races, writing articles for Distances+, taking care of their newsletter and supporting different causes like the “On the Tip of the Toes Foundation” (for whom I’m an athlete-ambassador) through my races and running adventures.

What were your original objectives this spring (key races/PBs)?

Black Fly (end of May), Gaspesia 100 (mid-june), Ultra Trail Academy (mid-july)

How has your current training been affected (no access to pool/gym/no friends to run with)?

I can’t join my group of friends to do some interval and speed training and I’m “forced” to always run by myself on the trails. I like running on my own, but I’m starting to miss sharing these good times with my trail friends. 

I also can’t go to the gym anymore in order to so some muscular reinforcement. It’s a bit disappointing cause it was something new for me that I add to my regular training this winter.

Since I also don’t have my bike with me in Chisasibi (I went up North to be with my partner more than 2 weeks ago), I’m not able to do some cross training as well.

But, the good thing is that I have way more time to train in other ways!!

How did that affect your motivation?

In fact, it increased it.

I often feel swallowed by all the modern life “obligations” and don’t seem to be able to find the time to do all the little things I want to do.  Since the social distancing mesures, I have more free time and I’m taking advantage of it by doing all these little things : meditate, stretch, cook, read, write, etc.

How have you restructured your race season?

I threw out the old plan out and there’s not a “real” new plan yet. I’m focusing more on creating new training habits. The “new’ plan might be more about personal projects (long runs by my self) than official races. The specific shape of these project will depend on how long the current measures will last.

It also seems like their will be some interesting virtual challenge organized by the trail community. I can’t wait to be a part of them.  

How have you adapted your training?

There is kind of 2 phases to my adaptation.  

First, my voluntary quarantine after I moved up North 2 week ago in order to be with my partner. During these last 2 weeks, I didn’t go outside to run. I focused on muscles reinforcement and mobility. I also took care of a little injury and tried to include an “activation routine” in the morning. I, as well, paid closer attention to my nutrition by cooking all my meals from scratch.  I also took a break from social media and meditated way more than usual.

The second phase started on Friday. I’m planning to keep up with my new routine as well as participating to some virtual events and challenges such as the “Défi 4 4 48” created by David Bombardier which had started on Friday morning at 4 am. With this challenge, I ran 80km in 48 hours (6.6km each 4 hours) and I raised over 500$ for the food bank “Moisson Outaouais”.

Most important of all, how are you staying motivated?

I think by taking the time to do all these little things I want to do normally but don’t always have the time to do so.

Bonus question: Any new hobbies you have picked up with all this extra time at home?

Nothing new, but mobility exercices and meditation are taking way more space in my everyday life.