On Ambassadors 2020: Alesia RuthvenThe Social Media Company
After receiving and sifting through hundreds of applications from athletes all over South Africa, it is our pleasure to introduce you to 2020’s On Ambassadors!
This year’s applications far exceeded our expectations, both in quantity and quality, and although we can only choose a certain amount of people to represent On at events in 2020, we are already looking forward to your applications in 2021. If this year’s entrants are any indication, we are excited to see what the amateur and professional sporting world will dish up in the future.
We are honoured to introduce you to 2020 On Ambassador, Alesia Ruthven.
Please tell us about your favourite type of sport? How / when did you start doing this sporting / fitness activity?
I initially got into running in my first year at university. Studying and working closely with patients took quite a toll on my emotional well-being. My days were all about “doing everything for others”. I desperately needed an outlet and something I could “do for myself”.
I started running around the block as a way to manage stress and decompress after a long day. I eventually started running a bit further every week and soon signed up for my first 10-kilometre. After that, I was hooked. I signed up for a half marathon and last year I did my first full marathon.
Last year, I was fortunate enough to live in the beautiful Drakensberg, where I started cycling, and this year I have decided to TRI. Triathlon seems to be a wonderful mix of three disciplines I enjoy, and offers a variety of different distances, which is great!
How has running changed your life?
Initially, running allowed me to decompress and relieve stress after a long day of seeing patients. It was a way for me to deal with everything I had seen during a tough day. Running kept me grounded and allowed me to do something for myself. As I got fitter and managed to do further distances, running and endurance sports completely changed my mentality. I had to trust my own strength. I had to believe that I was good enough. I had to develop grit and determination. I had to learn to run my own race and celebrate my own victories!
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with a new fitness routine?
I think it’s important to run your own race. It can be incredibly overwhelming trying to run someone else’s race. You need to focus on your race, at your pace. You don’t need to set PBs every weekend, or stand on the podium to be worthy. You need to celebrate your own victories, however small!
How important is having quality footwear when training?
Make or break! It can be daunting trying to select the appropriate footwear, but it is absolutely crucial. Not only will quality footwear prevent injuries, but having quality footwear can actually improve performance. I have struggled with proper foot striking for a while, trying everything, but to my surprise the right pair of shoes actually did the trick.
Do you prefer to train alone or with other people?
I quite enjoy both! I tend to get quite competitive and serious but also I’m also incredibly sociable.
Therefore, I ensure that I have a good mix of training alone – where I am able to focus on the session and put in the hard work – as well as long rides and runs with people. My main focus is to ensure I always enjoy what I do, so riding and running with others brings in that element! I also find that riding/running with others is so valuable in that you are able to learn so much from more experienced athletes! And everyone needs and loves having a good support system!
What race or event are you most looking forward to this year?
Definitely Durban 70.3! This will be my first Ironman 70.3.
What is your sporting motto?
“You don’t have to, you get to!” – Reminding myself that having a healthy, capable body that allows me to do sports that I love is so important! I think so many of us take our bodies and all that they do for granted.
One that I recently started implementing after watching the Chasing Tokyo series – “The mind is the athlete”.