Like many French youngsters, Romain Wyndaele was mostly into football in his early years. But once he discovered athletics, he knew he’d found his true calling. “It was just so much fun. I tried everything: pole vault, long jump, high jump, hurdles,” he says. Over time, however, he worked out that middle distance was the discipline where he both excelled and found the most satisfaction competing in.
As one of our ambassadors, we’re proud to follow and support his progress as his career goes from strength to strength. He’s getting better all the time as he works on improving his already very impressive times – running 10km in just 29:29 and the 1500m in 3:45.
To give you an exclusive look at the life of an aspiring runner and to help inspire you like he inspires us, we invited him to share his ideal “week in the life” describing how he usually spends his time. Read on to find out how an up-and-coming runner trains, recovers, and eats his way to success.
I don’t think of Mondays as a clean slate or a time to plan. It can be a tough day physically, because on Sundays I usually run a lot. So more of than not, Mondays are all about rest and recovery. I drink lots (and lots) of water, eat vegetables and healthy proteins, and generally try to relax.
As of very recently, Mondays are much less stressful as I no longer work full-time in a running store. I’ve decided to focus 100% on running as a career – which is both exciting and a little terrifying.
I work a lot with my coach Pascal Crouvizier, who’s also the president of my running club, Evian Off Course. We’ll work on training plans for the week which can vary depending on any upcoming competitions. We plan in blocks of two to three weeks, with each block focused on a specific goal or target. So, for example, we might do two weeks at sprint speed, followed by a light week to recover and assimilate the work. Then we move on to two to three weeks on improving my Maximum Aerobic Speed (MAS).
From week to week, block to block, you have to be as consistent as possible. Setting a pattern and sticking to it means I can get the most out of my sessions, and also recover quickly. In August, I hope I’ll be competing at the Championnats de France Elite, where all the best in my discipline compete for the title, so I have a lot of prep to do for that. And one day I would love to compete in the Olympics.
On Tuesday I tend to head to the track for a session with Pascal and my run club. I could do the session on my own in Annecy, but I prefer to drive the hour to join my group. There’s such a good atmosphere and it’s really motivating to work with others. If you’re serious about running and developing then I really recommend joining a local club to help you find the inspiration to push yourself. At the end of the afternoon, my teammates and I often stick around at the stadium and share stories or just have a laugh with each other.
If it’s a fast track session, I will definitely do it in my Cloudflash. They feel really dynamic, and super light and precise, which helps me feel 100% confident even when I’m pushing myself.
After an intense track sessions my calves can feel quite stiff, so Wednesday is a good day for a gentle jog and (or) some cycling. This helps keeps my body loose, and is great for my cardio. Usually, I head to the shores of Lake Annecy to take in the incredible view of the turquoise lake and the mountain. It’s also flat, so it’s perfect for calmer outings. I will never get tired of that place.
The Cloudflow is great for jogging on this day. They’re light, flexible, and with the perfect amount of cushioning for my weight.
After this workout, I love to take a nap at around noon, because this helps my body recover faster and better. And, well, because I also just love to nap! Sometimes I head down to the my local physiotherapy practice. It’s important to check in with your body, to make sure everything is in order, and to get massages if there’s any issues.
In the evening, I might treat myself to some dinner with friends to relax, maybe somewhere like Greenpoint in Annecy. I’m a vegan, I really believe in better animal welfare. I get a vegan burger (and fries) here almost every week... not ideal maybe but I tell myself that I deserve it!
Thursdays start early, with a short jog of up to 10km at somewhere between 4’00/km and 5’00/km). I do this on an empty stomach to help wake up both my mind and body.
In the evening, I head back to Evian for another session at the club. We start warming up at 6pm with a 4-5km jog, then do some drills, and build up to more intense sessions. If Tuesday was a really tough day, then my legs will really be feeling it now. That’s another good reason for that gentle morning jog, to try and flush the toxins out before training.
Even if my times for these sessions aren’t perfect or exactly where I want them to be, I tell myself that just being there is what’s important. It might be a brutal session, and I’ll might ask myself why I’m choosing to inflict this pain on myself, but deep down I know that it’s all worth it.
Maintaining consistency will pay off, in the end. I know that people I’m inspired by, like the cyclists Mathieu Van Der Poel and Peter Sangan, the runner Jakob Ingebrigsten, are able to achieve what they do because of the extremely high levels of consistency and determination they have. To help me get through sessions with long repetitions like 1000m, the extra comfort and cushioning of the Cloudboom is great.
I like to start Fridays with a short run at a park called the Parc des Glaisins on the heights of Annecy. It’s a loop of 2.5km on a path that goes through a small wood. I’ll use the Cloud X to support my tired feet and legs with extra cushioning.
Then I’ll do some weight training sessions, with medium to heavy loads. I also work on strength, mobility, and awareness with my physiotherapist. We do mobility core work on soft ground or on balls. I am very (very) aware of my core after these sessions!
Working on my all-round fitness is a big part of this season’s goals. I’m training towards 2-3 preparation races which I will then use as springboard for the Pro Athlé Tour, Marseilles. And then, all being well, on to the Championnats de France Elite.
Some might be taking it easy on the weekend but usually I’m not one of them. On Saturdays I head out for a 60-75 minute run at a consistent pace of around 4’00/km. Like I said, I don’t see weekends as a time for rest. In fact, until recently, I ran even more on weekends because I was working all week at the running store.
In the afternoon, I love to take my vintage bike down to the old town, where I treat myself to some good coffee, and shop at the local market. If the weather’s good, I might also go golfing with some friends. We have such a fun time on the course, especially as you feel so close to nature. I love the calm and focus you get when playing golf. Relaxing the mind – as well as the body – is really important to me. I feel like it helps me be more focused when it comes to training and racing.
On Sundays I like to go for my long run. Usually I’ll aim for around 20km, with a few variations of pace along the way just to challenge myself. The new Cloudflyer is perfect for this kind of running or, if it’s just a long run at the same pace, I might use the Cloudstratus.
When I make it to the end of a week like this I feel pretty happy and proud. Knowing that I’ve been able to stick to the plan, feeling the improvements, getting closer to my goals – you can’t beat it. Some moments throughout the week can be really tough, but when you then get to reflect on your achievements, it’s totally worth it.
But I never spend too long looking backward. Tomorrow, another week starts. I’m always impatient to find new areas to improve, new targets to take aim at. Another week is done – but here we go again with another one!
Make sure to follow Romain on Instagram to for updates on all his latest routes, races, and of course his vegan-burger-eating vibes.