Men’s Global Champion Aron Anderson reveals how he trains – with tips for beginners as well as dedicated athletes.
Aron, as Global Champion, what’s your take on the Wings for Life World Run? Is it only for “serious” athletes?
Absolutely not! You make your own goals to fit your abilities. So you may be targeting 5K or 10K, but you get to participate with the best ultra-runners, which I find inspiring.
We should mention that you’re an exceptional athlete yourself, and that while you’re in a wheelchair, you have more mobility than many with different spinal cord injuries. How did you get ready for the race last year?
I typically cross train – skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, swimming. Also in the gym, with bench press and free weights as well as using my body for exercises like pullups.
How about the final weeks before the race?
In the six weeks leading up to the race, I put more effort into sessions in my wheelchair – three or four a week plus cross-training.
Part of your prize for winning in 2017 was a training camp. What was that like?
I went to South Africa for swimming, mountain biking and gym training, as well as kayaking and surfing.
Now that there’s less than three months until May 6, what’s your training plan?
I’m doing a lot of skiing, then I will focus toward the run. I’m going to Dubai, so I’m looking forward to training there in my chair. And since I’m racing in Florida, I hope to go to the USA a few days early.
Do you have any tips for others?
Play around with different sports or training! And of course it’s always possible to train – and participate on race day – with the Wings for Life World Run App.
What would you say to someone who is looking for motivation?
The beautiful thing about the Wings for Life World Run is that it suits everyone. And on race day, when we’re all participating together, the vibe is amazing. So remind yourself why we do this – it’s a race for a good cause, and you’re going to be so glad you were part of it.
And why is it so important to raise funds for spinal cord research?
Even with all I do in my life, it would be incredible to be able to walk again. And many people with spinal cord injury face challenges much harder than mine. Imagine if your hands didn’t work, or you couldn’t breathe freely. Research has the potential to change the lives of so many, and scientists keep making progress. We can’t stop now!
Any final words?
If you haven’t registered for the race, go do it! Whether you participate as an App Runner or at one of the location hubs, we’re all connected in this global movement, so I’ll see you at the start line!