1st Podcast

Everything is a road a Podcast about running with George Savvidis and in this first episode we'll talk a little about the amateur racer behind the microphone. I am a simple amateur athlete who just fell in love with my hobby, I loved it and it changed all my habits and in general my whole life. Through the experience I have gained over the years running as an amateur runner in various races both in Greece and abroad, I will analyze various topics, develop some of my ideas, my knowledge and my philosophy about running, I will describe some of the races that I have participated in that made a special impression on me, various things that I have discovered from reading a lot, but the main thing I believe will be to be able to host in Podcasts this, various professionals who are either directly involved with the street movement or indirectly are around it.

Hello to all of you!

So here we are together through a Podcast about running, my first in this new beginning of mine and in the end it seems to be much more difficult than I imagined.

From the beginning I had some things in mind to get started, but little by little and as the time approached to start this first registration of mine, more and more things gathered in my mind and they seemed more and more complicated. And that's because I have so much to say that I don't know where to start.

Of course, it would make more sense in this first podcast of mine to mention a few things about me, the reason why I do this and what to expect in the future through these shows.

I don't know of course how I sound to you, meaning if you feel me a bit tight or manhandled, but this is the first episode, I want your understanding and excuse me but I promise you in the future when I will gain more experience and have a better flow to be myself even more comfortable and more spontaneous.

It's a long road so this is the name of this new Podcast and I hope it will keep you company from now on and we can exchange opinions, ideas and benefit all of us amateur runners who in recent times and I believe due to some circumstances, which I will analyze below, we become more and more.

It's a long road for the simple reason that all of us amateur runners log countless kilometers on the roads, since that's basically where almost all of our races and almost all of our training takes place, with very few exceptions of course, since some of us, like me, do some of them in track or corridor depending on the weather. This is how the name of this Podcast came out and similarly for the same reason the Logo of the Podcast was created. A runner running on the road.

Now for the future and what to expect from here? I will try, through the experience I have gained all these years running as an amateur runner in various races both in Greece and abroad, mostly long distances, to bring to the surface various topics that I believe would be interesting to analyze, to develop some of my ideas, my knowledge and my philosophy about running, to describe some of the races that I have participated in that made a special impression on me, various things that I have discovered by reading a lot, but the main thing I think will be to be able to host on this Podcast , various professionals who are either directly involved with the road movement or are indirectly around it. For example, I will try to host coaches, amateur runners with more experience, physiotherapists, some doctors especially orthopedics to talk about our own issues, which are many!

Anyway, I told you at the beginning that I have so much to say and I don't know where to start, and you saw that I was right, since I've been talking for so long and I haven't even introduced myself!

My name is George Savvidis I am 49 years old, having been born in Thessaloniki on 06/03/1972
In recent years I would say that I have two lives, since most days of the week I spend abroad where I work and on the weekends in Thessaloniki where I have my family. My favorite place is none other than the beach of Thessaloniki, where I do everything every Sunday Longrun.

I have been involved with the running movement or otherwise running for the last 8 years, always amateurishly, but more professionally, with a better approach and under the guidance of a coach for the last 4 years. Countless trainings now, more careful and more focused on me, the way I run and the goals I have set, many races I have participated in, all this has made me change my lifestyle dramatically, from how I react, how I think as well as in general how I philosophize about things and how I see life itself. It may sound a little bit but I think most of you understand me,

Just where I was once a simple spectator, I finally became a fan of the running movement. It may be relatively in its infancy in Greece, but it is growing exponentially, since more and more people are now involved in it. In parks, on beaches, in the mountains, amateur runners are growing at an impressive rate. A habit that began abroad, especially in America and England, some fifty years earlier.

Also, sports tourism in Greece is constantly increasing, since almost every weekend a competition is organized, with the result that athletes from all over the country organize the participation and, by extension, the trip to a neighboring or even distant region unknown until now to the general public.

New races appear every year, some with a historical character, others with a sporting nature and some others purely for touristic reasons and highlighting the regions. After all, many of us, on the occasion of our participation in some race, mountain or asphalt, visited an area we had not even heard of.

I personally believe that due to the historicity of our country and the special character of most races, especially those of ultra-distances, we can become one of the most important global running destinations and other races beyond Spartathlos can gain greater recognition and become race stations on the world stage.

Of course, as they increase amateur runners so alongside the road movement, an entire industry of products and services has been set up. Events, hotels, gyms, trainers, nutritionists, physical therapists, medals, t-shirts, and countless other products like shoes, apparel, watches, glasses, head lenses, recovery tools, nutritional supplements and accessories. If you look at the numbers of participation in the various races, it is constantly increasing, while especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people took up running.

Now we all have at least one runner in our circle and like me many times with great joy I am even called upon to be "interrogated" by my friends by mentioning some of my experiences in races that I have run especially those long distances. Other times I even answer questions like when did I start running, what motivated me to do it, do I have a coach, do I get tired, what emotions do I feel, what is my diet, but I mostly like to answer by saying "Don't ask me why am i running Ask yourself why you're not running yet....”

Of course, don't imagine that I know everything or that someone is an expert on the subject, that's why I'll make sure that professionals of this kind pass through here, but like most of you, I'm still "searching" for how to get down in a race, what diet will I eat before and during and in general I'm still learning, but of course without deviating too much from my basic principles, just some new tips or anything interesting ideas I like to try. Every day I learn and I love to listen and read.

I am a simple amateur athlete who just fell in love with my hobby, I loved it and it changed all my habits. Of course, I may have been running for the last 8 years, but I have been in very close contact with sports for as long as I can remember.

Since I was little, I played football, amateurish in teams and clubs in Thessaloniki. Scraped feet, swollen ankles, battered hands were a common sight for me, a natural consequence of course of the fact that all the pitches back then were hard dirt and gravel.

Good times where childhood innocence prevailed more with impromptu leagues and races in the various arenas between the city's neighborhoods. Really, who doesn't remember expressions like "I'll play bagoterma", "On the 3 penalty corners", "Dry noses don't count"? Really, who hasn't played ball with a crushed soda can? Who will not forget that the owner of the ball also set the rules and made the teams, or that we were often forced to take the balls out from under the cars? The goals we made with our jerseys or the imaginary crossbars that usually depended on the goalie's boy?

At that time I remember that the teams were looking for us in the gymnasiums and giving us uniforms and shoes to entice us to sign up somewhere. In stark contrast to what happens nowadays where membership is necessary for someone to play football.

I played ball until I was 43, either amateurishly and again in some teams, my last being the Peplos team in Evros, or in 5×5 with friends. Although in general I'm a little afraid of injuries, if I get a chance for a 5×5 I don't say no. I particularly liked tennis and took some lessons. I still play if I find a friend and some free time. I played basketball when I was very young with my friends and for a while in a team where they even called me "the hand" because I was relatively accurate in shooting. I particularly liked table tennis and I got to know it at the catechetical school I went to with my friends, in Agia Marina in Ano Toumba, Thessaloniki, where I grew up and I even remember being very good and participating in some "improvised" tournaments.

As far as sports are concerned, let me not forget to mention my great love, which started on June 3, 2004, insports.gr. The main and largest of the many later betting-informational websites I owned. This particular site started from scratch with my friends who took over various parts, many collaborators, a lot of work, many late nights, effort and love. It has become one of the largest in Greece, with the largest sports database, with many partnerships with teams, organizations and other sites in Greece and abroad. It kept me busy and the thousands of fellow readers until 31/12/2017 where after 13 years and due to various situations we were forced to end titles.

In life things never stay the same and always change. Personally, I am a busy person and every time I deal with different things, but I am also very adaptable to the new data and the challenges that I am asked to face each time. I think that we should always and always look at the data and put ourselves in the new data and be optimistic and not sullen and grumbling. Because as you lay, so will you sleep, and as you exercise, so will you reap. Just like we go to the gym and work out biceps, chest and accordingly we improve, so is man. You practice complaining, pessimism, malice, you will reap these in life. I feel and try to see things positively and the glass half full, but at the same time in terms of my knowledge and personal development, I leave this glass constantly empty so that it has room to fill up a little bit more each time. Rarely will anyone hear me whine. I consider myself sociable and I especially like to give and thank others.

In general, I would say that we should always look to the future with optimism, because I believe that the future is better and that is where we should focus. Because without a future and without development man cannot live and that is where he likes to focus... on the future. After all, this is why humanity only takes steps forward. New discoveries, new challenges, new facts. We always discover something new, more and more something new enters our lives and more and more we encounter something new that we often depend on. Also consider what wishes we make up and down every New Year's Eve. We almost always say that the old time should go away and that the new one that will come will be better, but next year we make the same wish again.

Personally, I may be into the program and stability, but on the other hand, I like challenges, tensions, discovering new things about myself but also reaching my "normal" limits. These may be a bit contradictory, but especially in recent years growing up I feel that I want to do even more things, many times I even regret that I didn't tackle some of them much earlier. I would say that most people don't like to take risks, they don't like to go out of their comfort zone, from the trivial and happening, from what they have and enjoy. Many who are in this situation and with the mentality of stability accept things as they are and do not set new goals in their lives. And why am I saying all this?

On the contrary, most people who are involved in running, having the opportunity to discover more and more themselves, try to overcome some of their limits and face new challenges every time.

That's how I believe I am too and it became even more intense since I started running, after it opened up new horizons, and I started setting new goals and trying new things and dreaming new dreams. I don't like sitting idly by. I want to take risks and if I lose or something doesn't work out, I don't regret it but I look forward. A simple example is a thought that I believe you have all had at one time or another…. When and how will I run my first Marathon?

It may sound like something, but I don't think there is a goal for a person that is not possible. But it takes determination, risk and great inner strength to succeed. The main thing is patience and perseverance EVERYTHING is POSSIBLE!!

And regarding the luck factor, which most people stand on especially when something goes wrong, I would say that it sounds more rational to me that luck is when hard work meets opportunity.

My eldest daughter Eliza, married life, but also the many dietary irregularities that brought me to around 90 kg with a height of 1.73 are indirectly responsible for how I started running.

At one point I was taking my eldest daughter Eliza to tennis lessons. I just drank my coffee, watched the training and thus without doing anything at all the time passed. One, two or three, at some point I couldn't take it anymore and started walking. Each time more and more and on different routes, until I ended up walking for an hour, exactly the same length as my daughter's lesson. I was very happy about it and I couldn't wait for the moment to come when I would do it again and discover another neighborhood of Thessaloniki.

Each time faster, each time in a different area, each time farther and faster. I also downloaded an application on my mobile phone to count the steps and see the routes and thus the interest grew and the challenges became even more numerous. Think only by walking!!

I started on my own to analyze my routes, break my records, walk even faster. Sometimes, because there was a track next to the tennis courts, I added a little running to the game. First run was 2.54 km in 15 minutes on 25 May 2013, about 4 months after I started walking. Second run on 31 May 4.14 km in 28 minutes. Then some days running and some walking until slowly and after a mix of about 3 weeks the running took over and I stayed there.

I ran my first 10km on 29 April 2014, almost a year after my first run and in 1:13 with an average pace of 07:10 min/km

I started on my own without a plan or strategy. No knowledge at all. I was just running. Then I also bought a plate clock with an oscilloscope and a stopwatch. Always with me as a necessary accessory and the headphones to listen to music or what I liked most my favorite sports broadcasts on the radio. In general I like to listen to the radio and not some playlists, I like to listen to the voices of the radio producers, the songs that they will choose, I even like the commercials. I like that it's about live and not canned.

I wasn't running particularly well since I didn't have a plan. Of course, I was slowly seeing some improvement and I confess that I was happy, but that was it. I ran once, twice, three times a week at the most. Basically when my daughter was training. Some periods I got bored and stopped, some others I started again, some winter training I also did on a treadmill at the gym. At most 10, 11 or 12 km.

Then I started putting some races into the game and that made my running even more interesting. In October 2015 I ran my first half-marathon in Thessaloniki and in fact with a very good time for my data of 2:13. The race was quite difficult since it was raining continuously and in the second half I remember some blisters appeared on my feet and they strained me a bit. After the finish I felt so proud of myself so happy and vindicated for all my effort. Emotions I feel even now, even after any finish regardless of distance.

That's why it's good to put the games in the game. Not to win anything material, but this anticipation, the preparation, the adrenaline rush, the people, the other runners, the finish are all so unique and unrepeatable and are another stepping stone to make you love running even more.

What I like the most and I think most of you have done it, is to observe other athletes and automatically wonder about various things, some of which may sound funny, but I'm sure most of you have!

I see their bodies, how athletic some of them look, what they're drinking, what they're holding in their hands, if they're wearing headphones and listening to music, what they're carrying, if they're wearing a hat, if they're wearing a bandana. I like to observe all the styles, get into the hole and think, what's so cool about this? do you think I would have done it too? Why does he only stretch? Why is he running so hard to warm up? why is he carrying two bottles with him? Should I have done it too? And if it doesn't reach me? Do you want me to step on it? Do I have enough gels? Should I take the caffeinated one towards the end? I didn't go to the bathroom and I'm worried. What am I going to do now; Should I try one last time? Did I cut my nails? will the gauzes i put on my nipples hold up? Are you saying this only happens to me? did I put on sunscreen? Does my cell phone have battery to listen to music? And the headphones? I don't believe they will break on the way and I don't know what I will do without music. Is the GPS ready? And if the match starts and he doesn't have time to coordinate? Should I wear a headband too? Maybe wristbands too? Wow, what a nice little boy and belt he has? To see what brand it is to see then how much does it make? What the hell shoes is he wearing? Do they make the difference from the rest? Do they make me feel more comfortable and go faster that way? Will they also eliminate the pain in my ankle? The one who looks very fit, wears such and such brand of shoes? Why; Does he know something more?

I'm sure most of you have made these or similar considerations. As funny as it looks, isn't it wonderful to experience all this at the same time?
I also participated in other small races of 5 km, 10 km and even some half marathons with worse results since I didn't pay attention to nutrition or anything. I followed my head. I particularly remember the Nafplio half marathon. On March 06, 2016. Without much preparation and with very few runs. I happened to be in the area due to work and said I'm not going to run too? Shut up. It's a half marathon. Great confidence you see. For the season it had a relatively high temperature. The day before I was looking to eat some pasta, but I forgot and ended up eating 2 pitogiras in the evening. I'm saying it slowly, nothing happened. The other day I woke up late, I didn't even have time to go to the toilet, I drove 60 kilometers to go from Loutraki to Nafplio and just made it to the start. The match turned into pure torture! My stomach felt heavy and the food was caressing my esophagus. I wanted and didn't want to go to the bathroom. I felt very uncomfortable and difficult. I thought I'd leave my bones there. At some point I turned it into walking.

I was looking forward to when it was time to finish. I couldn't stand it much. My friend Kostas, who we went with, was waiting for me at the finish line. I had told him I would do it for two hours. I want to break my record today. From self-confidence you can see a sketch. Until he got worried too since time was passing and I wasn't showing up. Of course, as soon as he saw me approaching the finish line, he thought of recording my mess with his cell phone. And it did well for me to see and laugh. Time 2:23. Average pace 06:41. I will never forget that fight and how it felt. I've never looked forward to the finish so much. But I suffered and learned. From then on, however, I respect all and every competition and my preparation is now different and more rational.

I started paying more attention to my diet. Especially if I had a match I didn't fool around anymore. I was even more careful the whole week and ate full spaghetti two or three days before. I started reading and looking for more information online. Various running programs for 10s or half marathons. Endless conversations with some friends who were either just starting out then, or were more experienced than me. I've always liked hearing opinions and suggestions. It doesn't mean that I adopted them all, but I filtered them according to what suited me best and was closer to my own data. I also put some strength exercises into the game. I was trying to find a compass. To be caught somewhere.

About how I started running and training more often I will develop you in the next Podcast since I intend to keep the duration not long so as not to become tiring,

I am very happy that my first Podcast has just finished. Thank you very much for listening!

Until next time, Be well be healthy and always do what we love and what makes us feel good.