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François Mazure:

“Getting back into sport does me a power of good!”

According to François Mazure, running the Brussels 20K takes a huge amount of preparation! François talks to us about a very genuine achievement thanks to his Aspria coach, Lyes, who gave him back his appetite for sport and can’t be praised too highly. This young dad and fan of group disciplines reviews his sporting journey with us, right up to the finish of the Brussels 20K….

"The 20K takes a lot of preparation! But it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time…. It’s a wonderful experience. You get the feeling that people are there to enjoy themselves, and it’s very well organised. You explore Brussels in a different way: for example, it’s amazing to run in the tunnels which you usually only drive through in a car! That gave me the desire to do it again next year and improve on my result. I appreciated that doing this kind of sport on your own, without any support, could present a real danger for the joints and muscles, and that you should consider fitness in just the same way as any other sporting discipline."

When it comes to taking up sport again, some causes are more motivational than others! Succeeding in running the Brussels 20K in 1 hour 46 minutes is one of them! And he did it without putting himself in danger physically and in support of Cap 48, the benevolent organisation which assists disabled people by raising funds for medical research and to improve living conditions for the people affected. François Mazure, RTBF journalist and currently presenter and editor in chief of the “7 à la Une” programme, talks to us enthusiastically about this experience which he shared with his colleagues, in an atmosphere which he described as like a huge party for 40,000 people, and which forms Brussels’ greatest sporting event.

First love: basketball

"Sport has always been part of my life. I started playing basketball when I was 8 years old and I grew up with the orange ball, dreaming of the NBA. Then came my university studies, journalism and the start of my working life. For ten years, I succeeded in combining work with competitive basketball, but in 2013, an injury put an end to all that. During a match, I tore the lateral ligaments in my knee and I had to stop all activity at a stroke. After several months of rehabilitation, the knee was operational once again but the mental attitude was no longer there. The realities of everyday life, work, my little boy growing up, meant I could no longer find the same motivation and the same pleasure in doing sport. Although I registered with all sorts of gyms, that lack of motivation really stopped me going there. When I started again at Aspria, I had one goal: complete the 20K. Having that objective, as well as the ideal training conditions, has allowed sport to become a pleasure for me again."

The Brussels 20K

"When you take up sport again, there are all sorts of obstacles and traps you can fall into. An injury or despondence because you started too ambitiously or too quickly. Training incorrectly and developing bad reflexes can also cause a lot of harm.

For most sports, you wouldn’t make a start without at least doing a few classes, but fitness, running and body-building are the sports disciplines which people launch themselves into without any idea what they’re doing. Overnight, they’ve started and they go on to make lots of mistakes."

The importance of support

"I had the opportunity to be supervised by Lyes, who is an athlete by training. Lyes creates a totally personalised programme, so there are never two workouts the same. He adapts each training session to the individual he’s working with and to their goals, and that’s the really great thing about it. You never get bored! You might think that running means putting on your trainers and starting to run. But with Lyes, I’ve come to understand that it’s the preparation that’s really important. You do plyometrics to strengthen the joints and all the important muscles for running. You also do reflexology, endurance, building muscle mass. All these different stages of preparation have helped me to avoid injuries as I tackle my running, and to be as efficient as possible in a very short time.

The support of a real professional coach makes all the difference! In a very short time, I was able to achieve goals which I would never have been able to reach alone. I’m quite sure I would have injured myself without it: all it took was to work out once without a coach, and I had a problem with a contracture for three weeks because I didn’t train correctly. If I hadn’t been in such good shape thanks to Lyes, I don’t think I ever would have got there. For me, it was a completely successful experience. I achieved a time (1 hour 46 minutes) which was way better than I’d expected!"

Aspria Pro

"I’m particularly impressed with Aspria Pro, a kind of comprehensive check-up of your state of health, based on a variety of things including a blood test. It’s a different way of defining your goal: you have the age of your heart, and a good idea of your general physical fitness. The idea is to expand your capability, to lose a bit of weight and to pay attention to your nutrition too. It’s really great because you can go back for another appointment six months later to compare. It’s highly motivational, with statistical results which are obviously completely objective."

A new momentum

"I’d got my appetite for sport back, I was doing it regularly and with support, and I was going to carry on! I’ve become very aware of its importance, not just for my physical health but also for my sense of balance with work and with my family. I sleep better and I’ve got much more energy.

For the last three years, I’ve had new professional commitments which could cause stress and fatigue, and people sometimes take the mistaken view that, if you’re tired, doing sport will make you feel even more exhausted. But sport is an energy which provides more energy! The stress which you release, above all, means you’re not taking it home with you. You can put your troubles into perspective and free up negative tension. That really does a power of good for me!"

The club really is a godsend for my children!

Joëlle Scoriels