Inspirational Athlete Spotlight: Germany’s Thea Heim
Imagine being one of the best woman’s mid to long distance runners in Germany. You would have to be one quick chick. Speed, power, discipline and a little bit of cleverness would help to make you a world class athlete and Germany’s Thea Heim is the epitome of all these traits. Let’s meet with this professional runner and learn more about her daily routines and her trials and tribulations that ultimately lead to her successes.
I did a lot of sports when I was a child. Besides track and field, I also did cross country skiing, Judo, soccer along with other sports. When I was 16, my coach convinced me to focus on running. The feeling I got from competition became a top priority for me. During the last ten years, running has become my real passion. It is not only the success in competitions, but it is also the daily work I put into running. Running has become a daily desire nowadays. Today, for me, the journey of getting to the goal is more important than achieving the actual goal. Running it shows the perfect contrast of the work put in and the work that comes out, plus the exciting feeling in a competition thrills me.
My personal preference has changed over the years. But my coach had told me from the beginning that my best talent would be in long distance running. We decided to develop my performance for distance running over the years. We started with 400 meters and 800 meters (until 2013), then 1500 meters (until 2016), 10.000 meters and half marathon (2017). Since 2017, I have concentrated more on long-distance running and is now what I love the most.
800m: 2.03,12 min
1500m: 4.12,94 min
3000m: 9.20,37 min
5000m: 16.08,34 min
10.000m: 33.48,73 min
10km Sraße: 34.09 min
Half Marathon: 1.15,13 h
A typical day would look for example like that:
5.30 a.m: Wake up
6.00 a.m: First session 10mi/16k
7.30 a.m: Breakfast
8.15 a.m: Start work
5.00 p.m: Finish work
6.00 p.m: Second session 6mi/10k
8.00 p.m: Dinner
10.30 p.m: Bed
I have no special diet, but here is what I eat on a typical day:
Breakfast: Tea, fruits, bread with honey or some cake
Lunch: Meat, fish, potatoes, vegetables. We have a very good canteen at my work.
Dinner: Eggs, salad, meat, cheese, etc
In general, I love to compete in foreign countries. Last year, I was in Sweden (Jönköping) and Italy (Trentino, Lago di Garda). I love to go to foreign places and see a different atmosphere and people. I also had a great experience running in Zürich at Diamonds League meeting at Letzigrund. In the future, I plan to have more competitions abroad.
My goal is to always find a balance between high performance running and working in real life. When these two activities work together, my main goal will be to run personal bests. For this year the 10k, half marathon and my first full marathon are my main goals. My marathon project “THEIM2020” will commence!
This is difficult to answer with only a few short words. In general, my experience is that speed sessions do not make you faster. What I have found to be more important is the endurance training and speed endurance training. A very good aerobic base is more important than short, fast speed sessions. So for myself, I rather prefer a Fartlek in the woods than a 10 x 400m session on the track with high speed which only something my coach has me do once a year.