Last week we started our joggling interview series with the professor of joggling Dana Lee Ling. This week we are fortunate enough to have another interview with one of the fastest jogglers in the world, Michal Kapral.
Introduction: Michal Kapral (pronounced “mee – kal”) is a world class joggler from Toronto, Canada. He writes a great blog called The Joggler and is currently the world record holder for the fastest 10K while joggling (36:27). Additionally, he has held other world records including the record for the fastest joggling marathon and for the fastest marathon while pushing a baby jogger. This fall he plans to try to win back the joggling marathon world record in the Scotia Bank Toronto Marathon.
JYAJ: When and why did you start joggling?
KAPRAL: I tried joggling for the first time when I was about 12. I read about the marathon joggling record in the Guinness Book. Since I had learned how to juggle three beanbags, I went out to a nearby park and tried it out. Lo and behold, I could do it! After that, I took a 20-year break from joggling, but the dream of one day becoming the world’s fastest marathon joggler was stuck in my head. In 2005, my dream came true when I joggled to a then-world-record time of 3 hours, 7 minutes and 44 seconds at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
JYAJ: How many races have you done while joggling?
KAPRAL: I’ve done four marathon while joggling, two 5K’s, two 10K’s and a 30K.
JYAJ: What were some of your favorites?
KAPRAL: Joggling the Boston Marathon against my rival Zach Warren tops my list of joggling experiences. There was a crazy amount of publicity surrounding the race, including a 1,300-word article on the front pager of the Boston Globe’s sports section and live appearances on CNN and CBS. I also loved the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2005, which we both joggled, and where I took the record back from Zach with a 2:57.
JYAJ: What is your best story about joggling?
KAPRAL: Oh, there are too many joggling stories! Last summer, I joggled past a big group of kids playing street hockey and one of the guys said: “Hey, that guy’s the world champion!” and all the kids broke into loud cheers. One time last winter, I was joggling along a path late at night during a rain storm and smashed my head into a low-hanging tree branch. By some miracle, I fell backwards, but kept on juggling.
JYAJ: What kind of training do you do?
KAPRAL: I train for a joggling marathon the same way I train for non-joggling marathons, but I do all my workouts while juggling, including speedwork at the track, tempo runs, short sprints and long runs. At the peak of my training, I do about 70 or 80 miles per week. Most of my mileage consists of joggling home from work with a backpack … uphill.
JYAJ: How long do you think you will keep joggling?
KAPRAL: After joggling the Salt Lake City Marathon this past April in 2:53 and missing Zach’s record by a minute, I decided to retire from the sport. But this didn’t last very long. Two months later I was back joggling again on my runs home from work because I found it too boring to run without juggling, especially since I got into the habit of doing fun juggling tricks as I ran and bouncing the balls off street signs and over hydro wires. I think I will probably joggle indefinitely; I just may not be competitive about it for that long.
JYAJ: Do you eat a special diet?
KAPRAL: I have no special diet beyond trying to eat real food. I try to buy locally grown fruit and vegetables. I eat a lot of grilled fish, stay away from hydrogenated oils and white flour. I drink some beer or wine every night. I eat often, usually every two hours. Speaking of which, I’m starving! And thirsty!
JYAJ: Finally, do you have any advice for other would-be jogglers?
KAPRAL: My advice for would-be jogglers: Try to make your arms mimic the natural swing of the running movement, so after you catch each ball, hold onto it as you swing your elbow back, then release as it swings forward. Don’t’ toss the balls too high or too far forward. It may feel awkward at first, but keep at it. It’s the greatest sport in the world. Don’t worry about what other people think. I was embarrassed at first, but then I realized how much it entertained people. You get fit, improve your coordination and make people smile and laugh. What’s not to like? As Perry would say, joggle on.
Thanks Michal! Great information.
Update: On September 30, 2007 Michal set a new world record for running and juggling a marathon. The new time 2:50:09.
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