If there is one runner I would like to have a beer with, it would be Vlad Ixel. And I don’t even drink.
Vlad is always positive, never strays into over-serious territory, and he gives something back to the running community. A refreshing change from the all the other YouTubers who seek attention to inflate their egos, bank accounts and shoe collections. He’s also a bloody good runner.
His origins in the sport makes for an interesting story, one which he documented in a video recently.
To summarise, he was smoking like a chimney, downing half-a-dozen pints a night and guzzling loads of energy drinks. Then about 10 years ago – just before his 25th birthday – he was keen to make some changes, so he binned the bad habits and signed up for a marathon. A marathon that was only four days away.
Vlad somehow finished the race in 3:18 and despite describing it as the “hardest and most painful thing ever,” there was no going back.
“Before this marathon I was the world champ in not completing things I started so this was a big deal for me. With my addictive personality I signed up to another marathon a few weeks later which I ran in 3:05 and getting home from this race I googled ‘hardest running races in the world’ and before I knew it I was signed up to a 250km stage race in the Atacama desert in Chile.”Vlad Ixel
Fast forward a decade and Vlad has won over 40 races, become a professional runner and a North Face-backed athlete. He’s also turned his hand to entrepreneurship with his increasingly popular recovery tablets called Bix Hydration.
He manages to maintain a regular presence on social media as well, particularity on Instagram and YouTube, which showcase the different sides of Vlad’s personality.
On Instagram, Vlad is a cheeky chappy and never afraid to take the proverbial out of those on the running scene, influencers or even himself. But it’s on YouTube where I think he excels and where I would encourage you to follow him.
The content he creates is entertaining, informative and deserving of more subscribers. The bulk of his uploads are easy-to-follow strength videos, which are adaptable for beginner or experienced runners alike.
And then he produces lengthy videos like the one below, which is what prompted me to write this piece.
Who would, after just completing a marathon, go around asking weary strangers if they want to pop their ultra cherry on an all-expenses-paid race the following weekend? Vlad would, because Vlad’s cool like that.