5 mistakes I made in Lavaredo Cortina Trail race


Running the Lavaredo Cortina Trail’s 48km race in 2018 was a beautiful experience. I’ll call it that because it wasn’t just about the race. It was the entire roadtrip with friends, seeing new trails of the Dolomites, and going through the highs and lows of the competition.

Also, about rediscovering a place I’d fallen in love with a year before, on the road cycling trip.

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Transylvania 50k – Chasing demons on the trails in Bucegi

After a few years of dreaming about it, I finally ran the Transylvania 50k race.

It’s not like I couldn’t run there any other day, but there’s something special that happens in a runner’s circuits when you put a bib number on his shirt and you wake him up at 5am to face neverending climbs surrounded by others sharing the same suffering. Yeah, it’s hard to explain why we love it so much.

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Small tweaks that helped me improve my running performance

I’ve learned a lot since I started running. How to train for a marathon, how be faster on uphills, how to survive when you’re injured and can’t run, what to eat before a race, or during a race, how to convince my mom that it’s safe to run in the mountains, what’s the best recovery, and how to shop for fluorescent shoes are just some examples. But these are the big lessons, the foundations.

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Hydration, dehydration, and overhydration basics for active people

When it comes to being healthy and to performing our best, our main focus is usually what and how much we eat. However, at least as important as the nutrients we carefully choose in our diets are our water intake and hydration strategies.

You’ve probably heard that we’re made up of water. If you’re an adult male, you’re probably 60% water. If you’re an adult female, you’re around 55% water. And if you’re an infant reading sports blogs, you probably already know you’re 75% water.

 

But why does it matter?

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Recenzie de carte: Drumul către Sparta, de Dean Karnazes

Dean Karnazes, american de origine greacă, este unul dintre cei mai populari ultramaratoniști din lume. După succesul primei sale cărți, Ultramarathon Man, a publicat un volum nou, Drumul către Sparta, care face parte din colecția IRun de la Preda Publishing.

Drumul către Sparta nu e una dintre cărțile clasice despre alergare, cu o latură motivațională, cât e un elogiu adus Greciei, locul unde a început povestea maratonului. Citește mai mult

Vall del Congost Marathon 2018 – Setting season’s expectations

Every race is a learning experience and an exam at the same time. You get to see how your mind and body react to the distance, speed, and elevation. You get to see how your quads feel in the first 30km and how they feel after km 40.

You learn how your stomach handles food and how it handles gels. You get to hear your mind speaking, your body feeling alive. And you learn how a different pace, different weather, or an unexpected detail in the competition can turn things around completely.

Plus, you get to live a totally different experience as you adjust all these variables.

For me, doing Vall del Congost 43km race with more than 3000 positive elevation gain was an opportunity to test myself:

– Can I run this distance and elevation so early in the season, after my 5 month break last year?

– Can I handle it well if it’s been almost a year since I’ve run this distance (EcoMarathon 2017, and that was actually shorter and less elevation)

– On a scale from 0 to 10, how crazy am I for signing up for my first 50K in May, at Transylvania 50?
but also, a very interesting question/lesson was:
Can I run it without being competitive, take it just as a training and not sacrifice my legs and liver on the rocky hills of Aiguafreda?
So that was the plan: run slowly, as a test, and enjoy the race and the lessons.
My friends who suggested this race also took me to two trainings, first doing the first half and then the second half of the route. I realized I had totally underestimated it and after the training I understood why everyone says about Vall del Congost that it’s one of the toughest races in Catalunya.
I should have realized that before, because it’s a competition that used to be part of the international circuit and now it’s the only race in Catalunya that offers points for the World Trail Running Championships. So you can imagine it’s a very attractive event for pro runners.

Race day

Aiguafreda, where the race starts, is a one hour drive away from Barcelona, so I had to wake up at 4.30 am on Sunday morning, to make it in time for the 7am start.
At the start line I met some of my training friends – some of them running, and others who were there to cheer for us and take photos. Also, I saw some of the top runners in Catalunya there, probably for the beauty of this race, the relatively big prize money and of course, the points.

What I loved about Vall del Congost race

– Refreshment points every 5 km. I didn’t have to carry a vest, I had a belt with a soft flask inside, two Raw Bite bars that I didn’t even eat, and two gels. You can go light.
– All the points were signaled in advance and after: “100m to Refreshment point number X” and “End of the refreshment zone” (with a nice garbage bag to throw the orange and banana pills and whatever else we had taken).

– A big plus point, compared to most races I’ve been to, is that they don’t require a compulsory list of equipment. You decide for yourself what you’re going to take with you during the race, at your own risk.

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Pau Capell: I always put family before running

Just a few days ago, the Catalan ultrarunner Pau Capell defended his title in Transgrancanaria, with an amazing victory in the 125km with 7500m elevation race, finishing it in 12h 42min 08s.

I was lucky enough to have him answer a few questions about how he trains his body, his mind, and his nutrition to achieve such performances. His beliefs reveal the importance of the emotional balance that maybe we don’t often realize is that important for ultra runners who seem to focus only on spartan trainings and nothing more. It turns out that his personal life plays a decisive role in his performance and it’s something he advises all runners to prioritize. 

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