Ultra Tips And Guide
More and more people are picking up the endurance game and pushing themselves past boundaries. A tip from Vlad, especially if you’re taking on a 100km, is packing to a bare minimum. The idea is that the lighter you carry, the faster you finish. He packs only the mandatory kits and 2 or 3 gels, or water if there aren’t any mandatory kits. Finishing an ultra may seem near impossible for the average human but Vlad pushes himself to finish before it gets dark. “I’ve ran a trail in Thailand that took 8 hours, then I’ve done a 100km in Hong Kong that took 13 hours, and it really depends on the weather. I’ve done TMBT 100km in Kota Kinabalu and that took me 12.5 hours cause’ it was humid and it was raining. So that slows you down a bit.”
The toughest trail he had ever done was the Ice Trail Tarentaise in France. “It was pretty much running on soft snow, rocks, and massive uphills and downhills. It was 65km but it took me about 8.5-9 hours.” We’re pretty sure by then, you’d be physically in pain as much as you are mentally drained. With the will to persevere and getting past the pain, here’s another professional advice from the pro; “Most people would take painkillers and that’s really bad for you. You gotta look at it from the view of training leading up to the race. You need to eat well and sleep well, and you need to be aware of your body. Spend a lot of time on strength work, balance work, and core work; not just run a lot.”
“Running is a single-legged sport. You wanna make sure you develop those smaller muscles in your feet – those muscles that stabilize you. Balance is a key thing for runners, so try balancing on one leg. It helps strengthen your feet and minimizes rest periods. Core keeps you upright and gives you a better running form. A lot of people have weak cores and that’s when the lower back does a lot more work – which affects your hamstrings and glutes.”
If you’re a new runner reading this, and you’re inspired to change your lifestyle and follow the footsteps of a pro, a good running form is to be on the front of your foot. Not too much on the toes but you just don’t want to be running on your heel. When you run on your heel, the impacts affect your ankles to your knees and straight to your hip. A good way to tell if you are running properly is to take out your earphones and listen to your steps. You want to be very light on your foot. Establish a strong base. Build in your flexibility, build in your strength.
“The North Face doesn’t put any pressure on me. It’s a company that lets me do my own thing and lets me grow my own way, and they’re happy to let me make my own mistakes and learn from it. This company really supports me. I put a lot of pressure on myself so it’s nice to not get it from the sponsor. The North Face has been well known for hiking/trail shoes and it’s really picking up on good quality running shoes.”
Before running off, Vlad left some good words of advice. “I have very little time for myself outside of training. If you wanna do well in anything in life, you gotta sacrifice somethings. I’m happy to sacrifice cause’ here I get my enjoyment. The high that I get from running and racing is a lot greater than what I get from going out. I will always feel better AFTER I run than I do before I run.”