Photo by Salomon
Name: Julien Chorier
Residence: Saint Thibaud de Couz (FR)
Occupation: Safety and Environment Engineer
I like ultra races in the mountains, for the aspect of discovery and the mental challenge. I think that I’m starting to really perform around the 80km mark.Variety is good. My weight (quite heavy) does not make it easy for me on snow.
Trail or race you want to run?
The next one coming up, I hope. I really enjoy discovering new regions as a runner. The change of scenery and being in the mountains, that’s what makes these adventures memorable.
Can you describe an ordinary training week?
I do 6 sessions, one of them on a bike. Out of the 4 running sessions, one of them is a ‘nature’ outing lasting from 1.5 to 2 hours, one is a track session (in the Spring it’s about 15x500m, more in the Summer) and one specific session (work on ascents: 30/30). I try to keep Mondays as my day off. The organisation in conjunction with my job is difficult, I train either at 6am, at midday or at 7pm…
What are your goals for 2012?
My schedule is almost finished the first half. February 12 Phoebus trail, trail citadels April 8, May 5 trail Nivolet-Revard, May 18 ultra trail of Mount Fuji, June 23 Zugspitz ultra trail. I should also go through Chamonix at the end of August for UTMB.
For hard mountain races like UTMB, what are your tactics?
My tactic is simple, try to concentrate on my own race. I go to my pace without experiencing the pace of others. Then I focus on the trail, my diet, my hydration …
For us living in the lowland, it is quite hard to achieve good mountain running techniques. It is possible to get strong for the uphills but the downhill part is hard. When reading about this topic you can see that there are two different approaches; either you do some long and hard quad burning downhills now and then to let the legs get used to it or you can develop a smooth technique with a fast turn over and short strides.
What is your opinion on this?
My opinion is that you have to train long downhills. We must be vigilant and make this type of training a long time before a race for recovering.
How do you train for good uphill/downhill technique?
I live near the mountain and makes a lot of jogging on difficult roads. I do not work specifically this type of effort.
What can you improve?
I hope to improve my velocity.
You had a great 2011 with two big wins in Hardrock 100 and Grand Raid Reunion,
are you in the shape of your life or is it increased experience in mountain running that makes the difference?
I think with experience I prepare better my objectives. This experience also allows me to run better.
You have a family, are they joining you on the trips?
Yes, on most of the races I’m moving the family. My wife and my daughters give me assistance, supplies. It’s was a great help.
How do you combine work, family and training?
It’s hard but with a lot of organization I manage to juggle my training, my work as an engineer and my family. Since early 2011 I work a little less to try to be better on running and have time with my family.
How do you compare UTMB, Hardrock and Grand Raid Reunion?
These three very different races have in common the same distance (100 miles) and the same ascent (approximately 10,000m). Otherwise the trails, climate, altitude, make the races completely different.
Thank you Julien and good luck!