Photo by Salomon
Name: Iker Karrera
Residence: Tolosa, Basque County
Occupation: Rural Development Technician
Anyone in Aralar or in the Pyrenees, (near my home).
Trail or race you want to run?
There are many, more than I could run in my life. Because the world is full of beautiful mountains and I would like to run at all.
Can you describe an ordinary training week?
It depends on the season of the year. In winter I can run less, I do other activities too as nordic ski and bike. More or less I try to training 6 days a week and the other day I do active rest. Not too many hours a day and in weekends running or skiing from 8 to 10 hours.
Spring and Summer season, with better weather, there is no snow in the Pyrenees and we are already in racing season. The workouts are longer lasting, more charge, more intense and still doing a day of active rest.
On weekends increases the volume of hours over the winter but also depends on my work as I can organize my week depending on it.
What are your goals for 2012?
My goals are to improve my quality, run better and have fewer physical problems (I have had not many injuries but,….). Enjoy running, the results come if I´m training well and enjoying the mountains. I have no specific target.
For hard mountain races like UTMB, what are your tactics?
Train very hard and prepare all the detail of the race as well as possible; the weather condition, food, clothing,…). Trying to read the race as good as possible. Being mentally flexible, making decisions, to go and have someone you can trust to follow during the race, which gives you support throughout.
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?
It depends on the slope, the type of ground, if it is grass, loose stones, rocks, tree roots, if the way is straight or curvy, wet or dry,… according to this, you have to go for length and frequency of the past. There isn´t a technique-fits good to all. Also depends on how good is your technique, your physique, if you are big or small, heavy or light,… always looks for maximum energy efficiency with minimal physical effort.
How do you train for good uphill/downhill technique?
I have ran in the mountain in uphill and downhill from I was a child. I haven´t worked too much on the specific technique. I do it in a so natural way that I can.
What can you improve?
Everything can be improved.
2011 was the year of your big breakthrough, how come?
I want to think it is because the consequent of years of progression and a lot of work training in the mountain. Also because in the main races, from my viewpoint, the things went well with good results. The mass media do that people start to hear your name. Many circumstances that come together at one time.
During UTMB last year, Kilian increased the speed on the last section and took the first place 8 minutes ahead of you. Was it a team order to let Kilian win or was he just too strong?
Kilian won because he was the stronger. He was the stronger during the whole race. We could realize about this during the race.
Is it your turn to win UTMB this year?
In this moment, on the dates we are, I´m not thinking about that. I just think in train well, try do make good races before the UTMB and to be in the beginning of the UTMB in the best condition as is possible. Then the race will put each of us in our place.
Thank you Iker and good luck!
Really Inspiring! It’s comforting knowing that not every good runner lives and train daily at high altitudes.
Looking forward to the next article in the the series!
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