Our ambassadors introduce themselves and reveal valuable tips and tricks.
Born: 1986 | 3 Swissalpine-participations | from Herisau | @trailrunninglena
The Swissalpine is one of the most spectacular runs in which I took part in my young running career. The idyllic valleys and the beautiful views from the passes to the Graubünden mountains astonish me every year. But it's not just the mountain panorama that makes the Swissalpine unique! The sporting challenge due to the height profile of the run and the varied running surfaces - hiking trails across cow pastures and mountain streams, root paths in larch and fir forests, to very rocky and sometimes snow-covered terrain on the mountain trails - make the Swissalpine a unique running event. For me, the love of nature and the variety of "running up and down" are the reason why I do trail running as a recreational athlete. In addition to all this, I am also very emotionally connected to Davos, as I have already spent several ski holidays in the snow-covered Landwassertal and will continue to do so. Planning the competition is not easy for me because there are other beautiful mountain running events. However, it is clear to me that the Swissalpine should not be missing in my running planning, and the other runs must be planned around it. I am already looking forward to Swissalpine 2020 and have set myself a podium finish. Heya Davos!
Born: 1996 | from Klosters | @nicodalcolmo
I have been following the annual running spectacle in Davos for several years, initially as a spectator and now as an athlete. Because of the privilege of living in Klosters, I associate a lot of emotions with the Swissalpine. The unique mountain landscape around Davos / Klosters is not only my home, but also the perfect training environment. In addition to a unique mountain panorama, the area offers many opportunities to let off steam as a trail runner, be it on one of the many steep climbs or a technical downhill. The Swissalpine Davos makes optimal use of these natural conditions and offers the participants a unique experience that is very demanding both physically and mentally.
I love the movement, the nature and the feeling of freedom when I can be out in the mountains. It is precisely these emotions that motivate me to train every day and with the Swissalpine I have the opportunity to compare my skills with the best in the world on my doorstep. While the winter season is currently in full swing and I am preparing for the final ski mountaineering competitions, I can hardly wait for the running season. Another year of Swissalpine will take place on 25th July 2020, and running enthusiasts should definitely not miss this, so register and in Davos by July!
Nico: There is no way around training in the mountains to prepare for a mountain run like the Swissalpine. Long ascents and descents are best simulated there, which in turn leads to desired muscular adaptation. It should be noted that the scope should be increased slowly to prevent injuries. If you don't have the mountains right on your doorstep, you should take your time and go to the them regularly. It is also important to note that mountain runs take place at heights where performance is limited by the low oxygen content. This is also best practised by staying at the altitude of the event and, if necessary, arriving at the competition location early can help to better acclimatise yourself. While "flat runners" are often based on the number of kilometres they have run, there is another decisive factor to consider when running in the mountains, namely the positive and negative altitude metres. My tip therefore: orientate yourself on the running time and not on the number of kilometres, so as not to provoke overload. A mountain runner will hardly have the opportunity to cover the same number of kilometres as a flat runner.
Training should be varied. Long, easy training runs in the mountains are just as important as intensive intervals. The so-called hill runs or a driving game in the field are suitable as intervals for a mountain runner. Make sure that the quality is good and, most importantly, learn to walk slowly. Not every training has to be intense and fast, but the majority of the training should be in the basics. In addition to running uphill, it is also important to train downhill running. Here, too, you can play with the terrain and improve your coordination. I would also like to emphasize that nature has to be respected when running in the mountains. For me, this includes avoiding waste, taking the weather into account and choosing suitable clothing. Last but not least, and my most important tip, have fun! Enjoy nature and forget everyday life for a few hours.
Lena: Refrain from sport until the injury has healed! That sounds a lot easier than it is. Exercise is healthy, at least to some extent. But it can also become an addiction. You need daily exercise and want to push your limits and then continue to train even though you are injured. Pain and the doctor's recommendation are ignored. That's what happened to me last year. In the spring I contracted periostitis on my shin and a runner's knee due to overtraining. I trained daily and didn't allow myself a single day of rest, despite the pain I ran marathons and sometimes up to 3 competitions a month. The Swissalpine in Davos was my last race, after which I had to pause for 3 months because I couldn't walk anymore due to the pain. That moment was pretty bad for me, physically and mentally. I reached my psychological limit because I had to cancel all competitions. It would not have come this far if I had given my body the necessary rest, listened to it and healed the injuries. Only now do I realize how important it is to listen to the body and allow it to rest so that there is no injury, especially if I want to continue running a mountain running marathon. And should there be any injury, it is essential to cure it until it is completely gone ...
Nico: Tip number 1, and possibly the most important thing in preventing injuries, is to listen to your body, to perceive signals and then to respect them. If the body sends negative signals in the form of pain or severe tiredness, these should be observed. Continuing the training is usually pointless and worsens the condition. So, stay calm, take a few days off and then go back to training with full energy. Furthermore, rest days or even weeks of rest are of great importance to me, when the body and also the head can recover from the strain. As a runner you ask a lot of your body and therefore you should give something back every now and then. Regular stretching and the use of a black roll help the body to regenerate faster. Hence my tip, plan 15 minutes every day or every other day to work on flexibility and loosen up stiff muscles. Weekly or monthly visits to a masseuse or therapist are also recommended in order to avoid any improper stress, which is often caused by tension in the body. Especially in the preparation phase, targeted strength training can help identify weak points and then strengthen them with targeted exercises. Who needs how much strength training, however, has to be assessed on an individual basis. At the end of the day, alternative sports are perfect for me to prevent injuries and still train enough. Personally, racing biking or mountain biking is ideal as a supplement in summer. The movements are quite gentle compared to running and it is also perfect strength training for the legs. With these tips I wish you an injury-free preparation and competition season!
Lena: After I tore my anterior cruciate ligament while skiing in 2015 and had to undergo an operation, I wanted to build up my muscles as quickly as possible so that I could go back to sports without too long a break. With spikes on my crutches, I was walking up and down small hills and soon realized how much I enjoyed it and how effective this type of training is. When I no longer needed crutches, I continued this form of training. I often use the lunch break to run on the Hohe Kasten, Ebenalp, Schäfler or anywhere else in the Alpstein region. Reaching the many metres in altitude, the various trails and a summit gives me satisfaction and happiness. The mountains are a playground for me; I love them. Mountain running is a strenuous, which is highly effective: the muscles and the cardiovascular system are equally intensively loaded and strengthened; endurance and speed are promoted at the same time. And it's just unbelievable fun to move around in nature and the mountains. I am rewarded during and after strenuous ascents with wonderful views of my beloved mountains.
Nico: Is there perfect nutrition for athletes? From my point of view, this question is difficult to answer. People are different and therefore diet should be adjusted and tested very individually. The following tips therefore relate to my personal preferences and should not be regarded as general.
For me personally, a balanced diet is the be-all and end-all. Sufficient carbohydrates and proteins are just as important to me as the intake of vitamins through the consumption of vegetables or fruits. I don't think much of special diets. The only thing I try to avoid is wheat as much as possible, as it is not particularly good for my body. Eating is a pleasure for me and therefore I take enough time for it. I also try to consume my meals consciously, i.e. with respect for the food. For me, this also includes freshly preparing food and, if possible, a warm meal twice a day. Since food intake is very important, especially after training, I try to fill the reservoirs with a recovery shake immediately afterwards and to have a real meal a little later. In general, it is certainly important to drink and eat enough. Personally, I mainly listen to my body feeling. When I'm hungry I eat (something smart!) And when I'm thirsty I drink water. If there is a competition, my diet is usually as follows.
Finally, my most important tip: it is essential to test diet for competitions in advance and get to know your body. What do you tolerate well, what less? Which diet helps to achieve optimal performance? Which sports nutrition provider is best for you? Answering these questions is essential when it comes to achieving sporting goals!
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