Showing posts from January, 2012

Motivation for training: two inspirational speeches by John Doman.

When the weather is cold, or the crucial race seems to be too distant, or simply if you keep on making questions to yourself, instead of giving answers, these two inspirational speeches by John Doman could be really helpful for your motivation, whatever your favourite sport is. The first one is about second places and here's my favourite quote: "Knock knock, who's there? The guy that finished second. The guy that finished second who? Exactly...". Enjoy.

The second one may be a bit more intense, if possible, even if too resonant in certain passages. My favourite quote is: "The only thing, the only thing you can count on at any given moment is you! It's you versus them. You versus no. You versus can't. You versus next year, last year, statistics, excuses! [...] You versus the odds. It's you versus second place. Clock is ticking, lets see what you got.". Again: enjoy.

Here you can find a list of my running-related posts. Now shut down the noteboo…

The hardest 400 m of the World: the "Red Bull 400".

Have you ever tried to run a "full throttle" 400 m? It's bloody difficult. But...what if your quarter mile race included a sensible climb? Let's say something like 37° of maximum slope. Let's say half on slippery grass and half on the glassy concrete of a...Ski Jump! Pretty weird, isn't it? Well, this is the "Red Bull 400", a race held in Tauplitz/Bad Mitterndorf's Ski Jumping facility. With an average gradient of 45% and a nickname of "Highway to Hell" given by the athletes, this is probably the most difficult 400 m race in the World! Take a look at the video: aren't you curious to give it a try?

We could organize a bus for next year's race! Take a look at the official website, it's an interesting collection of news and articles (they discuss, for example, the difficult choice of the right shoes for this strange competition). Just to let you know, the 2011 winner was the "Turkish chamois" Ahmed Arslan, with a ti…

Trail running in the dark: 4^ Notturna di Sant'Antonio - Miane (TV), Italy.

Shhh...silence, please. I'm in the woods. On a trail. It's completely dark except from the light emanated from my headlamp. Shhh...silence, please.
Can you feel it?
This race is organized from a small group of running enthusiasts, there's no promotion, no advertising. It just happens every year, since 2008, and if you know it, you do it. Simple. As simple as the route: 500 m of positive slope, 500 m of downhill, 8.3 km the total distance; a gift for no more than 50 lucky runners, choosing a different way to spend their Saturday night. The trail to discover during the race, meter after meter, is a typical "troi" ("trail" in local dialect), with a mixture of hard and soft slopes and a stunning panorama on the "Valsana" ("Healthy Valley"): it's difficult to find such dark places and hence seeing so many stars. Something that makes you feel lucky and erases all the pain. But the idyll is roughly stopped by a silence-breaking voice, …

Running at 4000 m: the hypoxic chamber (altitude training).

Have you ever thought about training at altitude? If you are a runner with passion for mountains, probably the answer is affirmative.
But what's altitude training?
Wikipedia says that "the basic concept of living or training at altitude is to cause the body to adapt to the lower oxygen content by producing more oxygen-carrying red blood cells and hemoglobin. This improves the athlete’s ability to perform work, because more oxygen is available to the working muscles".
Why is there less oxygen at high altitude?
At sea level the air contains around 20.9% oxygen. On the top of Mount Everest (8848 m), too. Why do we say, then, that there's less oxygen? The difference is all in the air pressure: at sea level there is a pressure over our heads equivalent to 10 m of water. At 8848 m this pressure is equivalent to around 3.5 m of water. The percentage of the oxygen is the same, but being the pressure lower, the molecules are less compressed and, thus, more distant from each oth…

MAMMUT® presents: the biggest peak project in history - "The Zuitas™" are planning their tour.

It's official: our tour has been selected between more than 2000 other projects and we are now part of the 150 teams that will take part in the biggest peak project history! From 10th to 12th February 2012 our team, composed by 5 of us plus a mountain guide, will attempt the summit of Monte Civetta (3220 m) from two different routes: the first team, composed by Alessandro "Ale" Santuz, Nicolas "Nikla" Bellomo, Alberto "Ray" Vianello and the mountain guide, will ascend through the "Alleghesi" route, that in summer is a via ferrata of medium difficulty (it's classified III-/AD-), but in winter could become far tougher (if the conditions won't be enough dry, the Normal Route can become a safest alternative);Get GPS trackShow height profileGet Google Earth KMLthe second team, composed by Enrico "Gere" Geremia and another expert climber, will attempt the summit through the magnificent NW wall, through a route of outstanding bea…

My 2011 in numbers - Happy new year!

The 2011 is over or, better, the 2012 has begun. A lot has been done, but the most important thing is that a lot has to be done. Here is my happy new year wish for you, fulfilled of my beloved numbers: a very synthetic and concentrated abstract of 150 litres of sweat.
My training year in numbers:150 workouts95000 kCal burned1500 km run14000 m climbed110 h of training4'36"/km of average pace12 races10k race pace decreased from 3'58"/km to 3'35"/km10 kg lostanaerobic threshold lowered of 16 bpmrest HR lowered of 10 bpm. Happy new year, people! And...keep on running!