How did you feel after winning the 80km of the EcoTrail Paris?
I was very proud obviously. It was the first time I was running this race, and it was not a usual distance for me, which pushed me out my comfort zone. It was also a daring bet to run it in the middle of the short distance cross season. The 80km race is a completely different world from the short distance cross race of the French Championship (4km), and it was only 6 days before. It made the challenge even more exciting… but it was exhausting. It’s a 6 hours race in extreme conditions regarding the place and the season. It’s tough on the nerves, and there can be trail marking issues, incidents and other race problems. I thought I was never going to see the Eiffel Tower, but thankfully, winning the race quickly erased all these minor worries.
How did you prepare for the race?
Well since I was in the middle of the short distance cross season, and since I really enjoy running in the mud... I would say that my preparation wasn’t very intense. I only took three long runs, which is pretty light for an 80km. But running at a steady pace each time helped me boost my level of confidence before the race.
What would be your advice for the participants of the 2019 edition?
Check the weather forecast!!!
Thuasne Sport will partner up with the EcoTrail again in 2019. Is it a race we might see you in? And if so, on which distance?
No, I don’t think so. I won’t take part in the Trail World Championships so I will rather focus on marathon formats during springtime.
What does this race inspire you?
I think it’s a quite quirky race. It’s set within Paris yet it’s still 90% trails. So even if I knew it before entering the race, it was still pretty surprising. Crossing the finish line at the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower is definitely a major moment. The iron lady is impressive!
As someone who was running his first trail race, what advice would you give on this type of race profile?
It’s a rather flat race. It’s best to go for a marathon-like preparation, with fast paced sessions and some endurance running.
But there are still many acceleration phases and a lot of short steep climbs. So one long run per week with a little bit of elevation running so that your muscles are ready for a long effort.
We are one month away from the event. What type of exercises would you focus on during practice?
I usually go for one long session per week until 2 weeks before the event, along with a short VVO2max session.
During the last 2 weeks, you need to retain some energy, so I usually reduce my whole practice volume. I just focus on some quality work (strengthening, light workouts etc.) and on some intensity work to avoid dulling my body out with too much inactivity.
About your equipment, you were wearing compression sleeves the day you won. What does it bring you?
The main point of wearing these sleeves during a race is to minimize muscular damaging by compressing the muscles. On long races like this, it helps avoiding muscle cramps. And with the weather we had last year, I have to say that wearing something on my calves was quite welcome!