Never Stop Londoner, Jana
Jana lives and works in London but that does not stop her getting out on the trails. Discovering running, and trail running, just a few years ago, she has now raced and run all over Europe.
Here she talks about her love of running and training for trail running in the city.
Which race are you taking part in and why and have you done it before?
I’m coming back to Cortina Trail 48km 2,600m D+. This was my first ultra race in 2014 – which was ironically also my first year of running. I absolutely wasn’t ready for that back then so I’m very happy to go back and see what a difference three years of training and running can make.
How many races have you done before? And which were your favourite?
I started running from scratch in 2013. Since then I have run three road marathons, thirteen trail races, twelve out of them were over 42km in distance. The most enjoyable was definitely the finish line in Transvulcania 2016, I flew down via the zig zag path and was just purely happy. The hardest was Orobie Ultra Trail where I encountered the worst day ever; I had stomach issues and hadn’t eaten all day long but decided to finish no matter what. Camaraderie and stubbornness got me to the finish line and taught me a lot.
How are you training specifically for this race? You are logging some serious volume right now!
This year is a bit different training wise. I stopped just running and started strength training. Previously I had no structure and ran purely for the love of running. With Annecy Maxi Race approaching (end of May) and CCC in September I’m really focused and trying to get the best out of me. London and its outskirts help with the mileage and speed work, but if you want to run in mountains, you have to train in mountains. I’ve spent a weekend in Mallorca on self-supported running trip covering 95k during two days. Now I am planning to do something similar this weekend in Chamonix.
What tips do you have for other trail runners?
Don’t underestimate the mountains. Respect them and don’t try to conquer them. It is about conquering the mountain within you and getting the best out of yourself. Always support others, enjoy the views and run happy. And don’t forget that rest is part of the training!
What is your must have piece of kit?
I learned the hard way during Orobie Ultra Trail, so now it is definitely pair of running poles. And waterproof jacket with hood – a must have in the mountains.
What are you most looking forward to at the finish line?
Ice cream and my husband. And joining the cheer squad for rest of the runners!
You can follow Jana’s training and races at The North Face® Strava Running Club.