UTMB® – Preparation

We first met up with Italian trail runner Loris Farolfi from Foto Trail Running, over a year ago when we interviewed him.  We had plenty of questions regarding his busy lifestyle, that of working full time as a mechanic, running Foto Trail Running website and the FTR social media accounts, and spending much of his free time with wife Raffaella and young son, on various ‘trail-cations’ across Europe.

Since then Loris has become a Polar Ambassador and has also been busy training for this year’s UTMB®.

We wanted to find out how he’s been preparing for this mega race!

ITALY ON TRAIL: First of all – if I’m not mistaken, this will be your first time at the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc® ?
LORIS FAROLFI: YES!… finally!

ITALY ON TRAIL: Why did you want to run the UTMB® ? And how long have you been participating in the ‘race ballot’?
LORIS: I believe that for many of us, the UTMB® represents the highest aspiration amongst trail runners worldwide. I’ve been trying my luck in the draw for two years now, and it’s been at least three years since I started “collecting” points.

ITALY ON TRAIL: Are you following a specific training plan? If so, what are you doing?
LORIS: First of all I try to follow the advice of fellow trail runners who have already participated in UTMB®. 

Over the past year I”ve increased distance on the longer runs and also upped my elevation. I don’t follow a specific training plan because I prefer to improvise throughout my training. I have also recently included some cross training with cycling (Gravel) on alternate days, especially during the summer.

Loris to the right, with team mate - in the Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º - mountain race in stages that goes around the island of Menorca.
Loris to the right, with team mate Joan Marques – in the Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º – mountain race in stages that goes around the island of Menorca.

ITALY ON TRAIL: Have you entered any races that in one way or another could  ‘prepare’ you for the UTMB®, if so, which ones?
LORIS:  Since the beginning of the year I’ve been running a fair amount of ultras, as part of my training strategy. Two races in particular I chose for their similar characteristics: the Compressport Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls 185km for the mileage and the Buff Epic Trail for the technicality of the route and the 5600mD+ elevation gain.

ITALY ON TRAIL: How about daily nutrition, do you follow a special diet?
I follow the diet from “Romagna” – the part of Italy where I come from!!  (Emilia-Romagna) Seriously though…. I try to follow a healthy, good quality diet, and eat a bit of everything in moderation.

Loris Farolfi - at the http://www.buffepictrail.com
Loris Farolfi – at the http://www.buffepictrail.com

ITALY ON TRAIL: And in the lead up to the UTMB® do you have a certain nutritional plan?
LORIS: Even the week before the race I won’t follow a specific diet! I hope to eat my favourite meal the day before the race….(also for good luck too!) Bresaola, rocket salad and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

ITALY ON TRAIL: Have you already decided on what kit you’ll be wearing? If so, what?
LORIS: Yes about 90% is in place. I’ll be wearing my club, the Leopodistica’s team kit, which I’ve already tested on the long races. I’ll be wearing a Salomon vest 12 lt. My inseparable Polar M430 GPS. N & WCurve poles, Saucony Xodus trail running shoes and 69 socks plus of course all mandatory equipment required.

ITALY ON TRAIL: Did you do reconnaissance runs on the UTMB route?
LORIS:  No unfortunately! 🙁

ITALY ON TRAIL: And after the UTMB … what’s next?
LORIS:  I can hardly think about that now, even if I’ve already got a race lined up for October – UTSS Ultratrack Supramonte Seaside Baunei in Sardinia which I think will be interesting!

You can follow Loris Farolfi – Foto Trail Running, on Instagram and Facebook

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INTERVISTA IN ITALIANO:

ITALY ON TRAIL: Perché volevi fare l’UTMB? -E da tanto che partecipavi alla ‘race ballot’?
Credo che l’UTMB rappresenti per noi trail runners la massima aspirazione di gara mondiale. Sono due anni che tento la fortuna al sorteggio, ma almeno tre anni che “raccolgo” i punti.

ITALY ON TRAIL: Stai seguendo degli allenamenti specifici? 
Innanzi  tutto cerco di seguire i consigli dei colleghi che hanno già partecipato all’UTMB e poi chiaramente, da circa un anno, ho aumentato km e dislivello. Non seguo tabelle specifiche anche perchè preferisco improvvisare negli allenamenti. Da poco ho anche inserito bicicletta (Gravel) per alternare le giornate, specialmente nel periodo estivo.

ITALY ON TRAIL: Hai fatto delle gare che in un modo o l’altro possono ‘prepararti’ per l’UTMB, se sì, cosa?
Dall’inizio del 2018 ho cercato di inserire il maggior numero di trail, in modo da usare le gare lunghe come “allenamento”. Due in particolare le corse che avevo scelto e fatto per le loro caratteristiche: il Compressport Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls 185km per il kilometraggio e il Buff Epic Trail per la tecnicità del percorso e il dislivello di 5600m

ITALY ON TRAIL: Come ti alimenti nella vita quotidiana?
Seguo la dieta romagnola… a parte gli scherzi cerco di alimentarmi il meglio possibile. Mangio un po di tutto ma senza eccessi.

ITALY ON TRAIL: E per le settimane prima della gare, seguirai qualcosa di particolare?
Anche la settimana prima della gara non seguirò una dieta specifica, se posso il giorno prima della gara mangerò il mio piatto preferito e forse anche scaramantico… Bresaola, rucola e grana.

ITALY ON TRAIL: Come materiale tecnico, hai già deciso cosa ti metterai, e cosa porterai con te? Se sì, cosa?
Si al 90% direi che il materiale è già deciso.. porterò con me la nuova divisa Leopodistica, già testata e confortevolissima per le lunghe gare. Zaino Salomon 12 lt. GPS Polar M430, ormai inseparabile. Bastoni N&WCurve, scarpe Saucony Xodus e calzini 69 socks + tutto il materiale obbligatorio previsto

ITALY ON TRAIL: Hai fatto delle corse di ricognizione sul percorso UTMB?
No purtroppo non sono riuscito, per me sarà tutto da scoprire.

ITALY ON TRAIL: E dopo l’UTMB… cosa farai? Che programmi hai?
PEr ora faccio fatica a pensarci, anche se una corsa è già prenotata per ottobre. UTSS ultratrack supramonte seaside baunei in sardegna che credo sarà molto interessante.

 


Maria E. BelliniMaria Elisabetta Bellini is Italyontrail.com’s founder, born in the U.K, she came to running whilst living in Italy, where she still lives and trains. Never ceasing to marvel at what’s at the summit of a hill, or around the bend along the trail, she loves using trail running as a means to explore nature, contemplation and Italy.