Der Italiener und Ultratrailläufer Andrea De Filippo lebt seit 3 Jahren in Wiesbaden. Geboren und aufgewachsen bei Neapel in Süditalien, hat er seine Leidenschaft in den Alpen gefunden. Sein ITRA Profil ist für einen Freizeitläufer recht beeindruckend und lässt die Fragen offen:
Wie trainiert er dafür in Hessen? Welcher Zeitaufwand steckt dahinter? Und wie wird man überhaupt zum Ultra Runner? Wie passt das alles zusammen? Dafür haben wir uns kurz mit ihm zusammengesetzt und folgende Fragen gestellt:
// The Italian Ultra Runner Andrea De Filippo lives in Wiesbaden since 3 years. Born and raised close to Naples in South Italy, he found his passion in the Alps. His ITRA profile is quite impressive for someone who runs only in his freetime and raises the following questions:
What does his training look like in Hesse? How much time does he need to invest? And how do you even become an Ultra Runner? How does this fit together? We met him for a short interview:
Hi Andrea, danke für deine Zeit. Viele kennen dich bereits als Ultra Läufer. Aber wie kam es eigentlich dazu? // Hi Andrea, thanks for your time. Many know you as an Ultra Runner. But how did you become one?
Hi Ann-Cathrin. It is a pleasure to share time with you and the WeRunWiesbaden community. How did I become an Ultra-Runner? Well, let’s first agree on what it means because, in Italy, this created discussions some years ago with part of community referring to any distance above 42,2 km (the distance of a marathon) and another part of community referring to any distance above 50 km. For me, it does not really matter but I tend to prefer the second definition. Coming to your question, the right answer is a combination of four aspects: motivation, curiosity, perseverance and patience.
Motivation is the first key that brought me to stay out on the tracks for hours and hours, without looking at the clock and just looking around. The latter is part of the second aspect: the curiosity. Here it comes the double aspect about the curiosity towards a new landscape to discover, but simultaneously towards my body and my mind and see how they behave in moment of pain, excitement, stress, or relax. Perseverance is the third aspect.
Namely, every day is an “opportunity” to train for long distances, listening to the body and adding kilometer without looking to a training table. Patience is the last and most important aspect. Running an ultra requires to accept that you will be not 100% fit every single minute. It requires to accept that your feelings will go up & down, continuously. And you need to have the patience to live with that, focusing on your final target: finishing the Ultra with the possibility to run or walk the day after.
From a timeline perspective, my first Ultra was a result of a life route, based on daily sports activities: mountain bike during my youth, hiking since I was 6 years old, soccer for about 15 years, climbing for four years, and running short distances (below 21 km) until 2010. Between 2010 and 2012, I did a lot of climbing, hiking and sky-running (running at high elevation, above 2000m) and the distances were never longer than 30 km. Between 2012 and 2014, I started to attend official Trail-Running competitions, and in the second part of the year I run two ultra: 51 km and 94 km.
While the first was well-managed and I finished in good shape, I was not ready for the second distance. Namely, I had fever all the week and I arrived without enough energy at the start. The excitement for this event brought me to run “ok” for 45 km. But, afterwards, the lack of energies was very hard to manage. I finished it in about 17h30’ but I was completely worn out and it took few days to recover. It was a good lesson.
Anyway, after 2014, I started to run regularly 3 to 5 official Ultra per year (with sometimes one above 100 km), while during my training sessions I tend to stay below this distance and I prefer to run 20-25 km every day for three days in a row. This year due to Covid-19, my plan changed. So, the only official ultra is the one at Rodgau in January, but privately I ran other ultras.
Wie schaffst du es, deine Ausdauer und Leistung hier im relativ flachen Gelände zu erhalten oder sogar auszubauen? // How you maintain or even even develop your endurance and power in our (flat) region?
Well, for sure here I miss to run at high altitude. However, I found good approaches and I adapted my running style to this environment. In particular, this area is full of “up & down” and nice trails (Rheingau, Taunus, Großer Feldberg) and, when I want to train for endurance races, I apply my concept of “Sägetrail”: https://www.emigrantrailer.com/das-sagetraining-emigrantrailer/.
Moreover, the curiosity to discover new tracks brings me to run for hours here along the Rhein or in the Taunus, no matter the elevation. For instance, this year, I already brought forward two running projects: 1) running everyday for one month at least 15 km (https://www.emigrantrailer.com/un-maggio-di-corsa-con-almeno-15-km-al-giorno/), which allowed me to discover every single corner of Wiesbaden; 2) Running along the Rheinsteig, each stage made of an ultra (https://www.emigrantrailer.com/rheinsteig-with-two-flags-and-peppa-pig/)
Welche Rolle spielt für dich das mentale Training und was genau machst du dafür? // Which role has the mental training for you and how do you train it?
It is fundamental! I train it, every day dealing with whatever life brings to me. The basic rule is made of a sentence I always repeat myself: “learn from the past, live the present, prepare the future”. If you apply it correctly to any aspect of the life, you can apply it for long runs as well. Some people stick on the first part (learn from the past) and forget to live the present. Other people stick on the second aspect but forget the lessons from the past and forget to get ready for the next steps (the future). The rest is too much projected on the future, which can cause too much stress and which can create distraction. The right balance of the three is the key.
Was ist deine größte “Sucht” neben dem Trail running? // What is your biggest “addiction” beside trail running?
Well, exploring. No matter if running, walking or just reading a map or data. It fuels my body and my mind.
Other addictions are: espresso and chips. Both not very healthy. But…I live once! 😊
Welchen Rat gibst du Neueinsteigern (Trail Running)? // Which advise do you have for beginner (trail running)?
Be patient! Trail Running is intended as walk and run into the nature. As long as you are enjoying doing it, do it. But, do not stick too much to training tables. Take them as advices. And, when you are in the nature, take your time to stop and enjoy it, even if the “pace” is influenced.
Welche Fehler siehst du immer wieder bei Neustartern? // Which mistakes do you often notice by newbies?
Nowadays, I see too many newbies starting with 5-10 km and after only few months running 50 km or more. Then, often, in the following months, they are injured. My recommendation is to build up a strong basis. Namely, running 20 or 30 km for several months, and become familiar with these distances. Then, start gradually to extend the distance.
Another mistake I see is: “Today I “must” run 10 km. Today I “must” rest. Because the coach or the training table stated it!” I am not against training table, but if you are a newbie, it makes no sense. And, in general, take it always as an advice, not as “must do it”!
Vor kurzem hast du das “Projekt” emigrantrailer ins Leben gerufen. Was genau verbigrt sich dahinter? // You just startet the “project” emigrantrailer. What’s the purpose behind this?
The main purpose is to connect people with similar passions to mine, and share with them information about trail-running, hiking, statistics, explorations, and so on ( https://www.emigrantrailer.com/my-website/). The final goal is to break some walls that I still see in this society, caused by old prejudices. As basic attitude, I am against physical and mental walls. Moreover, I’d like to write more about trail-running routes in Italy and Germany, to give “ideas” for explorations to the readers of my website.
Welche Ziele hast du noch? // What are your future goals?
This year I’d like to complete some running projects that I have in mind. In the future, I’d like to run a 100 Miles in Trail-Running (UTMB or Western State or Grand Trail de La Reunion), a 24 hours race (maybe in Italy) and again a road-marathon. I ran many ultra in Trail running but I just ran two road-marathons!!
Danke für das Gespräch // Thanks for the interview!
Bilder // Pictures: Andrea De Filippo