With a fast marathon time under his belt and plenty of racing savvy, Vlad is bringing his workhorse mentality and speedy legs to the world of ultra trail running and will be the leading Aussie in the 2018 Tarawera 102km. Meet the man behind RunLab!
You’ve dabbled on the trails over the years and had some great results, what motivated you to move across from road running and focus on it more?
I’ve actually always naturally loved running off-road. I grew up in the country in the Snowy Mountains. Trails, mountains, dirt roads and lots of paddocks surrounded by thistles and tussocks were my running environment. Running always felt natural to me and I’d quite comfortably cover kilometres even in my younger years! However when I did start to run more seriously, trail running wasn’t anywhere near as popular as it is now, nor did it have as many races I guess that could be used as a benchmark of your form, so road running it was.
How has your training changed from a focus on marathon distance to now targeting 100km+ on the trails?
I’ve always handled distance well and had very few niggles or injuries in comparison to others. But as I moved up to the longer events I have placed more importance on functional strength work which in certain phases included two gym sessions a week, plus I run more trails in training, including a lot of longer hills but also maintained by road interval training – although my repetitions are slower as the sets are longer!
What made you want to run Tarawera Ultra Marathon?
It’s super competitive and has great timing (made me train well through the silly season!). I have only heard great reports about the event and the trails over there. It will be my first trail race outside of Australia.
On top of running, what other forms of training do you do?
Likely touched on previously but really just the gym, one good active weekly stretch/Runyoga, as well as an emphasis on certain drills and strength work to fix up some areas of weakness. I get into the ocean baths at least twice weekly and I also put a huge emphasis on recovery – Compression boots almost every night.
You’ve got a great squad in RunLab, will there be many of you in Tarawera across the various races?
Actually there are a few Runlabbers going across the ditch! They signed up before me. We have just as many runners running Trail as Road these days. Specifically Two of my great coaches Renae and Justin will run the 102km as well as Mark, Carlos and Ben. I can’t wait to share it with them. One of my friends Ben (Run Goat) is looking to pace me in the last section too.
What other plans do you have for 2018?
2018 plans at this stage are only set to the middle of the year. My results in Tarawera and Comrades will determine what lies ahead. Additional to these races there’s Six Foot Track and UTA 22 as part of the schedule.