Trail Running Magazine Feature

Written by Julia Tregaskis-Allen 21 September 2013

Trail Running Magazine Feature

Trail Running mag went off-road in Chamonix with the Torq Trail Team and guided by Julia from Tracks and Trails this summer. Reviewed here written by Claire Maxted of Trail Running Magazine Julia led a 3-day camp for a group of endurance runners on their first Alpine trails & altitude experience.

 Written by Trail Running Magazine’s journalist Claire Maxted, with photographs by Roy Belchamber, the article explores the concept of how to “run uphill quicker than ever before” by training at altitude. A goal for most runners, this piece follows the adventures of the Torq Trail Team when they joined Tracks and Trails Julia Tregaskis-Allen on their first alpine training weekend in the French mountain town of Chamonix at the foot of Mont Blanc.

As Julia explains, “The Alps is a natural rollercoaster of mountains where you can happily train on beautiful, well-used and easily-navigable footpaths at altitude.”

The feature highlights the ups and downs of training at altitude including comments from Professor John Brewer. “Current thinking is that altitude training works,” he says.  It conditions your body to create more red blood cells because of the lower oxygen pressure. Two weeks is better, but recreational runners will start adapting in three or four days, and the increased oxygen delivery to your muscles makes you run faster. It’s most effective at 2000+m, so you can’t just go to Chamonix and run along the valley floor.”

Written in 2013, you can follow the Torq Trail Team’s mountain running adventure in full by downloading the article below. It includes their experience of long climbs and mountainous descents – as well as a night spent at altitude in a high mountain refuge in the Mont Blanc Massif complete with sunset views.

Julia also gives her thoughts on the use of poles and the correct technique for deploying them when heading uphill or down.

If you are inspired to add mountain trails to your training programme, then Tracks and Trails offer a summer trail running camp in Chamonix. Delivered by expert coaches, it delivers key trail running skills to boost personal performance on the trail or on the road.