When only the glimmer of your head torch lights the path to be followed, physical strength is no longer enough. Technical, mental strength, pace ... Sebastien Talotti, a technical partner and a member of the Quechua Trail Team, gives you all the tips you need for a good night's running.
What are the specific requirements when you run at night? And as a result, what specific training do you recommend for this?
Running at night is really specific to trail running. We run in the dark, wearing a head torch, with just with just a small amount of light in front of us, which is not usual for human beings. Night running therefore requires much more than visual anticipation. You need to be more vigilant, more attentive and focused than when you run during the day.
The only way to work on this anticipation, is to train at night obviously, to get your mind used to it and to develop good reflexes for D-day. And of course, you need a good quality head torch.
Without forgetting that during the race, several factors will disturb your concentration: the fact of wearing a bib, fatigue, more sustained speed, less well known terrain than training, the other runners, the supporters, etc.
How do you find your pace in the dark?
Pace is linked, on the one hand, to the level of your race technique. On the other hand it's linked to apprehension and feelings in general. You need to reduce your speed until your strides are assured and effective in relation to the terrain. Once more, it is important to train at night to be well aware of what you feel under your shoes, and to get used to to the sensations of gripping
On the mental side, how do you deal with the lack of landmarks in the landscape? And how do you stay motivated when you're moving forward solely in the light from your head torch?
During a day race, lots of people try to build a bubble to stay as focused as possible. As for me, I always wear a peaked cap, so that I only see the track and only the track in front of me.
In my opinion night running is not a constraint on the mind. It is a special ambiance, friendly even, ideal for moving forward like you're in a cocoon. On the other hand, it is more tiring because you're more vigilant and more focused than during the day.