By Nathalie Mauclair, ultra trailer, 2013 Trail world champion
What made you want to take part in the UTMB® this year?
UTMB® is an unmissable trail event in France, and it's the place to be at the end of August!
What's more, when I won the Grand Raid in La Réunion, I had free registration for the UTMB ®races, so it was a wonderful opportunity to run in Chamonix again.
Why did you choose the TDS® trail?
Since I wanted to relive the experience I had in La Réunion this year, it seemed only natural to choose the TDS® once more. This race provides a good climb, requires technique, but is not too long.
How do you prepare for the TDS® (training, preparation runs, reconnaissance trips etc.)?
Last year, I did the transition TDS® race, between 80 and 160 km.
This year, I'm taking on the GRR preparation race, taking into account the experience I have acquired since last year - for example, more regular running management, eating more...
A technical trail like the TDS® is easier to prepare for if you're living in the mountains, but in the Sarthe region, I have no choice. I compensate for the climbs with cycling sessions, and for the descents, I do a few sessions of interval training on an slope of 30 m, but as usual, this will be my weak point.
What is your aim?
When I start a race, it's to do as well as I can, but with such long distances, you never know what's going to happen, and it can all hang on the smallest thing. I am happy that I'm running with my friend Maud Gobert. This is our chance to run together, something that doesn't happen very often. I have not yet seen the list of participants, so I don't know who's taking part yet.
What are you nervous about?
The weather, because last year, we were lucky enough to have exceptional running conditions, with sunny weather, and a good temperature for running. I hope that this year, it'll be the same, but we know that at the end of August, in the Alps, the weather can be less clement...
How are you going to organise your food supplies (logistics, choice of products)?
As usual, I will ask my husband and children to provide my supplies. We have started to operate as a little team, where each person has his or her role to play. Franck supervises, Miléva takes care of fruit and Hannibal takes care of providing starchy foods. I use Hydrixir sticks, which are more practical for preparing flasks. I eat bars of Perf'n délice in different favours and Amelix during races. I always take a few savoury bars.
I always take more than necessary, so that the children can have some Overstim's products too. If racing days are long for me, they are long for them too, and the bars provide snacks for them while they're waiting for their mum.
What's your take on the start of this season?
My season didn't get off to a great start, after sustaining an injury this winter, so I had to start competitions later. Then, in Japan, I had to stop a race because I had some bad blisters on my feet. All that has taught me things about myself, and about the "protocols" to respect, both for training and for recovery (relaxation and sleep etc.), and life style (stretching, diet etc.).
The Western States gave me confidence with races different from those in Europe, and I think I did very well. I hope that the second part of the season will be as wonderful as last year's season.