Jana lives and works in London but that does not stop her getting out on the trails. Discovering running, and trail running, just a few years ago, she has now raced and run all over Europe.
We wanted to know how she trains for mountain races in London and why she loves running so much.
Which race are you taking part in and why?
I'm doing the Cortina Trail 48km 2,600m, again. It was my first ultra race in 2014, which was, ironically, also my first year of running. I absolutely wasn’t ready for that back then, so I’m very happy to go back and see what a difference three years of training and running can make.
How many races have you completed and which were your favourite?
I started running from scratch in 2013. Since then I have run three road marathons, thirteen trail races, twelve out of them were over 42km in distance. The most enjoyable was definitely the finish line in Transvulcania 2016. I ran down via the zig zag path and was so happy. The hardest was Orobie Ultra Trail where I encountered the worst day ever; I had stomach issues and hadn’t eaten all day long but decided to finish no matter what. Camaraderie and stubbornness got me to the finish line and taught me a lot.
How are you training specifically for this race?
This year is a bit different training wise. I stopped just running and started strength training. Previously I had no structure and ran purely for the love of running. With the Annecy Maxi Race approaching (end of May) and the CCC in September, I’m really focused and trying to get the best out of myself. London and its outskirts help with the mileage and speed work, but if you want to run in the mountains, you have to train in the mountains. I’ve spent a weekend in Mallorca on a self-supported running trip covering 95k over two days. Now I'm planning to do something similar this weekend in Chamonix.
What tips do you have for other trail runners?
Don’t underestimate the mountains. Respect them and don’t try to conquer them. Instead, it's about conquering the mountain within you and getting the best out of yourself. Always support others, enjoy the views and run happy. And don’t forget that rest is part of training!
What is your must have piece of kit?
I learned the hard way during Orobie Ultra Trail, so now it is definitely a pair of running poles. And waterproof jacket with hood – a must have in the mountains.
What are you most looking forward to at the finish line?
Ice cream and my husband. And joining the cheering squad for the rest of the runners!