Interview with Jonathan Schmid

11. April 2023

Jonathan Schmid, from Adelboden, is not only currently the best mountain runner in Switzerland, but also the organiser of the Vogellisi Mountain Run, which will host the Masters Trail Running and Mountain Running Championships in July.

Can you tell us more about these planned Trail Running and Mountain Running European Championships?

Adelboden is the venue for the Master European Championships from 7-9 July 2023. The trail is 35 km long and there are 1,800 metres of altitude to conquer. It is a beautiful path that is not technically very demanding and therefore easily feasible for experienced runners. The most beautiful hiking trails in Adelboden are integrated into the trail run, which makes the path very attractive. I am happy to be able to show all participants the most beautiful valley in the world with this trail. The mountain run covers a distance of 8.8 km with 667 metres of altitude. It is a shortened version of the Vogellisi mountain run path. The flower path before the end, the lake at Hahnenmoos and the highest point of the race, the Platti, are the highlights of the mountain run. The event starts on Friday with a parade of all the countries represented through the village of Adelboden, followed by the opening ceremony.

What are your most important tips for a successful trail running race? And for a mountain running race?

It is important to prepare for the distance you want to run (mountain run or trail) with the appropriate training. If you run a marathon on the flat and feel well prepared, it can be different in the mountains. On a trail with 1,800 metres of altitude, running downhill is usually the biggest challenge. My tip is to do downhill runs of over 1,000 metres in altitude several times beforehand. When preparing for a mountain run, training in the mountains or in hilly terrain makes sense. The best preparation is certainly to run the path in its original length on site.

What should runners who don't have close long ascents definitely consider in their preparation for a trail or mountain run?

Run the same route 4 - 5 times. It is also possible to train the incline on a treadmill, although this is not possible for downhill. Therefore, it makes sense to go to an appropriate place that offers this possibility. Without proper training, downhill can quickly become dangerous and cause injuries.

How do you train for downhill and what do you look out for when running downhill?

When I do an uphill interval, I try to keep the race pace on the downhill as well. It requires a lot more concentration because one wrong step can have bigger consequences than on the uphill. In a race, the downhill sections are considered more important than the uphill and the race is divided accordingly.

Is there one secret tip you can give us?

The most important thing for me is that you don't lose the joy in what you do!

Foto: zvg