Robbie Britton UTMB training update from Chamonix -

We recently caught up with Profeet ambassador, Robbie Britton, currently living and training out in Chamonix.

– How are you finding living in Chamonix? Was it a big decision to move there?

Living in Chamonix’s awesome. I keep tripping up whilst walking about because I’m caught looking up at the glaciers and mountains above me, pinching myself quite often as it is just a runner (and geographer’s) dream location!

It was a big decision, especially for my girlfriend leaving her job and bringing her dog over, but I don’t think we’ll ever leave the mountains now.

– Have you done much course-specific training for the UTMB?

Everything I do this Summer is working specifically towards UTMB: every easy run, hill session and long run.

I’d love to go round the course again and again all summer, but it’s important to realise your body’s capabilities and we have be recce-ing periodically, with big days out, but a couple of weeks between them.

This Monday, Majell Backhausen (Ozzie ultra-trail runner and housemate) and I ran from Champex to Chamonix – the last 42km of the UTMB, including the three final big climbs. It was a great day out, controlled throughout with plenty of eating and drinking, and it just got us both excited about racing in August!

– Have you raced since you’ve been living in the Alps?  Will you race again before the UTMB?

Just recently I ran the 23km Mont Blanc Cross with my girlfriend, Nats. We both finished 11th in our respective races, although I was a little happier with my placing as Nats sets very high standards for herself.

It was a weekend of ultra racing as well, so it felt a little strange to be doing an event so far from my comfort zone.  However, an ultra would require tapering and recovery that would interrupt my UTMB prep so I’m sticking to racing shorter stuff. In ultras, training makes you stronger and racing can tire you out!

I’m going to try get another couple of shorter races in, 15-20km with lots of hills. I love to race so I can get my fix without distracting from the longer goals!

[Since we interviewed Robbie, he raced last weekend in the Balcons de Val d’Isere 18km trail race, finishing 3rd from 7th place at the top of the mountain. ‘It hurt, a lot,’ Robbie told us, ‘but it was very satisfying in the build up to UTMB’]


– What kit are you planning to use for the UTMB?

This summer, as I’m between footwear partners, I’m actually trying out loads of different shoes to find the best ones for the race, from Salomon, Scott & New Balance, to Hoka One One, Adidas and inov-8.

I’m looking for something with good grip for the trails, high levels of comfort for the latter stages and not built like a tank. I’m working with Men’s Running to write a review of some of the stuff I’ve tried!

As for the rest of my kit, I’m experimenting, adapting and finding the best things to use on the trails themselves, using my long runs to their maximum potential.

A mainstay will be my Petal Nao head torch and my Julbo Suspect glasses, although Julbo may have some new models to give me just before UTMB that look real sexy. Watch this space.

– What’s your plan for nutrition for the UTMB?

Nutrition is such a big part of any ultra marathon and when you’re looking to be out for nearly a whole day it becomes vital.

My strategy will be very similar to what I used at the World 24hrs Champs in April, as when a day goes that well you have to learn from it.

I won’t be seeing a crew every 2km this time so I am adapting it for the UTMB course, noting when and where I should eat and what I should carry from each CP.

I have to make my own food due to dietary issues so I can’t rely on the aid stations like many do, but I can rely on my mum, who will be out on the course supporting me!

Homemade rice cakes are going to be key and the work I’ve been doing with dietician Renee McGregor (author of ‘Training Food’) has been brilliant.

Thanks again Robbie and enjoy the training and Chamonix.

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