Getting to know the mountain runner, skimo athlete & artist: An Interview with Martina Valmassoi
Pieve di Cadore, Italy
Before you started trail running you were already a successful skimo athlete. How long have you been racing in Skimo?
This was my 11th year racing in Skimo!
How and when did you get into trail running?
More or less 5 years ago. Mostly to train for the winter season and I was mainly running short distances.
We recently visited parts of Northern Italy for some mountain running adventures (and loved it!). Where would you recommend trail runners go to experience some of Italy’s best mountain trails?
Well, sure where I live, in the North East of the Dolomites it’s amazing but there are also plenty of other places too, like Lake Garda or Lago d’Iseo for example.
Describe your ideal race (let us know if it’s real or fictional, and describe details including the location, climate, terrain and duration)
I really enjoyed Glencoe Skyline. It’s technical and long but not too long, the weather isn’t great there but I prefer the cold temperatures rather than hot climates.
What has been your biggest running / adventure challenge to date?
Probably the Maxi Race Jiangshan in December 2016. It was a 63 km race but incredibly wild and technical. We had to cross rivers for more than 7 km!
Chilling out is important. What is your favourite way to rest and recover?
I love to go climbing. For me It’s really relaxing but it’s great even just laying on a hammock reading a good book.
We heard you’re currently injured 🙁 sorry to hear this! How is your recovery going?
Crossing my fingers, I’m healed right now 🙂
One positive result of being injured is that you have been able to follow many races as a photographer and take some great photographs of other runners! Is this photography something you plan to do more of, in the future?
Well, yes, before being an athlete, I became a “running photographer “ or content creator, so I’m actually racing while I don’t have to work and not the opposite.
I do like this anyway. I love to be able to spectate at so many races.
What is your approach to running training? Do you follow a particular training plan?
I was mainly taking care of it by myself, and I wasn’t really following a structured plan.
Sure it’s important to plan in advance but it’s also important being flexible and adapt your training sometimes.
What advice would you give to a new trail runner?
Don’t overdo it at the beginning. It’s easy to do too much if you look at what athletes in social media are showing us. And last, keep having fun! That’s the most important thing!
Finally, what do you get up to in life when you’re not running or skiing?
Fortunately I do have lots of hobbies and passions. I love drawing and taking pictures. What’s even better is going in the mountains with friends and maybe hiking or climbing. I really love chill days!
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Thank you, Martina, for taking the time to answer our questions. We are so happy to see you running injury free once again! We also love seeing all the photos that you take of other athletes while out in the mountains, it’s so inspiring! 🙂