Runner Interview: Charlotte Martin
Location: Grignan, Rhône Alpes, Drôme 26, France
When and why did you start running?
I have always been more or less athletic thanks to my parents. When we were small, we would go on lots of bike trips! I hated running, however, at the age of 17, I enrolled in athletics where I discovered a real passion for it. I was only doing sprints and hurdles!
Then gradually several elements of my life made me go back to races a bit longer and more oriented towards nature where I found a real motivation to run through the landscapes, to challenge myself and appreciate the effort that I find all the more beautiful when running on trails.
Describe your ideal race (let us know if it’s real or fictional, and describe details including the location, climate, terrain and duration)
My ideal race would be in a sumptuous landscape combining mountains and views of the sea!
I adore the great empty spaces, without traces of human interference, where we can find ourselves completely alone with nature and ourselves. The terrain would be demanding, but at the same time, I still know the parts where I am able to race.
I adore the descents, the small plateaus where you can extend your stride and run until you’re out of breath.
For the climate, I would say not too cold nor too hot. Spring in France is my favourite season to run, when the temperature is between 20 and 25 degrees! I will also add a good racing atmosphere as well as a distance not too long: 25 km is my favourite distance.
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Tell us about your favourite trail
I have not yet had much experience on trails, as I am relatively new to trail running and am focusing on shorter distances at the moment.
I hope to one day be able to run greater distances, my dream would be to participate initially in the marathon of Mont Blanc.
Currently, my favourite trail has been the Mont Ventoux race (near Avignon in the South of France), which was a snow trail race where I was able to finish as first female!
What has been your biggest running / adventure challenge to date?
At the moment I would say that my biggest trail adventures were not timed races my rather outings with buddies running and exploring the mountains!
Tell us about your greatest running fail, we’ve all had – or will have – them at some point!
My biggest failure in running has been to hurt myself repeatedly for several months now and not be able to achieve the goals I wanted…
Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately – I do not know, lol), being injured serves as a lesson and teaches us to rest when the body is telling us we need to.
What is your approach to training? Do you follow a particular training plan?
I see running as a pleasure, a passion, a way to get away from everyday life and especially from work. I am in an athletic club, we do 3 sessions per week, 2 of splits and 1 on trails, then the rest of my runs are independent. As for the plan, I have a coach who makes me plans according to my race goals at the rate of 4 to 5 sessions per week.
What advice would you give to a new trail runner?
I will advise all runners who want to hit the trails to love nature first, appreciate also the difficulty and the fact of having to sometimes lose the notion of time. It is sometimes possible to expect a run to last a certain duration, only for it to ultimately last longer.
You must also be well equipped to avoid injuries that can prove difficult to manage once in the mountains and without nearby equipment! But above all, have lots of fun running, realise how life and the land are beautiful and how fortunate you are to be able to use your lungs and your two legs to cross the landscapes!
What is your favourite bit of running kit, and why?
My essential little items of race kit, without which I cannot have a good race, are my compression sleeves! It seems that it is psychological all that, but in any case it works well for me, ahahahah!
What challenges / races / adventures are you planning for the coming year?
Currently I am injured, so I hope to be able to return as soon as possible to the trails (hopefully by the end of April).
I would also like to be able to break my official 10k record (personal best), and work on improving my speed (my coach always tells me that it is now, at 20 years old, you have to work it)!!
What’s your favourite running/adventure book, and which songs keep you going when things get tough?
I loved the book of the great ultra trailer Kilian Jornet “Run or Die”! Many male and female trail runners inspire me and make me, even more, want to continue this activity, to leave to travel and to run the world! Following Trail and Kale (such as on Instagram) is a great way to explore the world of trail and discover beautiful people who love the sport too!
Finally, what do you get up to when you’re not running or adventuring?
When I am not running, I continue my studies to be a nurse and I also work as a carer to earn a little money!
Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed, Charlotte! We hope you are able to recover from injury soon, and best of luck for the tough Alp d’Huez Duathlon and your other summer sporting challenges 🙂
Social media links:
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mtn.charlotte/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charlotte.martin.982845
- Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/12605129