Professional trail runner, Luca Papi, 39 years old Italian, is not a full-time high-level sportsman. An attraction operator at Disneyland Paris, he arrived in France in 1998. Deciding to run to work, he runs an average of 20 to 40 km per day. This daily practice gave him the passion for trail running. Today he is one of the best in the field of ultra-trail, yet he did not suspect such endurance facilities.
Here are Luca Papi's views on how to successfully complete the Ultras.
I started running at the age of 30, in 2010, during the semi marathon of Paris: it was a challenge between firemen 🚒. I liked it a lot, then I found a leaflet of the Mont Blanc cross (23km 1500m) and I went there at the end of June.
Two months later, I did the trail des "aiguilles rouges" at the end of September to finish at the end of October with 80km at the Templiers, despite my meniscus operation. Without knowing it, the machine was launched. In 2011 I did about 20 races, then 40 to 45 each year, including ultras.
I simply started by running to work (24km a day minimum) and my body got used to it. Apart from a few minor injuries I have never had anything special. I'm almost never out of shape, I listen to my body and I'm lucky.
I never rest between runs, I do cool and long sessions at a slow pace, often with the kids in a pull cart.
Running has become my way of life. A need and not an obligation, a real pleasure.
The motivation comes by itself. I do a lot of ultras because for me it's just fun. I rarely do any specific training except for the occasional workout that my watch suggests. The ultra of the weekend prepares me for the next one, like the swisspeaks 360 which prepares me every year for the Tor des Glaciers (450km).
As for nutrition, I eat everything. I try to vary my diet during a race as well as in my life. Sometimes, during an ultra (if it is allowed) I go to the restaurant to have a good meal, and between the feedings I love Näak waffles and chocolate peanut butter and coffee bars, alternated with salted bars.
Apart from that I love Näak Protein Nut Butter toast.