Sweden’s Jonas Buud finished second at the 2012 The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc and he’s made the 2013 UTMB one of his two main objectives for this year. In this interview, learn about Jonas’s other main 2013 objective, his UTMB race strategy, and whether he’ll race in road or trail shoes.
[Editor’s Note: Here’s our full 2013 TNF UTMB men’s race preview.]
[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]
Jonas Buud Pre-2013 TNF UTMB Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Jonas Buud, the runnerup at the 2012 UTMB. You’re back for another run.
Jonas Buud: Yes.
iRF: Were you happy with your run last year?
Buud: Yes, it was a good run. It was a little bit short, but I think it was good for me.
iRF: Did you have particular challenges in last year’s race?
Buud: No, I just followed my own race, so it was good.
iRF: You are very good at following your own race. At Comrades this year, you were very far back and finished second.
Buud: Yes, it’s my technique to trust my own feelings and make my own race.
iRF: Do you go by feeling or do you wear a heart-rate monitor? How are you so consistent?
Buud: Just by feel, but during Comrades you can see your watch and your pace and I thought everyone was going to fast in the beginning.
iRF: You just followed your plan and your splits. Here is a little different. Your pace means nothing in the moment and the splits are far apart. How do you pace yourself here?
Buud: You just trust your feeling in the race.
iRF: You’ve run 12:32 for 100 miles, yes? Is that the longest you’ve run?
Buud: Yes, so this will be 10 hours more than I’ve ever done before.
iRF: How do you feel about that? What changes? What’s different?
Buud: I think you must eat a little bit more. When I’ve run 100 miles, I didn’t almost eat anything. During this race, it’s 21 hours and I must eat.
iRF: What do you eat? What will you eat tomorrow?
Buud: I really don’t know. Pancakes, I think.
iRF: Yeah? As well as gels?
Buud: Yes, sports gels, sports drinks, electrolytes.
iRF: Any of the food at the aid stations or are you relying on your crew?
Buud: I’ll have my crew to give me something to eat, I hope.
iRF: You’ve had some good success this year in addition to Comrades. You won the Swiss Alpine Marathon for the seventhtime. Are you going to let somebody else win next year maybe?
Buud: Yes, we’ll see, but it’s fun to me also.
iRF: How do you feel that your fitness is right now? Have you had good runs? How did you prepare for this race and how is your fitness?
Buud: I’ve been preparing for this race since Comrades. This is my second main race for this year. I’ve been in the Dolomites for two weeks and have run the Tour du Mont Blanc trail also for practice.
iRF: How many days did you take to do the Mont Blanc trail?
Buud: Four days—the first day was short, but then three long days.
iRF: Do you feel like your quad strength and leg strength is good for this?
Buud: Yes, not too bad.
iRF: You’ve run very fast for road 100k, but you’re a strong runner. You’re not the tiny…
Buud: I hope I’m a strong runner. I did practice more hills.
iRF: Do you use the trekking poles?
Buud: Yes, I will.
iRF: You’ll be one of the few up at the front?
Buud: The second and the first used them last year, so it’s a good tactic.
iRF: Do you have a Nordic skiing background?
Buud: No, not really. Just for some training, but not much.
iRF: You have one of the world’s most famous Nordic ski races in your town, and now you have a new ultra.
Buud: Yes, it’s going to be the 23 of August next year, so it will be a huge event.
iRF: What are the name and the distance? Tell us some more about it.
Buud: It’s UltraVasan and it’s 90k. We start early in the morning and reach the finish before the sun goes down.
iRF: Is it the same course as the Vasaloppet?
iRF: Is it technical trail or road?
Buud: In the beginning it’s more technical but in the end it’s much easier to run. It’s a nice course.
iRF: So getting back to this weekend, you have the longest run you’re going to do by 10 hours maybe.
iRF: Eight to 10, whatever. Are you looking to win this weekend?
Buud: Well, I hope so, but I’ll make my own race. If someone is better, it’s okay, but if I’m satisfied when I get back to Chamonix, that’s good.
iRF: You’ve seen so much success on the roads, what draws you to races like this?
Buud: It’s fun to run fast on the roads, but in the hills, it’s not so many runners that do both, so it’s interesting to try to be the best at both.
iRF: I know that Yoshikazu Hara is excited to race you here on the trails. You’ve raced him many times on the roads.
iRF: I know he’s looking for you. Coming from the road background and running for Asics, what shoes are you wearing? Are you wearing trail shoes?
Buud: Yes, trail shoes—Fuji trainers.
iRF: Fuji trainers. Why a shoe like the trainer versus the Fuji racer?
Buud: I think the trainer is better for me. I like it on the trails.
iRF: It feels better. Best of luck this weekend and enjoy the trail.
Buud: Thank you.