UTMB® STORIES by COLUMBIA - Running in the Dark

Running in the dark

The loneliness of the long distance runner, Eoin Keith, 48, knows it better than anyone. And love it just as much. Specialist of long (and very long) distances, he learned to run at night to achieve his records on 2, 4 or even 6 days races. His training takes place on the hill overlooking the city of Dublin. We followed this nocturnal animal on its playground, at night of course, with a headlamp as his third eye.

"It’s very important to be comfortable running at night for the UTMB®, because about 2 or 3 hours into the race, the light goes down, you’re in the darkness, and you’re going to spend a whole night out there no matter what. You have to be absolutely comfortable running in the night and be comfortable in the nighttime environment surrounded by the darkness. You could feel very alone and isolated, and you have to do your own navigation. "

"Nothing is better practice for running at night than going out and running at night!" Eoin summed up, because in addition to the equipment, running at night requires specific skills. "It’s really very simple. It applies to almost every aspect of running." The idea, he says, is that it becomes a routine, so that it flows so and you no longer have to think about it. "You have to make sure of the kind of technical ground that’s ahead, make sure your foot is hitting the right section that you wanted to. That takes a lot more concentration at night because you are working in a smaller area. You can’t see such a long distance ahead, so obstacles are coming at you a lot faster, your brain has to work faster, it has to be kind of automatic. If you are thinking about it too much, your speed will drop right down. You have to make it more automatic so you can move your speed up. You are never as fast as you can on daytime, because it is more technical, it is more difficult."