the news Runners
Laurent Vicente participated in the World Stair Climbing Championships in Dubai last weekend. He took 8E Square Samachathuram. He returned to France on Tuesday evening and answered our questions. A look back at the first step up to the World Championship with Laurent Vicente.
How was the race?
“It was not a time test to play the media card. As far as the media is concerned, first come first wins, while in time trials that is not always the case. They decided to send the Elites in 2 waves. I was in the second row in the first wave of 14 riders. There was a rule of not overtaking before starting the stairs. So we start in 2 rows, but although I am a very good runner, I am far from the first from the start (note: record in 32 minutes for 10 km). So I found myself running a tricky race. But crossing the stairs is very difficult. On the one hand, it is an obstacle because you can put your hands on the railings, on the other hand, because you are on the switch to overcome the stairs, you really need to accelerate, which requires several floors. to recover It was my first time running a race with a group, so I had to deal with this strategic aspect. I wasn’t able to give a smooth effort like I usually do in time trials. »
Are you equally satisfied with your race?
“Yes, yes, I am very happy. Being in the top 10 in the world is always something. Be it more intimate or smaller subjects, cracking the top 10 is always tough. Me, this hasn’t happened to me before 2022, so it’s a submission. Later, I was frustrated with the timing as I entered a strategic competition. It’s a bit frustrating, but that’s the game and I keep gaining experience. »
We talk about this a lot with the soccer world cup going on in Qatar right now. Temperatures in the Middle East are quite different. How did you handle this difference? Weather ?
“It was very hot. Dubai in winter, it’s simple, it’s a heat wave in France. 35 degrees Celsius during the day and it never drops below 20 degrees Celsius at night. In the morning, it was very humid, something we don’t really need in France. Out of breath. Fortunately, I arrived 10 days early, so I was able to train and train myself. But we ran into a stairwell with no ventilation or air conditioning. The moisture formed tiny droplets on the windows, which splashed large drops of water onto the window that landed on you. At 7am we headed out to warm up, but the humidity was at its peak. After 1 hour the sun came. It was hotter, but it got rid of the humidity and it was more tolerable. »
What is your running strategy (climbing stairs: 1 by 1, 2 by 2)?
“On a tactical level, as I said, I was surprised by the fact that it was tactical, so I couldn’t do the strategy that I wanted to. Anyway, the stairs are 2 by 2 for climbing. On the other hand, it is 2 by 2 when walking and running. There is also the fact that ramps are used or not. The strategy is completely chaotic depending on whether you double up or not. If you’re overtaking, you can’t use the ramps, so you tear yourself up and then walk away quickly to recover from your tears. 7 minutes of intense effort to find your rhythm and balance, no room for chaos and jerks. There, if I was in the front row, I had to do it, I had to go faster, I could run more up the stairs, there, I had to sprint and walk faster. »
How did you train and prepare?
“I work in Font-Romeu. There, I train at the CNEA Tower (Editor’s Note: National Center for Altitude Training). It’s not too high, about 1 minute 45. Not too far, in Targazon, was Themis Tower, which I used a lot to prepare for the rise of the Eiffel Tower. After that, it’s a lot of muscle work, a lot of foot work, a lot of arm work. It’s very complementary with racing, except when you’re competing in these types of competitions, it takes you a long time to reach a certain level of performance. If you are preparing for important races, it will take a long time for these peculiarities to harm pure racing. It’s a difficult balance to find. »
What is the part of the mind?
“In psychology, you have the mental, the mental, the mental, and the spiritual. These are big words because there is a whole theory behind it. For me, when we come to the mental state, it is at the end of our physical strength, therefore, at the failure of preparation, at the end of hard work, at the end of the physical. That’s when the mind takes over. If not before, it is concentration, meditation and inspiration. Yes, I’ve gone mental, but that’s exactly where I’m a bit disappointed. In the end I secured my position as I couldn’t overtake much. At one point, I think mentally I could have done a little more, but for the first trick, I couldn’t do much. »
What advice do you have for entering these competitions?
“Not mentally prepared, but physically prepared (laughs). Thanks to a good preparation, the higher your physique, the stronger your mind and confidence will be at the start. You should already enjoy stair training in addition to running, then start climbing stairs with specific cycles. The final stage will be the competition. That’s what Asians are good at. They have circuits and national cups. But not so much in France. »
Find all the results of the Stair Climbing World Championships here.
Killian Tanguy – Photo: Laurent Vicente