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Marco De Gasperi's training report from Down Under

15 February 2012

Marco de Gasperi, February 2012, Sydney, Australia

The choice to spend the winter in a warm place is a custom that has accompanied me for over ten years. Normally,  the place where I spent the winters with some runner friends, was the Algarve, Portugal. This year I decided to do something different: migrate for about 40days (from late December to early February) in Australia, Sydney.

With me, this ime, my partner Elisa and my one year old daughter, Lidia.

The decision to have Sydney as base for my training was taken upon the fact that a dear friend of mine and his wife Daniela live there. 

Paul was a great mountain running athlete, the race record holder of the Empire State Building (with 9'33 " for 86 floors) and even a professional cyclist in an Italian team. Unfortunately an accident in a bike race in 2006, forced him to a life in a wheelchair. Since that accident our friendship has been further strengthened.

The Australian summer, fortunately, proved not to be among the hottest in recent years, and the average temperatures have always remained close to 25° Celsius.

For a week the trainings have been very hard due to the jet-lag. The time difference and the sudden change of season were not easy to deal with at first. Then I got used to the circumstances and managed to improve the pace.

To avoid the hot sun, the alarm clock was always set at 6.30, with the first training session starting one hour later.

The chosen sites were the Botanical Garden in Sydney, right next to the famous Opera House, a park closed to traffic with asphalted paths, and Centennial Park, with lots of trail tracks and several up-down meadow paths.

During the five weeks I've run sessions twice a day for a mileage of between 120 and 210 km per week, with two sessions of reps and one on long-distance (35 km). Some sessions served natural enhancement like short uphills and jumps on the steps.

During a two-day visit to Canberra, the country's capital, we had the pleasure to run early in the morning accompanied by kangaroos!

The week from January 20th to 27th, we moved to the southeast coast to Kiama, two hours from Canberra. The town of Kiama is very popular. One of the best places for surfing. Here the conditions for muscle trainings are amazing! The up and down on the coast overlooking the Tasman Sea provided moments of extraordinary free running through space with only one's thoughts!

Unfortunately the holiday / training ended after the first week of February, and we had to return to Bormio, Italy, only to be welcome by the cold arctic weather!

It was an unforgettable experience and we hope the workouts will pay off  later in the season!

This year my main goals are:

- Skyrunning World Series

- Sierre Zinal

- Jungfrau Marathon (world mountain running champs long distance)

- European Mountain Running Championship (Turkey)


Best wishes to all you runners!