If you hadn’t noticed it yet, the amazing (and superfast) runner, Nic Errol, who happens to be a friend of mine, opened his blog a few of days ago. Let me introduce him to you. So Nic Errol is an adopted Londoner, originally from Perth, Australia, who travelled through a bunch of countries (yes, have a look on his Instagram, he’s been everywhere), was one of Nike London’s fastest milers last summer. He’s a trail runner and a ultra-runner, one of those who get up at 6 am on a Sunday snowy or raining morning and goes running into the wild. Wow, that looks so romantic, doesn’t it? Well, I guess we have to ask him directly…
How did you start running? Did you have a past into athletics?
I grew up swimming as my parents were both swimming instructors and excellent athletes in their own right. My mum had an 8 Handicap for golf, considered going pro, and was a physical education teacher. Both of my parents were always involved in sport and that just transferred to me. I didn’t really start running until my 20’s, although always did run. I actually just wrote a blog post on my own site, going into length about how I got into ultra-running!
How have you started trail running?
I started trail running in London. After seeing a YouTube about Nike Athlete Sally McRae, I realised there was a whole new world of running open to me. I started running in Hampstead Heath, and the rest was history.
Which was your first race?
I did a few events in Australia, but nothing at all serious. My first serious race was the Richmond Running Festival Half-marathon, in October 2014.
How do you feel when you are racing?
I love the atmosphere, and that energy when people are together pushing their own limits, and especially when people are pushing each other. That feeling is electric, and I love being in those moments when it comes down to a choice, of how badly do you want it.
How do you feel when you are running?
Free. I could write an essay about it, but free is the one word answer.
Do you prefer running in super hot or freezing conditions?
Heat. I grew up in Perth, Australia, and am always prefer the heat. That said, I love the mountains and would take being cold to be able to be up there running.
Tell us more about the life of a trail running… what’s your weekly training schedule?
Anything from 50kms to 120 miles. Lots of yoga and mobility. Long runs up to 30-35 miles often on weekends and in big weeks, back to back long runs, and even double long runs in a day.
You are running your first 100k of the year within a couple of days… How long have you trained for?
I really began training in 2014, when I made the decision to focus on ultra-running. Western States 100 miler is my ultimate goal, and everything is leading to that. Tarwera 100 was an intentional choice to debut my 100km race (although I did pace a 100km race last year as part my training). Specifically, since November I have been putting in 100km+ weeks and focusing more on this particular course, which is a fast 100km course.
What do you eat during a race like that?
I will be using a product called Tailwind, which is liquid nutrition and an incredible product form a startup out of Colorado. I will run with a hand-held water bottle with Tailwind, and eat what my body wants at aid stations. Most likely a variety of fruit (watermelon is a favourite), some crisps, chocolate coated peanuts, some avocado, and whatever else is there that I feel like.
How do you recover?
Eating well for sure, and then I am always an advocate of movement. I plan to be out walking on Sunday no matter what, and will be putting in some serious yoga to rejuvenate my body. At the finish line, there are natural hot springs too, so after I jump in the cool river, I will be in the hot springs to alleviate the muscle ache. Sleep is also key, but balanced with good, restorative movement.
How long do you have to wait to run another race like this?
My next major race is in May, Transvulcania. 73kms, over a volcano in Spain, with 8000m of elevation. A shorter race, but the largest amount of elevation I will face. A challenge for sure.
Mags and Sophie are going to pace you… how important is their support for you?
It really means the world. Ultra-running is a selfless sport. You can’t do it alone. Races like this have huge amounts of selfless volunteers, officials, crew and pacers that are there SOLELY to care for the runners and give them the best opportunity to achieve their goals. Having them both here for me is huge, and I am incredibly thankful. I have an amazing support network in London too, all of who have helped me prepare and get this far. I have and will continue to repay the favour when it is their turn to race.
What is your biggest goal of the year?
Qualifying for Western States definitely. But generally, race all my events with heart, courage, grit and not finish a race knowing I could have given more. To have fun, push myself, and see if I can get close to finding my limits. But long term, Western States and UTMB are the big ones. Everything is about them, especially States. I am obsessed with that race, and it was what started me on this incredible journey.
Okay now it’s our turn. In order to experience trail running directly, I decided to try heading into the wild. Stay tuned to find out how it goes…
Also in these last few lines I take the opportunity to thank Nic for his time spent on the interview and for those so far away days when he helped me finishing my 5 or 7km at NRC London. Cheers to Nic, to Mags and Sophie and to all the NRC London crew! Miss you
Have A Safe Journey!