The vertical kilometre (VK) is a strange beast of race, it requires redlining flat out for 30-50min as you haul your screaming muscles and aching body up 1000m of vertical accent in under 5km! As such it takes a special kind of person to conquer the VK…..insert Aaron Knight (Lasportiva)!
Despite our lack of VK races in Australia/NZ Aaron has been proving that ANZ runners can mix it with the best no matter the terrain! Aaron joined the ANZ team to gain valuable VK experience and bring back the passion to our shores but has also been sticking to the euros with a 10th pace the Mt Blanc VK and 13th at Valdisre Vk. Now with a bit of experience behind him we can’t wait to see what Aaron can do on the World Champs VK course. Here is a little interview we did with Aaron before he left for Europe.
Skyrunning ANZ: What (special thing) have you done over the last few months to get ready for the world champs.
Aaron: Spent lots of time exploring and clearing tracks to use that match the steepness of VK courses.
Skyrunning ANZ: Representing the country, what does it mean to you?
Aaron: It makes me very proud to represent Australia at the Skyrunning World Championships. It was something I aimed to achieve this year.
Skyrunning ANZ:If you could give one tip a new runner looking to one day be standing in your shoes what would it be.
Aaron: Train & race on terrain similar to the courses in Europe. It takes hard work to reach the top in this sport and you need a strong legs and mind!
Skyrunning ANZ: When times get tough in training and racing what is your “secret” to keep pushing or go faster.
Aaron: I have always loved the saying “Pain is temporary – Glory is forever” I usually know my expected climbing time so I just say, suffer for that time (approx 40mins for VK’s) then enjoy the finishing buzz!
Skyrunning ANZ: If you could run any trail or race in the world which would it be and why?
Aaron: In VK’s it would be the Dolomites VK and in longer races Trofea Kima.
A sample of Aarons typical training week looks like this:
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Threshold (10mins to 30mins)
Wednesday – Vertical Session(1000-1500m of vertical eg. 2 or 3 Mystics)
Thursday – Hill Repeats
Friday – 2hr ride in the Mountains
Saturday – Easy Hour (1000-1500m of vertical eg. 2 or 3 Mystics
Sunday – Long Run 2hrs (1000m of Vertical)