HOW TO BECOME A TRAIL RUNNER? THE STORY OF MARCO, FROM BOXING TO ULTRA TRAIL
Marco Cimini is a well-known Architect. Behind the “professional” image is hidden a passionate ultra trailer but digging deeper one discovers much more. His sporting career begins in boxing, superior category at the beginning and, later, the middleweights. The physical structure and potential are there but an accident puts an end to the boxer career. The university years pass, he graduates brilliantly in architecture and for business reasons he often finds himself in mountain villages. The altitude and nature fascinate him, so he starts to do some trekking. Since he already did some jogging, he tries to run on trails and see how it goes. It’s love from the start, trail running conquers him. In the interview, he talks about his story, how he trains, his goals and gives some advice to those who want to start to run on trails or improve in trail running.
Q. How many sports have you practiced in your life?
I have always done some sports in my life. Well, from a young age, I started doing boxing and I continued for many years. Initially, I was part of the upper category, then I moved to the middleweight category. My physical structure has undergone quite a change over the past few years and was very different from today, although I still have a lot of muscle mass.
Q. What kind of boxer were you and why did you leave the boxing?
I interrupted the practice of boxing due to an accident. I broke my radius and unfortunately the kind of fracture was not compatible with the re-start of the activity. During the University period, having been a student away from home and attending a course that was not exactly simple (architecture), I left the sport aside. I was only going out to run a few times, but nothing planned.
Q. When did you become a “Runner”?
I definitely approached the world of running for health reasons because I had very high cholesterol levels and one way to combat it was to start doing sport in a little more seriously and structured way. I slowly realized that I was benefiting from the running practice and I become passionate about it. Time after time I felt better and started to set higher goals. I started with road running and I ran some Marathons, Rome and Eindhoven among the most famous. (Discover TRM programs to train for your Marathon TRM TRAINING PLAN RUN 42K)
Q. Why did you decide to try trail running?
Well, I was attracted by the magnificent landscapes immersed in the uncontaminated nature that I always saw for work reasons. I was lucky enough to spent long periods in Bolzano, first for study and later for work. I combined my passion for trekking and mountaineering with that for trail running. The passion for tackling the high mountain trails remained unchanged, I only converted it into a race. The beauty of the places that I discovered practicing trail running has increasingly linked me to this sport.
Q. How did you start with trail running and what were the greatest difficulties you have entered?
I ran my first races in Abruzzo. Then I met TRM. In my opinion, TRM was the only Sporting Company I could choose if I really wanted to achieve greater goals and in fact, the TRM Coaches gave me the basis to move more and more towards longer distances and ultra trails. The major difficulties encountered were those at the physical level. I have a higher body weight than that of a runner and consequently also that of a trail runner. The first real challenge was that of losing excess weight. All the difficulties have been overcome through a personalized Nutrition Plan (TRM NUTRITION PLAN) and a personalized Training plan (TRM TRAINING PLAN) so as to make me reach at first simple objectives and then look for increasingly challenging goals.
Q. When did you decide to run an ultra trail?
I switched to ultra trails in a totally unconscious and irrational way (he laughs). I ran my first ultra trail of 48km in Cortina but, the Cortina Trail. But I did my biggest madness a year later with the first 120km. I had not set myself that goal, it just happened. During a Trail Running Camp of 4 days, again with TRM (ENDURANCE STAGE MONT BLANC), I ran the UTMB race track and about three months later I was at the starting line of the Morenic Trail 120km. I didn’t think it was possible and yet I found myself “Finisher” with a lot of unawareness (he laughs again).
Q. What do you love about ultra trails?
Everything that is before the race itself. The physical and mental strength that work together to achieve the goal. Only through this special synergy of mind and body you can hit your goal.
Q. How do you train?
I have a training plan that it is developed by the TRM Coaches (TRM TRAINING PLAN). I plan my goals following a “protocol”, I believe that the training plans are successful if you stick to them. I also think that a normal person who wants to approach ultra trails needs to be followed and guided by those who have the experience to do it and I have no doubts about this for TRM. The training plan helps you to avoid wasting time and above all to prevent injuries. I coordinate my sports activity with my business agenda and manage to do everything well with great satisfaction.
Q. How do you manage the fact that you work as an architect, traveling a lot and your training schedule?
It is not easy to find the perfect balance. I am lucky enough to live in a very beautiful place with incredible landscapes. Of course, in the morning I need to wake up early to train but it’s not a burden. Not at all.
Regarding traveling is just fantastic, you have the opportunity to discover new places running around. Last year I was in England, in New Castle, and I saw landscapes that I couldn’t have seen if I hadn’t gone running. I ran in the English countryside, exactly as seen in the movies. I arrived at a breathtaking cliff.
Q. Do you follow a special diet?
I follow a nutritional plan developed by TRM dietitian professionals. The TRM Nutritional Plan, via an App, schedules my “meals appointments” during the day, including snacks in the morning and afternoon, both when I am training and when I am at rest. I try to follow the diet every day, I don’t always succeed because of my work and the fact that I travel a lot but I do my best. So, I eat well and take the calories I actually need.
Q. What’s your Goal for 2020 in terms of trail running races?
First of all, I will run the Lavaredo Ultra Trail 120km, I’m already on the starting list. The landscapes are priceless and this race represents a fixed appointment over the years. I always try to run it. Then if I pass the draw, I will run the CCC and, at the end of the season, a last ultra. The goal is to confirm my ability to manage races up to 120km and then make the leap and move on to the 160km in the next 2021 season.
As I said, gradual but increasingly demanding goals.
Q. What advice would you give to those who want to approach trail running or improve performance?
Have a pinch of madness and lots of curiosity to learn more and more about how to trail running in safe and healthy conditions.
Thanks Marco, your story is certainly special and is a stimulus for all those, runners or trail runners who want to start running. We can say “Yes, you can”!
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Digital Strategic Marketing Director – certified Innovation Manager – in multinational companies, she is still today the only Italian female athlete to have ran 900 km and 55,000m D+ in the mountains in a single stage race (Transpyrenea 2016, 3rd women overall). She counts numerous Podiums and international Victories on races over 100k. She holds a SNaQ CONI certification as a Trail Running Coach, Athletic Trainer and in Nutrition and Sports Supplementation. Since 2014 she is President and sports executive of innovative technology startups and companies, including Trail Running Movement and Digital Sport 360. She trains elite trail running athletes and she teaches in trail running coach certification courses. She is an author of sports articles on training, nutrition and supplementation in trail running and running, both in Italian and in English and Spanish. She manages relationships and collaborations with Federations and Race Organizers.
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