The site uses its own technical cookies, anonymous third party analytic cookies and third-party cookies that could be used in profiling: in accessing any element/area of the site outside of this banner, you consent to receiving cookies. If you want to know more or refuse consent to cookies, click here.

Skyrunning: run to reach the sky

Its reference environment is high altitude its aspiration is the race into the sky.

With these words, Marino Giacometti, in an interview with Mountain Blog, defines skyrunning. For those who don't know, Giacometti is the father of this discipline that makes running on the high ground its distinctive feature. A lot of dirt, a lot of rock and a little asphalt: different paths and terrain, between valleys and mountain slopes at heights that can exceed 4,000 meters. But it is above all the fascinating experience of running in suggestive natural frames that makes you bear the effort of an activity that puts a strain on your muscles and endurance.
The Alps, the Pyrenees, the Yading reserve in China or the mountains on the fjords of Trømso in Norway are just some of the locations that will host the stages of the World Series 2019, a sort of skyrunning world championship. But let's take a step back and go back to the origins of this sport.

The origins of skyrunning

It was in 1992 that the Italian mountaineer developed the idea of making skyrunning a real discipline, by incorporating this race in the sky into defined rules. He organised the first races, which took place on Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc, and then - thanks to the support of a well-known brand of sportswear - he created a world circuit of skyrunning that touches the Himalayas, the Rocky Mountains, the volcanoes of Mexico and the heights of Kenya. It was 1993, and this was the first sign that Giacometti had taken the right path: skyrunning became more and more appreciated year after year, so much so that in 1995 a real federation was born, the FSA (Federation for Sport at Altitude). Since then the dice has not stopped rolling. In 2008 the FSA was replaced by the ISF (International Skyrunning Federation) and skyrunning came out of the mountaineers' niche with a passion for running and became a sport recognised at all levels.

Skyrunning or trail running?

Little by little, skyrunning is defined and, over time, takes on a clear physiognomy, distancing itself from other related disciplines: mountain running and trail running. The first takes place in mountain environments and the routes, which by regulation do not exceed 3,000 meters, can include short stretches of asphalt, but not more than 20% of the total length, while the average slope must be between 5 and 20%. Trail running, on the other hand, is practiced on paths and dirt roads not only in the mountains and its races are characterised by high mileages and gradients that can reach up to 5,000 meters.
Skyrunning, like mountain running, takes place exclusively in mountain environments, with asphalted stretches that must remain within 15% of the total length. The routes, however, are more technical and demanding and can include stretches to be overcome with the help of ropes or chains, while, to tackle the most insidious downhill sections, athletes are allowed to use sticks similar to those used in mountaineering. On the other hand, the height that can be reached can also exceed 4,000 metres. The races are divided into four groups that put a strain on even the most trained athlete: Vertical, Skyrace, Ultra and Extreme.

How to prepare for skyrunning

Skyrunning is the right discipline for those who love to practice sports that require great physical effort but do not want to miss the pleasure of an experience of total immersion in nature, the feeling of being part of it, completely integrated into landscapes that only from the tops of the mountains you can enjoy.

Preparing for this specialty is not a walk, but with determination and perseverance the undertaking is not prohibitive.

Before trying skyrunning it is important to focus carefully on physical preparation, running a lot - so as to develop excellent endurance - but also dedicating time to indoor training, with toning exercises that aim to strengthen the body muscles. In this sport, in fact, endurance alone is not enough: physical strength and agility are essential to compose a quality triptych, the ideal propeller to reach the highest peaks, running towards the sky.

How to run correctly

Running and walking are two natural actions for our body, and certainly among the exercises that allow you to burn more calories and fat. Running in the right way is important to avoid the risk of running into negative effects on muscles and joints. But how can we tell if we're doing it right? There are a few aspects to consider before approaching skyrunning or just running in general.
Posture is important to avoid injury but especially because if done incorrectly it generates a loss of energy that could be used to improve during your run and especially when thinking about speed or distance. The head must be high in order to keep the nape of the neck aligned with the spine, with the gaze fixed forward and not facing the feet.
When we refer to the stride during the race we speak of the distance covered by the foot when it comes off the ground at the time when it rests later. The ideal stride is short and fast, trying to keep the knee in line with the ankles and the foot on the ground further back than the knee.
Related to the stride there is the gait that if supported facilitates short and fast strikes as well as a correct support of the foot on the ground. The increase in stride must be gradual and follow the possibilities of our legs without exceeding and cause injury or effort. One way to recognise your gait is to count for one minute during the race, the number of times your right foot touches the ground. Another aspect to consider is the position of the foot: it is important to place the forefoot and not the heel or toe to avoid damaging the calves and tendons of the Achilles.

MYRUN and RUN PERSONAL: choose the right one for you

If you are a sportsperson and you love to train with music then MYRUN is for you. Easy to use, quiet and small in size, it is the ideal treadmill for home training. With the MYRUN App you can create your own workouts and with the running music feature your favourite songs will be selected according to your running rhythm.
Run Personal, the treadmill of the Personal Line designed by Antonio Citterio, is designed for those who love design and sport. Its powerful and silent motor adapts to any type of exercise, walking or running, giving you a unique and professional cardio training experience. Run Personal technology enriches the training experience making it more engaging and connected thanks to UNITY, the console that offers endless entertainment options. Innovation, technology and design are the keywords that unite all the products in the Personal line, discover Cross and Recline Personal.

/related post

What's the Difference Between Anaerobic and Aerobic Exercise?

Whilst there are many different types of exercise, they all fall into one of two categories: aerobic...