What’s the story behind this orienteering runner who has no links with treadmills really?
What is orienteering?
Orienteering is a running competition on different types of outdoor terrain. A competition can cover different distances, but it is not the distance that counts, you run against time. You have sprint distances (in cities) around 3 to 4.5 km actual distance, which take around 15 minutes. Then there are middle distances, which are typically the most difficult ones where the terrains are really technically demanding. These take around 30 to 35 minutes and are usually 5 to 8 km. And lastly, you have the long distances which take around 90 minutes and you could run half a marathon, or ‘only’ 12 km. It all depends on the sort of terrain you are running on. You have to navigate through unknown terrain from control point to control point to the finish with only a map and a compass. This sport requires technical thinking and fast running.
Most challenging about orienteering
‘What I find the most challenging and nicest part of orienteering is that when the competition starts you receive a map of a course that you have never seen before. So, you have to choose the fastest route, you have to think about how to get to each control point as fast as possible. That can be in a straight line but also through bushes, over rocks, up and down hills, or even taking a path around them. You have to think and act quickly. It is always a challenge to find a smart route to get the next control point without losing time. The challenge lies in running at your limit, thinking and making clever decisions. That is the thing about orienteering: some guys are really fast but make the wrong decisions and some guys are technically really strong but unable to push through their limit. It requires all these skills.’
From orienteering to the Skillrun treadmill
Since Matthias only trains outside, where does this treadmill championship come in?
The initial story started at a training camp in February together with a friend. He is a coach and praised the good condition Matthias was in. The trainer mentioned that although we couldn’t train as normal because everything was cancelled, it would be a shame not to do something because Matthias was such good shape. To maintain his fitness levels, he came up with the idea of a 50 km run on a treadmill. "I thought it would be a great challenge because I’m not really used to running on a treadmill, especially 50 km. I only run on a treadmill for performance testing. He asked Technogym to provide a treadmill, Skillrun, especially for the world record attempt and they were really enthusiastic about it. So, we were very pleased to have this reliable product to do the world record on."
Training Sessions with Skillrun
Skillrun allows the user to perform a variety of unique cardio and power workouts, such as:
- Running Session: the exclusive interactive technology Biofeedback tracks and monitors the main running parameters in real time, providing colour-coded feedback that enables the user to improve their performance.
- Parachute training : users can strengthen the resistive power and top-end speed with parachute training that reproduces the feeling of outdoor running with a parachute. Resistance is minimal at the start and increases as the user gains speed.
- Sled training: allows users to train their power, and can reproduce the feeling of pushing a sled on grass. Resistance is high at the start and decreases to a constant rate.
Skillrun is also ideal for group training sessions in a class or studio environment. Skillrun Class is perfect for those in search of a more effective and motivating group running class.
Matthias and the first ever world record on Skillrun
The crazy part was that Matthias was not used to these distances and certainly not on a treadmill. "I thought I wouldn’t be able to walk the next day but I didn’t even have sore muscles. I was concentrating on a pace of 3.30 per km while I normally run at a higher pace. Maybe the combination of the high quality of Skillrun, my good physical condition and the pace were why I felt really good the next day. Everybody including me was very surprised", Matthias laughed.
Matthias prepared for the 50 km three weeks before his world record. Every week, he did one long run of about 30 km on flat terrain to get his muscles used to it.’ What started as a fun idea between two guys ended up as a 50 km world record on the Skillrun treadmill in April 2020. Matthias Kyburz was the first and he introduced the world to 50 km treadmill runs.
Nobody believed that an orienteering runner could achieve such a record. But he did, together with Skillrun.