With The Otter, one of the world’s most extreme trail races, coming up we caught up with VIVOBAREFOOT’s premier trail runner Greg Goodall and asked him a few questions.
VB: Joining VIVOBAREFOOT at the start of the winter – how have you settled in with the VIVOBAREFOOT Team?
Joining the team has been a pleasure. Trail running is largely an individual sport so having the support and back up of the team has been awesome. It’s a great bunch of people with lots of energy, enthusiasm and passion for the brand.
Have you adapted or improved your technique since running in VIVOBAREFOOT shoes?
I didn’t have to reinvent my technique because I’ve always had a forefoot style so the adjustment was fairly easy, but it has taught me to become more aware of my form and therefore run more efficiently.
What recommendations would you offer to people who are looking to hit the trails in our shoes?
Slowly. You can’t expect to put on a pair of barefoot shoes and resume your normal training program. It will vary for each individual depending on existing style, type of shoe, terrain, mileage, etc. but I recommend introducing them in one of your quality sessions per week. Also wearing them causally and not just to run in will speed up the conditioning and strengthening process.
What is ‘the Otter’? Give us an introduction…
The Otter is in it’s 4th year now and has rocketed to the top of the local trail running calendar in terms of popularity and status. And rightly so. It’s an iconic trail and you have to book a year in advance to get on. In the inaugural event the question was could anyone break the 5 hour barrier for a hike that is traditionally done in 5 days? Now the record stands at 4h40 and with the quality field pushing each other this year it could well get quicker.
I always have high expectations of myself and will give my all on the day but this year will see the most competitive field ever assembled for a trail race in South Africa as well as some top international athletes. There are 10 or 15 guys that on their day are capable of winning, lets just hope that it’s my day!
As the Otter is unaccessable for 354 days of the year, how have you been preparing?
Fortunately this will be my third Otter so I have an idea of the terrain and what to expect but the reversal of the route is a first for everyone. I have included gym and strength work in my training as well as tried to increase my time on the trails. Last year I came from more of a road background and it cost me.
After the Otter what are you plans for the upcoming season?
My background is triathlon so I look forward to getting back on the bike! But of course I plan to keep the running ticking over – still to come this year the VIVOBAREFOOT Phezulu trail run and next year possibly Africa X and 2 Oceans Ultra.