Fisherman's Friend StrongmanRun: the craziest and funniest race in the world, is for everyone!

Matteo Mastrovita, runner motivator and Strongman Run’s ambassador, tells us more about this incredible race, for the first year promoted by La Sportiva, and spreads some helpful hacks about how to face it in the best way possible…

Who said racing is boring and just a matter of fatigue and definitely not suitable for everyone?
Not us, for sure. Every person, even the most sedentary, young or old, can begin to move, walk and run.   In other words, anyone can become a runner.
My name is Matteo and I am a Runner Motivator, I help ordinary people find – and ignite –their own “sporting spirit”, sometimes deeply hidden, by slowly introducing them to the world of running in a gradual and fun way.
The method I adopt is run-walk-run and the strength that comes from running with a group, transforms fatigue and monotony into a pleasant and fun moment.  The basic secret is to never take things too seriously, by releasing anxiety and just taking things easy.

Participating in the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun with this spirit is the very essence of the race.   It means putting oneself to the test with a really demanding but (with the right training), not impossible challenge, and at the same time having fun in a team, helping one another and all reaching the finish line together:  all for one and everyone a winner!
For those who may not be familiar with the race, the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun is the biggest obstacle race on earth. The event started in Germany 2007, although the event has now invaded all of Europe and is currently run in 8 different countries:  Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Norway and in one non-European country too, South Africa.  A crazy race for strong people, which in Italy will take place on the 16th of September in Rovereto, a breathtaking location in the Trentino mountains.   Participants will have to overcome various obstacles made of mud, water, containers, tyres and other objects, to reach the finish line and gain their finisher medal and t-shirt.

So do not be intimidated by the word "strong". True, Fisherman’s Friend is a tough, 20 km race where fitness training and physical strength are important, but it is still suitable for all, Strongmen and Strongwomen.  Another fundamental ingredient of this race is irony:  athletes can, in fact, run in fancy dress costumes, thus transforming  this obstacle race into a big party, with that touch of madness that makes Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun an event not to be missed and the ideal opportunity for anyone who wants to start running with the idea of having fun.

To prepare for this race starting from scratch, as I said, it is essential to have a method that can introduce us to running in the most correct and least traumatic way possible.  Applying the “run-walk-run”, method means introducing  walking intervals within the race. The frequency of these intervals and their duration will depend on the physical condition of the runner, at the beginning the intervals will be very frequent and short (eg. 30 seconds of running alternating 30 seconds of waking, or 30 seconds of running and 1 minute of walking.  As physical condition is improved, the walking intervals become less frequent in favour of running intervals (for example 3 or 4 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking).  The physical condition of the runner is determined by a periodic mile test, a speed test at a predetermined distance of 1600 metres, on which time, interval and frequency will be based.  For the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun the method “run-walk-run” is absolutely essential for the inexperienced runner, since walking intervals both physically and psychologically represent a very important recharge of energy that allows a runner to successfully finish a race with a challenging mileage and which becomes even more difficult due to the many obstacles present.  

But preparation is not everything: for newcomers, equally important is the choice of the right gear, (especially footwear, since clothing offers a wide range of choice).  The correct equipment becomes a loyal companion that will contribute to making our experience both comfortable and unforgettable.
In this regard, La Sportiva, world leader in the field of outdoor footwear and apparel and technical sponsor of the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun, strives daily, channelling 90 years of experience into providing the best choice of gear possible for runners, both amateur and professional. But before you start remember, running is not only a fantastic sport, it is an inner journey that leads to growth and the maturity to be able to face life with more positivity and optimism.   We have a body, let’s use it and feel alive, without any pressure or expectation.  Let’s live the true essence of this sport: the union of physical health and mental wellbeing.


About the Author:
Matteo Mastrovita is 41 years old and is a personal trainer and Runner motivator, he introduces sedentary people to running thanks to the project “From the Armchair to the First Marathon”, which he created and coordinates.  He is responsible for the Italian Galloway Training Program, contributor for Runner’s World Italia with the runningwhere blog and Project Manager of Corri Vicenza 2.0 for the Giornale di Vicenza
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