Swapping the office for the trail, Fernanda Maciel, is an ultra-runner with a difference. Once an environmental lawyer, Fernanda now spends her days exploring new and exotic locations across the globe. Fernanda aims to be a positive role model for runners everywhere. Seeing as Fernanda must train in all and any weather, year round, we asked her to share her tips for cold-weater running.
Could you give us some background about ultra-running and what inspired you to take up the sport?
Ultra-running is an outdoor sport that I adore. It stems from the flow and movement of running combined with my love of exploration. Running has taken me across the world. I’ve journeyed through locations that have been both spiritually enlightening and epic in nature; high mountain trails are one of my favourite kinds of run, especially during the winter months.
What five winter essentials are you taking on your adventures and why?
My winter essentials list would have to include: my warm and light baselayer shirt and pants, my ThermoBall™ Jacket and a beanie. They keep me warm and comfortable and I like the fact that I can wear them anywhere – including the supermarket and even the pub! Important items for me would have to be the baselayers and jackets; with a good one I can spend the whole day outside.
What other emergency items might you take and why?
My ThermoBall™ is always inside my back pack. It's funny, I have a lot of good jackets but the green ThermoBall™ is my favourite! The lightness, warmth and flexibility of this jacket is incredible. I always use it when I go skiing or running.
What about training? Which gear would you choose when preparing for a winter mountain run?
I use my Ultra MT shoes when I take to the mountains.
Do the seasons affect how you train and which training methods you adopt?
I like both the winter and summer seasons; I like the contrast between the two. I’m fascinated by the seasons. Ultra-running races begin in February so I do my pre-season preparation during the winter months – I train both indoors and outdoors.
I combine both proprioception and plyometrics into my training routines. Exercises using my own weight and cardiovascular workouts are of equal importance. Mountain skiing also helps with my conditioning.
Do you have goals for this winter?
As you know, I'm Brazilian so I’m not great at skiing! I prefer to explore the high mountains or participate in running races on other continents. This winter I'm leaving home to run a very important ultra race in New Zealand. This is taking place during January and February - I then return home to the Spanish Pyrenees.
What are your top three ultra-running races?
1. Running the Ultra Trail Mt. Fuji in Japan.
2. Marathon Des Sables in the Sahara Desert.
3. Lavaredo Ultra Trail in the Italian Dolomites.
What phrase do you live by?
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.