Veronika grew up in Slovakia and has been living in China and Hong Kong for the past 7 years. Veronika only started trail running less than 2 years ago but is already one of Asia's best trail runners. In 2019 she made it to the Asia Trail Master Champion by winning 6 ultramarathon trail races across Asia.
Furthermore, Veronika is the founder of Asia Trail Girls - a place to connect with other female runners of all levels and to support and inspire each other.
We are proud to have Veronika as part of the BIX team! Now, let's find out more about her running journey, her training routine, tips on hydration, nutrition, etc.:
1. Tell us 3 things about yourself that might surprise others:
- I only started trail running less than 2 years ago
- I used to play handball competitively for 8 years
- I am a sweets addict - cannot live without at least one sweet treat per day and I often eat Nutella out of the jar..
2. Tell us about your running journey - how did you start running?
I have always been an active person and so running has been a part of my life since childhood. I used to play handball for 8 years and I have always been the best runner on the team. I haven't really explored my talent for running and never thought of becoming a 'serious' runner. Running was more of a way to stay in shape and shake off the stress from work. But then one day I discovered trail running and I knew that it was 'love at first run'. I fell in love with the sport and I decided to put all my focus on getting better, faster and stronger.
3. Quick overview of your nutrition plan for a 50k trail race - before, after, and during the race
Before - eating more carbs 2-3 days prior and drinking plenty of water.
During - mostly gels and bars. Watermelon/orange/banana and occasional bread at checkpoints. One flask of water and one flask of sports drink on me at all times. Coca Cola later in the race if I am dying.
After - BIX to recover is a must, plenty of water and coconut water for a few days after. Also focusing on getting enough salt back to my body.
4. Quick overview of your breakfast, lunch, and dinner during a typical training day
Breakfast - 360 days out of the year sweet breakfast - oatmeal topped with fruits on most days.
Lunch - Fresh salad + sandwich/pasta. Only eat veggies and fish so no meat for me. Dinner - Pasta/Potatoes and trying to get protein out of beans/chickpeas/lentils. I have a huge sweet tooth so ice cream follows on most days...
5. Your 3 most important recovery activities
Stretching - Stretching and foam rolling is part of my recovery routine after every training.
Massage - It's a must after any race/strenuous training. I try to go once a week.
Yoga - I am not good at it but trying to incorporate it into my routine. Usually only go for slow, stress and stiffness releasing yoga to complement my running training.
6. Overview of a typical training week
Running on average 6x per week with 1-2 long runs and at least 2 slow runs. The rest depends on how I feel on the specific week. My average week is 80-90km and this suits me. Anything more is too much. I take too long to recover from a bigger week so stick to lower mileage to stay consistent.
7. What was your biggest running accomplishment?
Coming second at Hong Kong 100 this year. It was only my second 100km race and first solo 100 so I am quite proud of this achievement.
8. Your 3 running goals for 2020/ 2021
My goals from January have changed completely as they did for everyone else. I was planning on taking part in the Ultra Trail World Tour, signed up for a few big races in Europe and hoped to compete with world elites. With the new world situation my updated goal is to keep on training, try to stay motivated without having a clear race goal in mind and to simply enjoy running.
1. Describe yourself in 3 words: Passionate, focused, easy going
2. Favorite race? Don't have one favorite race as of yet but really enjoyed running at the Cordillera Mountain Ultra in the Philippines
3. Favorite running shoe? HOKA Speedgoat
4. Your most important running gear? Shoes
5. Favorite snack/ gel during a run? Spring gel
6. Are you a flat, uphill, or downhill runner? I enjoy uphill the most but I am best somewhere between flat and uphill.
7. Run in the cold or run in the heat? Heat over cold any day
8. Favorite racing distance? 50km - long enough to not push too hard but short enough to fall into a mental/physical hole.
9. Trail running idol? Fuzhao Xiang - Her downhill skills are so AWESOME.
10. Favorite trail? Now that Hong Kong is my new home I love running in Saikung - climb up to Sharp Peak and then down to the beach.
11. Strength workouts indoor or outdoor: Outdoor with a group, indoor by myself
12. A quote that you would put on a T-Shirt: Run to Inspire