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Top trail running tips from a Hong Kong champ

Claire Price’s list of accomplishments and wins is long. Having competed in more than 100 races in the past 10 years, the Hong Kong resident is a force in trail running and ultra-marathon running. She has won and set course records here in Hong Kong as well as the US and France, in addition to completing runs across the Sahara, the mountains of Nepal, and in Japan and Indonesia.

Claire Price has competed in more than 100 trail running events in 10 years
Claire Price has competed in more than 100 trail running events in 10 years

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A quiet confidence and a passion for the outdoors make for a successful combination for Claire. Born in England and educated in France, she had a successful career in communications and corporate event planning before taking a leap of faith and deciding to move to Hong Kong in 2000, without a firm plan. Not one to be intimidated by the hard road ahead, she not only landed on her feet professionally, but soon found a love for running on the trails of Hong Kong.

Seventeen years later, she beams as she talks about the many friends she has met here – and worldwide – through running, and of her love for the local country parks and trails. The trail runner and ultra-marathoner gives us an insight into her unique style of preparing for events.

Tell us about your training schedule.

If I’m training for a race, I try to run about 12 hours a week. For trail running, the training is about time on your feet more than distance. I do a few short runs, roughly an hour to an hour and a half, and a long weekend run.

What does your diet look like generally?

I don’t follow a specific training diet programme. For the most part, I try to eat as I learned to eat in France: “everything in moderation”. In general, these training runs burn so many calories that I think more about eating as fuel to get me through my run.

Where are your favourite runs in Hong Kong?

I love being out in nature, in the country parks, hearing the birds chirping. It’s so peaceful and the perfect balance to the busyness of life in Hong Kong. I love running in Tai Mo Shan Country Park, or a fun trail run with friends that ends with lunch at the beach.

If you could design a “trail running” workout, what would it look like?

The great thing about running is that you don’t need much equipment or a gym membership. You just need shoes, shorts and a good headlamp. I would suggest finding an accessible trail – a dirt trail, not concrete. Don’t be too excessive with training, but slowly build up your strength. Aim to run 10 to 12km twice a week, finding a loop that takes about 45 minutes and running that a couple times. Build from there. Most important of all, find a trail that is beautiful and motivating – a place where you love to run.

This article first appeared in the August/September 2017 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.

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