Let’s get to know him a little better: Hannes Namberger

A little preview of Hannes Namberger’s mindset, training philosophy, and how he became one of the best ultrarunners in the world.

Interview by Robert Hajnal

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My name is Hannes Namberger. I am 32 years old and I am from the south of Germany, close to the Austrian border. I started trail running in 2015. I love running over 100km. 

2021 has been a very good year for me. I won the Lavaredo Ultra Trail in Italy, MIUT 115, and I took part in the UTMB 100-mile race. It was my first time there. I finished in sixth position.

 It was a spectacular experience.

Ultrarunner // Dynafit Athlete

The first interaction

Hannes is one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. Not only from the running community but from all the people you will have ever encountered. I think this is a very valuable asset for a a person, I envy him for that. 

The first time I met Hannes, was at kilometer 25 at UTMB, where I caught up with him, he was in a difficult moment of the race.

I congratulated him for the Lavaredo race, wished him a successful race, and told him to take it slow. He did so until the 90th kilometer when he slowly overtook me and reached  Chamonix 6th.

Hannes Namberger 6th UTMB - TrailRunning Academy Interview @Hendrik Aufm Kolk

From ski to pubs to Trailrunning

 I must admit that I first heard about you as a runner at Lavaredo Ultra Trail in 2021, where you won the race, even though your running career started years before. Before talking about running, can you tell me more about your life, where were you born, where do you live now and what is the most frequent place you go out to have a beer?

I am 32 years old, I am German and I live in Ruhpolding. It’s between Munich and Salzburg, so directly in the Alps.

I work as a policeman on the border to Austria but I feel more like a Trailrunning Pro then a police officer. Since last year August I am engaged with my girlfriend Ida, so my  season highlight will be my wedding in June .

Sorry, but I have to say you don’t find me in a bar for a beer, I don’t like to go out for a drink and it’s difficult to find the time for that. 

I like it more to be in the mountains.

 I also admit that I stalked you after your 1st place at Lavaredo, scrolling through your Strava profile, interviews and so on. I know that you were a professional skier. Can you tell us more about your transition from skiing to running and why did you stick to ultrarunning?

I finished my skiing career in 2011 and started running in 2015. In the years between, I had a cool time partying, freeskiing, backpacking in Asia, and enjoying my life.

I did all these things that I couldn’t do as a skier. But when I started with running, I had to lose some weight. I was really heavy. I had 16kg more then now and my legs had the double size then my running legs.

I Never planned to make races or ultras, but I enjoyed the time in the mountains. The beginning of my transition was cool because the progress went so fast and then I heard about a 52km race in Austria.

I signed in, trained hard, and enjoyed every second of it. After this race, I said to myself “Let’s do this again!”.

From that moment on, running was my new sport.

HANNES AND HIS FIRST COACH

Your first ITRA races were in 2015. Did you have a coach from the start of your running career?

No, I only listened to my body and did what I wanted. Fun was the most important thing at the beginning of my running career.

Your first 100km race was at CCC in 2019 and only two years later you had your best running year (1st Lavaredo, 1st MIUT, 6th UTMB). What have you done differently in 2021 and in the past 2 years?

The years before I trained without a plan and without introduction. I went out the door and had fun in the mountains. But after 2019 I wanted to be more professional and contacted Micha Arend, my Trainer of the past 2 years.

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My longest day in running shoes 👟 ➡️ 101k in 11h 48m. Yesss i did it!! I finished my first 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣k race with many ups and downs…. but at the end i made the 12th place. Thanks to all who watched this race at the livestream.

Hannes after CCC in 2019

 What is the name of your coach and how did you two meet each other?

In 2020 & 2021 it was Michael Arend, he had a company for endurance Athletes. He was a trail runner too but in December of 2021, he sold his company to his employers which are also great trail runners, and quit his job. From January this year, I train under the rules of Lars Schweizer who learned everything from Micha Arend. So it’s a little bit of a change for me, but  I am actually very happy with my trainer.

Do you coach other athletes or do you focus mainly on your running career?

I focus only on racing. I do not coach other athletes but I am happpy when a young athlete writes to me and seek for advices, I will give my advice happily. 

What is your favourite anaerobe training? And what is your favourite training for improving lactate threshold? 

I don’t like anaerobe training because I am really bad at it. But you have to do it. The most time I do 5 times 3minutes or 4 times 8 minutes.

Sometimes I do 4 times 20 minutes uphill training which are really hard but necessary for the Ultra Races.

Hannes Namberger, Training

We all have lows during an ultra event. What do you tell yourself to lift you up? Do you have a mantra for the hard times?

I only try to push myself forward. Racing is for me only a fight against myself, that’s all.

Hannes Namberger pe ultimii kilometri de la MIUT, dorindu-și un singur obiectiv. Sub 14 ore, chiar dacă avea avans 40 minute față de locul 2.

You are now an Elite Dynafit athlete. Can you tell us more about the brand and what is required to be an elite athlete for your team?

I am in Dynafit since 2018 and it’s the perfect brand for me. This are products from athletes for athletes. I am in the Pro Team what is perfect for me, because I can do what I want to. I don’t have to run any series or special races. I wanna select my races by myself because I want to be on the startline with the best athletes in the world.

And Dynafit gives me the perfect equipment to perform on the highest level. An extra plus is that since this year they organized an endurance studio, it’s like a gym, but more for endurance athletes and I train there my body for stability.

Hannes Namberger - TrailRunning Academy Interview

What competition do you visualise yourself winning while you are training?

All my 4 big races. To win it’s not the most important thing for me, but more important is that I give my best and show my best performance!

What races will you do in 2022 and what is your main focus now in training?

My season opener is a short race on La Palma with 29km.

My main goals are Penyagolosa, Mozart100, Utmb and the World Championships in Thailand. Those are 4 big races plus my wedding

 

My focus in training is on 3 parts, uphill, flat and downhill because at all I am okay, but not really good. I have to improve more and more.

Hannes Namberger @Mariana Oliveira

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