Western States 100miles 2024 – Hajnal Robert’s Thoughts & Training Journal

Robert Hajnal - Wester States Journal
Photo: Altra

7.01. Fight every battle everywhere, always, in your mind.

As I embarked on my run this morning, I was joined by four of my athletes, Gicu, Oana, Andrei, Cosmin, all of whom were preparing for their own upcoming races. We chatted as the raindrops gently hit our faces during our run, sharing our training plans, goals, and aspirations. It was a refreshing reminder of the shared passion that binds us together as runners.

Our conversation turned to the importance of having a specific race in mind from the moment you wake up, to the moment you train and how important is to visualize yourself winning when you go to sleep. I emphasized that it’s not just about putting in the miles; it’s about having a clear vision of the challenge ahead, a mental picture of the course, the weather conditions, and the mental and physical demands that lie in wait.

I shared my experience with the Lavaredo, UTMB and Doi Ithanon the Golden Ticket race for Western States, the iconic 100-mile ultramarathon, and how having that specific race in mind had fueled my training, focused my efforts, and driven me to push my limits.

My athletes nodded in agreement, echoing my sentiments.

They shared their own races they were training for, from fast halfmarathons to grueling mountain runs, and each one spoke of the motivation and drive that comes from having a specific goal in sight.

It was a reaffirming moment, a reminder that I was not alone in my approach to training. The camaraderie among unners, the shared passion for pushing personal boundaries, and the unwavering commitment to achieving our goals – these were the true hallmarks of the sport.

As we concluded our run, I felt a sense of renewed determination. Having my athletes by my side, sharing their own stories of dedication and perseverance, had ignited a spark within me.

I was ready to face the challenges ahead for the next week fueled by the shared spirit of runners of all levels.

Western States Training Run #4
Western States - Training Run #4

6.01. Becoming the athlete I used to look up to

#4 Easy 80min on Brașov Trails

As I embarked on my daily run, the thought of the upcoming Western States Endurance Run, the iconic 100-mile ultramarathon, hovered in my mind (again & always) like a distant mountain peak. The race, a symbol of ultrarunning prowess, ignited a sense of awe and aspiration within me.
I haven’t had this feeling since I first heard about this event 12 years ago. But now…

However, amidst the excitement, a deeper realization dawned upon me: the true essence of ultrarunning, the very foundation of success, lies not in the results of one race but in the unwavering dedication to routine.

Runners are as good as their routines, their commitment to consistent practice, their unwavering discipline in shaping their bodies and minds for the challenges that lie ahead. It’s in the daily grind, the monthly miles clocked, the early mornings spent pushing limits, that true endurance is forged.

Today’s run was a testament to this philosophy. My mind, sharpened by the mental fortitude cultivated through consistent training, remained focused and resolute.
The rhythm of my footsteps echoed the mantra of ultrarunning, that I should get tattooed so I don’t forget it >> consistency, dedication, resilience.

I understand now that winning Western States is not just about crossing the finish line first it is about embodying the spirit of ultrarunning, the spirit that thrives on the foundation of daily routine.

The race may be a fleeting moment in time, but the routine is a continuous journey, a testament to the power of discipline and relentless pursuit of excellence. It is in this unwavering commitment to routine that true ultrarunners find their strength, their resilience, their capacity to conquer seemingly insurmountable challenges.

– 174 thoughts to go to Western States * 100 Miles * One Day.

5.01. In an infinite game you have no opponents

#3 Easy Run in Brașov 

The thought of the 368 other souls training for Western States, each with their own unique motivations, struggles, and stories, filled me with a sense of camaraderie and purpose.

I wondered about the seasoned veterans, their faces etched with the lines of countless races, their bodies bearing the scars of countless miles. What drives them to continue pushing their limits, year after year? What hidden depths of strength and resilience have they unearthed through the crucible of ultrarunning?

I thought of the newcomers, their eyes wide with anticipation, their hearts brimming with dreams and aspirations. What fears and doubts do they grapple with as they stand at the precipice of this extraordinary challenge? What epiphanies and transformations await them as they embark on this journey of self-discovery?

And then there are those like me, the mid-tier runners, neither novice nor expert, forever striving to refine our technique, conquer our demons, and inch closer to the summit of our own potential. What fuels our determination to persevere through the monotony of training, the nagging injuries, and the inevitable moments of self-doubt?

As I ran, I carried the stories of these fellow runners in my heart, their collective energy fueling my own determination. 

I realized that the beauty of ultrarunning lies not just in the physical challenge itself but in the shared human experience it embodies. 

We are all bound together by our pursuit of endurance, our quest for self-discovery, and our unwavering belief in the power of the human spirit.

-175 Days to Western States * 100 miles, One Day

04.01 - Student of Endurance Academy

#2 Easy Run w few Uphill Surges in Brașov

As I pounded the pavement today, with my sore, unfit legs from my 4-week break, I couldn’t help but feel like a student at the university of endurance.

Each run, each race, is an opportunity to delve deeper into the intricacies of my body and the nuances of this demanding sport. With each step, I gain a new understanding of my limits, test the resilience of my mind, and explore the untapped potential of my physical being.

Western States looms large, the ultimate exam in this endurance marathon. I’m determined to approach it with the same inquisitive spirit, seeking to unravel its challenges and conquer its peaks.

With each training run, I’m not just building endurance; I’m expanding my knowledge, refining my strategies, and preparing to earn my A+ in the university of ultrarunning.

-176 Days to Western States * 100 miles, One Day

03.01. Consistency is Key.
#1.0 Easy 9km in Herăstrău.

In the world of running, the starting line often marks a pivotal moment – a point where nerves, excitement, and anticipation collide. While the initial surge of adrenaline can be invigorating, it’s the consistent effort and discipline that shape the true foundation of success. Just as boxers train relentlessly to endure the physical and mental demands of their sport, runners too must embrace consistency as the cornerstone of their training.
Consistency isn’t about pushing yourself to extremes every single day; it’s about building a sustainable routine that gradually enhances your fitness level and resilience. It’s about making running a habit, not a chore. Just as a boxer trains consistently to build muscle memory and reflexes, runners need to establish a rhythm of training that allows their bodies to adapt and improve.
The key to consistent training lies in breaking down your goals into manageable chunks. Instead of aiming for a marathon overnight, gradually increase your running distance and frequency. Incorporate strength training exercises to complement your cardio, building a stronger foundation for performance.
As you progress, remember that consistency is not about achieving perfection; it’s about showing up, even on days when motivation feels elusive.
-177 Days to Western States 100 miles, One Day.
wser #1 Training
Hajnal Robert

Hajnal Robert

I am a mountain man and I have a clear vision of what I want to do in my life. I envision a world where everyone does sport and puts their health first.

The first Romanian on the UTMB podium and the first Golden Ticket holder for 2024 Western States.

Read about - Coach Robert
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

De pe blog.

Citește și:

UTMB roller-coaster

The emotions and experience of TrailRunning Academy athlete Valentin Bălănescu during the 170 km of the UTMB.