Morten Auset is 36 years old and a former cross skier. He started to run in 2013 and completed Trondheim ½ Marathon that year. After reading the book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall, he was in love with ultra running and the mental and physical challenges it posed. In 2015 Morten completed more than 4,000 training kilometers and participated in Ultra Birken, Trondheim Marathon, Eco Trail and Bislett 24 hours (NM).
Welcome to Team Ronhill, Morten!
You have now competed in ultra-races for a few years, how much training is required to run longer distances opposed to the marathon and how much influence does mental strength compared with physical strength?
How much training is required is of course very individual, and hear and with the level of ambition. For me who wants to make it “relatively well”, and not just be a part of it, it requires a fair amount of exercise. I try to run six days a week, with at least two further sessions.
The mental part is very important when to run far. The longer the more important. It will hurt, and it’s something you have to be aware of in advance to be able to cope.
What is the greatest “pleasure” about running distances such as 50km?
The greatest joy for me is to see what I can push my body to perform, and the joy of completing. Have a pleasure and by finding new races and experience new places.
Do you have a tip on how to keep your motivation high through a long race?
For me it helps to divide the race. Getting to one and one point. Do not think about the entire distance at the starting line, the 100 km or 24 hours. Divide during the hours / half hour or known distances. Take a known distance you run often, and think about how easy it is to run this.
You carried through your first 24 hour race in the basement at Bislett Stadium (546m indoor track in the basement of the legendary Biselett Stadium) in November with impressive 161,6km with stomach problems most of the night, can you tell us about what happens to the body and mind when one exposes the body to such exploits?
Man goes through quite a few phases when to run so long. It has many ups and downs (one must be prepared before starting).
The whole body gets pretty good with a beating during 24 hours of running. Not only legs. Man will experience pain in places not experienced during training, then it is not possible to train for so long physical abuse. But the toughest is enough mental, being able to keep going when your head wants easiest way out.
Inside the basement at Bislett gets not the great experience of that day turns to night, as you would get outdoors. So it was for me no problem. Then temptation by stopping when others do it much bigger.
Then you just have to work hard on themselves and move your mind, away from the body will, and stop.
Your Season starts early this year with Bislett 50km (the same track as Bislett 24 hour) already on February 20, you are ready and what are the expectations for it ran?
I am ready and have trained about 30% more this compared to last year. I have also done more training with increased pace, bearing in mind that it is an “ultra-sprint”. My expectation is to do one good race, there are many good marathon runners who do a good 50k, so the pace is going to be high. I use the race to test myself early in the season before my big goal, 100km Norwegian championship in May.
You live in Trondheim with your wife and 2 children, where do you find the time and motivation to all the training and how do you manage to do so many miles in the winter (Morten lives in a part of Norway where it’s cold, dark and a lot of snow during a large part of the winter)?
I have a great wife who lets me get the time I need to train. But it´s important for me that my training works with the family, so most of my training in the weekdays is after the kids have been laid to bed and in the early morning of weekends while the family still are a sleep. Motivation and enough miles can be a problem when it´s dark and cold for many months of the year, I’m doing most of my training outside, but have a treadmill in the basement when the motivation is down. But I love the nature!
What are your expectations for 2016 season?
My expectations are to continue learning. I´m still new to ultra-running, and has several distances to try out this season as I have not run before. (50 and 100 km). As of now I have two important races (the hole season is not at place this time of year), which is Norwegian Championship 100 km, and Bislett 24 Hour. Bislett 24 Hour I want to improve a lot from last year’s result, I know I have much more to give!
Do you have any plans that run abroad, possibly England (Ronhill their homeland)?
Not this season. (Perhaps one race in Sweden) But I’ve seen some 100 miles races in England which are on my “to do list” the coming years.
You have the last 6mdr tested several Ronhill and Hilly products, which products are among your favorites and why?
Quantum Jacket has become a favorite right away. Nice and light and carry on at long distance training, and it breathes surprisingly well compared to similar jackets I’ve had before.
Otherwise I appreciated Trail series, with anti-slip on the shoulders, for running with sack.
Hilly Twin Skin is now becoming my favorite sock, I have used them on 6 hours training sessions in mud and water and I used them naturally also at Bislett 24 hour race.
We look forward to following Morten Auset closely through the entire season and can only wish him good luck!