The all-conquering obstacle course racer has won 50 events, including Spartan races, Tough Guy, and the Scandinavian Toughest series.
A background on the school cross-country team and roller-hockey in a sports hall doesn’t seem like the most obvious proving ground for the world’s finest obstacle racer, but Jonathan Albon has been a constant visitor to the top step of the OCR podium since 2012.
The former London Underground building surveyor is now a full-time athlete based in Norway. He’s the current Spartan Race European champion and is about to defend his Spartan Race World Championship title.
1) I haven’t specialised my training until this year. I sat down and thought what should a human being be like, what would we have been a thousand years ago and what sort of fitness should we have? It’s not someone who can lift 200kgs or someone who can run 3-minute kilometres for a marathon, it’s someone who can when asked, sprint and run a marathon.
2) At the moment I run 100-140K a week, and that’s up and down and off-road and a few recovery runs on the road. I live in Norway so I’ve got access to quite nice mountains – I can run 3kms from my front door and be 500m above sea level.
3) As well as that, for obstacle racing I do two or three circuit training sessions a week, as well as bouldering once or twice a week, which is good for your hamstrings. Bouldering is good because it’s a very different strength to lifting weights, which is static, and you also learn what sort of shapes your body needs to make in order to climb something.
And I swim and cycle a bit too to stay injury free by cross-training. Bouldering is also a bit of fun if you can go with a couple of friends. Tricking yourself into working out is one of the best things to do, because psychologically you are ready for more next time.
4) One of the reasons I’m good at standard obstacle racing is because I’m a light runner, but I’m accustomed to strength training like bodyweight exercises. A lot of runners wouldn’t want to get too muscled because it would slow them down, but I’m not afraid of being a little stronger.
In Spartan Races in particular, they are trying to make it so runners don’t win their events, so they have a lot of heavy carries and you end up with half obstacles and half carries and that doesn’t suit my body type.
5) I least like the coldness. I’ve had hypothermia a couple of times so now I know when it’s coming and that makes it worse. I have to submerge my head in icy water in January in Tough Guy and I really don’t like it! But I don’t mind the mud… and I’m usually winning so that makes it easier!
More info can be found at: www.spartan.com