Tag Archives: Petro Mamu



I guess if you ask any runner that question most, if not all, would say a resounding yes. But what are you doing about it?

Petro Mamu

Petro Mamu finishing Limone Extreme in 2014 – beating Kilian Jornet to the line!

First of all, what is your definition of getting faster? Is it to run a mile faster, is it to run a PB at a certain distance or is it improving your overall efficiency as a runner and as a product of that becoming a faster runner? They are very different things and as such require a different approach to achieve the desired result. The answer is probably in the specificity of your training plan but there is quite a lot of overlap between those three objectives. So lets look at a mile.

How to run a mile faster?

Let’s say your mile time is 8 minutes. How do you get faster? It’s more than likely going to be a combination of various training sessions and targets that will help you achieve your goal.   You will want to increase your speed, strength and economy. You will obviously have to take into account your age, training level and set a realistic but challenging target. SMART thinking comes to mind.

  • Speed – to cover the distance faster
  • Strength – to ensure you have the strength to maintain the speed
  • Economy – to enable you to run efficiently at speed
  • Time – you need a period of time to build up

Training for these attributes would probably look something like this.

  • Track/Road Workouts and/or Fartlek sessions (typically once or twice a week) – building up consistent times for reps of 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,200m, 1,600m and even 2,000m. Two miles repeats are also a good session to build up specific strength and endurance.
  • Threshold Runs (typically once or twice a week) – These are paced to increase your running economy at intensity. Typically run at ten mile or half marathon pace.
  • Long Runs (typically once a week) – Long runs to build strength and endurance and improve running economy.
  • Recovery – Either days off or a gentle recovery run or cross training.
  • Races – Perhaps try some races at 3,000m or even 5,000m. Focus on achieving consistent lap times.
  • Buy New Kit – I have always found a placebo effect from wearing new running kit but it doesn’t seem to last long!

Note: At marathon distance and longer you would not tend to run the full distance of the event in training but ‘time on feet’ would become more important.

Now, I am not training to improve my mile time, although that would be an added bonus, the point of this is that depending on what your goals are for your focus races, you should incorporate a variety of training sessions and specificity in your schedule to give you the best chance of achieving your goal. Whether your goal is completing the distance or improving your PB or indeed racing against others for the podium, you have less chance of getting there without a training plan and most importantly putting some specificity into your training.

What I have discovered is that sometimes you need that injection into your training to take it away from the staleness of just running. I did that recently by getting myself a coach. It’s slowly transforming my running away from the boring schedule that I had of running countless miles and to a journey that has milestones and objectives. Get yourself a coach to inject some life into your training. You will thank me for it!

Note : the above is purely my opinion and thoughts on getting faster. Please consult a coach!!! 

All images are copyright – Ian Campbell – Photography







Eritrean Petru Mamu hit the front at a super fast pace and never relinquished first place to win the final edition of the 2014 Skyrunner World Series Skyrace series at Limone Extreme Skyrace in 02:14:25.


[Petro Mamu wins the 2014 Limone Extreme Skyrace]

Second place was of course Kilian Jornet, having done the VK the evening before his legs weren’t as fresh but he closed in fast on Mamu in the final 10 kilometers and reduced his two-minute lead to 30 seconds by the finish.


[Kilian Jornet on his way to second place and a win of the 2014 Skyrace Series]

In third place and five minutes behind Jornet was David Schneider. But it some ways it was Jornet’s day, as this sealed the Skyrace Series and his third 2014 Skyrunner World Series title for 2014, having already won the VK and Ultra Series.

Maite Maiora worked her way steadily from an early fourth place to win in 02:47:05 two-minutes ahead of second place Stevie Kremer. Third place was Elisa Desco who fought hard and, literally, hit the deck at the finish. Kremer wraps up the season as Skyrace Series champion.

MAIORA FINISH LINE - DSC_4215[Maite Maiora 2014 Limone Extreme Skyrace Champion]

2014 Limone Men’s and Women’s Races

Set amidst beautiful Italian lakes, the final edition of the 2014 Skyrace Series started and finished on the shores of Lake Garda in Limone.

Limone is relatively short in distance at 23.5km but tough on elevation with 2,000m of vertical gain, traversing three mountains, Bocca dei Fortini (1,200m), Monte Traversole (1,441m) and Coma Vecchia (1,415m) before descending back to Limone. With a downpour the night before, humidity was high leaving it warm and sticky for race day with the race starting at 13:30 outside the line of restaurants, pizzerias and pleasure boat docks in Limone Centro.

Petro Mamu is not a well known name, but he came into this race as 2014 Mountain Running World Cup winner having also placed seventh at the 2014 World Mountain Running Championships last month.  Also, he has a marathon PR of 02:25:37 set in his home country in May. So take heed this guy has mountain credentials as well as speed. His game plan was to lead from the gun and that is exactly what he did. The first two kilometres suited him as it undulates but boy was he flying when he hit the first climb! By the time 10km had past, he had a two minutes lead on Jornet, Schneider and IMarco de Gasperi.


[Petro Mamu super fast and strong on the first climb]

The women’s race appeared to be between Kremer and Laura Orgue as they swapped places between Checkpoint 1 and the 10km point, but Maiora was biding her time in third place. Desco and Limone VK winner Christel Dewalle were lying in fourth and fifth places respectively.


[Stevie Kremer climbing towards second place]

At Monte Traversole (1,441m), there is a long and technical descent back to Limone, it is here that Jornet made up 90 seconds to Mamu who was racing hard to maintain his well fought lead. Mamu hung on and arrived at the beach to stride his way along amid applause from the crowds and then sprinted along the finishing funnel to hit the winner’s tape. Not once did he look back, but only 30 seconds later Jornet came to join him high fiving the crowds, enjoying the moment that he had won the Skyrace Series and his third Skyrunner World Series title in one year. This has never been done before and, perhaps, it’s never to be done again.

Schneider in third place, however, was looking over his shoulder as he had a muddy and bloodied De Gasperi hot on his heels only 17 seconds behind.


[David Schneider (left) after edging Marco De Gasperi for third place]

The technical descent from Monte Travesole played an important part in the women’s race. Orgue had dropped down the field and Maiora had worked her way up past Kremer and stretched out her lead to two minutes by the finish. Kremer was not going to give in and toughed it out to take second place ahead of Desco by three minutes. Desco had worked hard all day and by the time she arrived at the finish line she had nothing left and collapsing to the ground.


[Elisa Desco after putting it all out there to finish third]

Limone Skyrace results

Men’s Results
1 Petro Mamu 02:14:25
2 Kilian Jornet 02:14:55
3 David Schneider 02:19:58
4 Marco de Gasperi 02:20:15
5 Taddei Pivk 02:21:00
6 Nicola Golinelli 02:22:09
7 Alexis Sevennec 02:25:25
8 Hassan Ait Chaou 02:26:02
9 Alex Nichols 02:26:53
10 Manuel Merillas 02:27:17
Women’s Results
1 Maite Maiora 02:47:05
2 Stevie Kremer 02:49:03
3 Elisa Desco 02:52:40
4 Laura Orgue 02:53:54
5 Victoria Wilkinson 02:55:18
6 Denisa Dragonir 02:57:01
7 Deborah Cardone 03:03:47
8 Leire Agurrezabola 03:06:11
9 Martina Valmossoi 03:07:25
10 Tessa Hill 03:07:35

The above article was published in http://www.irunfar.com

2014 Skyrace Series

It wasn’t perhaps a day for course records but a day to remember nevertheless when a certain Kilian Jornet achieved something that has never been done before, winning all three Skyrunning titles in one year, the grand slam, Ultra, VK and now Skyrace. It may never be done again and it just shows the true versatility and range of this athlete.


American Stevie Kremer has shown the rest of her compatriots that you can mix it up with the Europeans and win on their turf.



Overall Skyrace series results below:

Men’s Skyrace Series Series Points
1 Kilian Jornet Salomon 306
2 Ionio Alin Zinca Valetude 226
3 Zaid Ait Malek Buff 224


Women’s Skyrace Series Series Points
1 Stevie Kremer Salomon 306
2 Maite Maiora La Sportiva 276
3 Elisa Desco Scott Sports 270

Image Gallery


All images are copyright Ian Campbell – Photography