Trail running in Les 3 Vallées: advice from a PRO!
- All year
A territory with endless itineraries!
Marie Dohin lives in Méribel and works at Méribel Tourism. This young (hyper) active lady with an unfailingly sunny disposition boasts an impressive trail running track record, which includes a 5th place position in the 2021 TDS.
The race is part of the Mont Blanc Ultra Trail races, and has an incredible profile and stats: 145 kilometres with 9,100 metres of altitude change… (!)
Marie has done the entirety of her preparation for this legendary race in her own back yard: Les 3 Vallées!
For the local trail runner, the territory of Les 3 Vallées is ideal because it benefits from an unequaled variety of itineraries.
This is a great place to train for major races. We’re lucky to have a huge variety of itineraries, technical trails, pretty balcony paths, as well as flatter itineraries with the option of very long distances, including refreshment breaks in mountain refuges. Simply put, there’s something here for everybody!
It’s so nice to feel like you have the mountains all to yourself, and to be there when the sun comes up… you never get tired of it. And it also works best for my family, and means I can have breakfast with them and enjoy spending time with them for the rest of the day.
Of course I love running in summer, in the sunshine, when the mountains are magnificent as a whole and just a lovely place to be… you can hear marmots whistling everywhere… But autumn is also such a fabulous season! The colours are unique, you can cross paths with amazing wild animals like deer, does… see the chamois goats in the distance…
Just one week apart, the same itinerary can feel completely different, the atmospheres are just incredible, magnificent and different… It’s a spectacle you could never tire of.
For Marie, the territory of Les 3 Vallées is ideal to prepare trail running races, thanks in particular to the diversity of itineraries and their varied technicalities.
She prefers to go out running very early in the morning to attend the spectacle of nature, alone. This allows her to reconcile his passion and his family life.
Marie obviously stays active all year: cross-country skiing is among her favourite winter activities, but she struggles to choose a favourite season for running!
In fact, what Marie really loves is watching nature change throughout the year...
The territory of Les 3 Vallées is unique thanks to a huge variety of itineraries!
3 TIPS FOR TRAIL RUNNING IN LES 3 VALLÉES
1. Take the altitude factor into account
As it makes your breathing shallower and your legs heavier. You need to start steadily, not get carried away and reduce your speed in comparison to what you’re used to doing on lower ground. It’s a different kind of exertion from running on the flat: we tend to walk the climbs and run the descents, and have to tackle technical trails which often makes the events longer than normal urban running. You’re expending effort over a longer period, and holidays should also be about taking your time! But you must think properly about what you’re going to need to rehydrate and replenish your energy levels.
2. Plan and inform
Plan out your itinerary and share it with those around you
3. Check the weather forecast
Check the weather forecast before setting out. Even if you set out in nice weather, remember that conditions can change very quickly and in summer, the mountains often have storms at the end of the day.
In Marie Dohin's rucksack
A few basics you should always have with you:
Water, even for a short run because at altitude you become dehydrated faster than on lower ground.
A windbreaker and a neck warmer because it can get windy at the summits.
A t-shirt for changing at the top of the climb.
A survival blanket: in case of any problems or sudden changes in temperature, it’s really good for keeping you warm and doesn’t add anything to the weight of your bag.
A mobile phone so you can contact someone in an emergency.
A little snack or cereal bar to replenish your energy levels.
Personally, I always take a 10€ or 20€ note with me. Sometimes I treat myself to a nice little break and go for a slice of blueberry tart on the terrace of a mountain refuge or restaurant. And then, I must confess, I also sometimes have a real craving for an iced soda or a nice cold beer at the end of a run!
Les 3 Vallées
A range of
Discover a range of activities in Les 3 Vallées. You can try a wide range of outdoor activities surrounded by legendary peaks in the seven resorts of the largest ski area in the world. The hardest part will be choosing where to start...