Fr Antoine Charvolin

A young up-and-comer on the trail scene, Antoine Charvolin is one to watch. He was the winner of the 2017 Young Trail Challenge and runner-up of the 2019 Trail des Aiguilles Rouges. Not only quick on the trails, Antoine is currently studying engineering in Grenoble, France.

 

Why running and how did you get started?

 

I’ve always been passionate about the mountains. When I was very young, I often went walking, climbing and bivouacking. However, I didn’t start competing until later. First in high school with cross-country skiing and after my studies (from 15 to 21 years old). I really liked the rigorous training and enjoyed seeing how my body adjusted and progressed over the years, months and weeks.

 

For cross-country skiing we did a lot of mountain running, but it wasn’t until last year that I decided to devote myself exclusively to trail running – and I don’t plan to stop soon. For the summer of 2021, I will aim for the general classification of the Golden Trail World Series.

 

On days where you might not feel like training, what inspires you to get out there?

 

Even though I crave it three quarters of the time, it's not always a pleasure to workout: some sessions are mentally harder than others.

 

To motivate myself I think of the reasons that push me to train: my love for the mountains and my great memories in competition. I also know that each training session will allow me to progress, so I focus on my goals.  

 

I like the changing of the seasons and how the landscape takes on a different feel. When it rains, I enjoy the sound of the drops on my Weather Jacket and being able to run through the puddles. When the weather is nice, I like to feel the heat of the sun and take in the mountain views.

 

Can you tell us about a race that taught you a few lessons in this sport?

 

The 2019 French Trail Championships taught me that in our sport (endurance) you first have to fight against yourself without comparing yourself to others. The race started very fast, but I managed not to panic, listening to my body without worrying about the other runners. Eventually, the ones that started too fast ended up tiring quickly and I spent the second half of the race catching up. I ended up in front of athletes I never thought I could beat.

 

You shouldn't run with the result in mind but live every moment of the competition right now.

 

Do you have a special pre-race ritual? 

 

I mostly have my habits throughout the week leading up to the race. The day before, I think the job is done and try to focus on the present moment without projecting too much.

 

So, the day before a race, my ritual is not to have any. I like to adapt according to the people I am with. I don't lock myself in a pressure bubble and enjoy my time with friends, without thinking only about the deadline. If I am still tense despite my best efforts, I like to rest for 30 minutes and do a little meditation to help relieve any stress.

               

 

Is nutrition a big focus for you? And, what would you say is your go-to meal after a tough run?

 

For me nutrition is a very important factor when it comes to performance. My dad was very good at eating a balanced diet, so I was brought up enjoying vegetables and healthy food. Some would say that I am a bit of a "monk", but I enjoy eating nutrient-dense foods and think that this routine helps me to stay injury-free.

 

I spend a lot of time cooking. I think my favorite meal (with or without hard workouts) would be hummus with a big slice of homemade quiche. And chocolate!

 

What are your top tips for a speedy recovery after training?

 

After a workout, I think it's important to eat as quickly as possible. This ensures the body recovers well. If time allows, I also recommend doing Compex, massages and stretching to help the muscles and mind relax.

 

Who is your “team”?

 

The On family! For two years now, I have enjoyed the atmosphere of the group. It’s not all about the results, but first and foremost a passion for nature and sports. I believe that this pressure-free atmosphere can only lead to growth and performance in the long term. I also stay close to my old cross-country ski team – a good bunch of friends.

 

What was the best piece of running advice you ever received?

 

Crazy downhill lessons from Nicolas Perrier, my first club coach:

Don’t progress too quickly, give your body time to evolve at its own pace.

    

Apart from running, what are your passions?  

  

As I said, I love the mountains in general: bivouacs, skiing and cycling. I am also a music lover and for seven years I played trombone, learned music theory and was in orchestra. For a while a did circus school and I’m a qualified sailing assistant instructor. I also like to read – classics and Spirou comics.

 

Finally, why On? 

 

I like the spirit of the brand. The aesthetic products and minimalistic style aid my state of mind when I head for the mountains. I like to stick to the essentials.     

Antoine’s Favorite Apparel Piece
“The Race Short, the feeling of running with nothing. I feel light and free.”
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