Stevie’s racing outfit changes as seasons pass and her ever present smile and white pearl earrings can easily fool anyone into thinking that she’s not a force to be reckoned with. In reality though, they will quickly be surprised.
After somehow not having interviewed Stevie yet, I emailed her with a request just as she was packing for a trip. She kindly agreed, so we are all fortunate to have her share some of her training methods and thoughts on life as a working pro.
Enter Stevie Kremer
Q: Summer is here and you are back to trail running racing. How was your recent trip for a Sky Ultra to Madeira?
My time in Portugal was incredible! Madeira is absolutely beautiful and the people are so friendly and welcoming. As for the terrain and trails – they are insane! Technical, steep, yet fun and adventurous!
Q: What are your goals for 2015?
I would like to continue to travel and compete in new mountain races around the World.
Q: Every winter, you compete in a number of skimo races but mostly in the US. As fast as you are, aren’t you attracted to compete in Europe?
I would love to compete more in Europe, but because of my work schedule, it is difficult to travel that far. If I can make it work, I definitely would, and will!
Q: How long have you been trail running and ski mountaineering? What attracted you to start racing as well?
I have been competitively running for about 4 years now. Although I competed in some smaller mountain and trail races a few years prior to that, I didn’t get really competitive until the summer of 2011. In regards to ski mountaineering, I have been competing for 5 years.
Q: You are a teacher but also a Salomon Team athlete. What else defines you? What else would you like to try or do in the future?
Honestly, I would like to continue running and skiing forever 😉 But in between, I would really like to introduce a family to this world 🙂
Q: Today, the North American trail community appears to be obsessed with ultras, the longer the better. You seem to prefer Skyrunning and mountain running races over other the longer events. Is it because you like more technical trails or because racing 10+ hours does not appeal to you as much?
I do not like running more than 5 hours! I will compete in something around 6h if it’s an appealing course (not too much technical downhill 😉 ) but typically 4-5 hours is the maximum I like to run!
Q: Do you have any plans to run in one of the iconic ultras at some point, like Western States 100 or Hard Rock 100?
I have so much respect for those athletes running these incredible distances and times, but I have no desire to ever do one.
Q: You won the overall Skyrunner series titles in 2013 and 2014, and a combined title at the 2014 Skyrunning World Championships in Chamonix. Did you live in Europe during those two seasons or were you mostly “commuting” from Colorado?
I lived in Europe (Italy) for the 2012-2013 year to teach at an International school, and moved back to Colorado in August of 2013. I have traveled for races since then, but have lived in Colorado.
Q: Do you have a coach?
Q: Do you follow a strict training schedule or do you “freestyle” mostly?
I “freestyle” mostly. I just love to run on trails in the mountains, and I think if I had a schedule I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. Don’t get me wrong, there is some routine to my running, for example I run every morning before school at 5:00 am, but I never know exactly what I will be running, etc.
Here is a short 5min video about Stevie’s life and how she spend’s her days.
Interview continues below.
Q: Do you train with a heart-rate monitor or by feel?
Q: How does your summer training month looks like? What kind of sessions do you do? How many hours in total?
A typical “work day” for me is to get up a little bit before 5:00 am, go for about an hour run, I am back by 6:15. Then I get ready for teaching and I am at work (school) at 7:15 am. School ends around 4:00 pm, so I’m typically back on the trails by 4:30 pm until about 5:30/6:00 pm.
Q: Do you run year-round or do you fully switch to skis for couple of months like Kilian Jornet usually does?
For the most part, I switch sports when the snow starts falling. But I am never 100% done with running. In the winter months, I probably run 2 hours per week, not more.
Q: Do you run your high intensity interval sessions on smooth surfaces and non-technical trails so you can go full gas the whole interval, or do you run them on technical trails like you encounter in Skyraces?
I don’t do much high intensity stuff, but when I do, I incorporate them on the trails. I’ll set out for a typical trail run and in between add some speed work for a few minutes.
Q: How do you practice downhills? Obviously you run down, but do you just continuously run or do you break it up into shorter intervals at maximum speed, with breaks in between?
No, but I should DEFINITELY do more speed work on the downhill!
Q: What other sports do you practice besides running and ski mountaineering?
I like to play tennis and golf 🙂 And in the winter, I like to downhill ski too!
Q: Do you focus any part of the year on strength training? If yes, what kind of exercises do you focus on?
No, but I should work more on my arms and my core. I try to do something once a week, but it doesn’t always happen.
Q: For recovery, do you frequently seek a massage? How much do you sleep?
No, I never get massages. I try to sleep about 7 hours per night.
Q: Do you follow any distinctive diet – vegan, paleo, vegetarian, KFC…?
No, I try to eat healthy though.
Q: What mistakes did you do at the beginning when you started training? What should others pay attention to?
I think the most important thing to do in training (something I need to do more of) is speed work. Speed work is so essential to becoming a faster runner, I think at least 🙂
Thank you very much to Stevie for taking time to provide us with answers and I hope you enjoyed it as much as me.