Ivan Radev @Lavaredo Ultra-Trail 2023

OUT 2024 #Runnersstories Ivan Radev - Macedonia

You need the motivation to keep trail running? Be inspired and join Ivan Radev at the starting line of Ohrid Ultra-Trail next edition in May 2024. 

OUT: Please introduce yourself to our followers.

Hello everyone, my name is Ivan Radev and I’m a 28 years old ultra/trail runner from Macedonia. 

OUT: How long have you been running/trail running? (why do you run)

I started running back in 2019, and the following year was the first time I got into trail running.

It all started as a way to lose a couple of kilos, but as time went by it became much more than just a physical exercise, especially once I got into trail running, exploring the less known surroundings, the raw beauty of nature and the simplicity of it.

Today I find my ‘why?’ in the everyday grinding, digging and striving for a better version of myself, mental clarity and building a tougher character, being one with nature as much as possible, disconnecting from the everyday struggles and of course personal growth.

OUT: What do you enjoy most about trail running?

Trail/ultra running for me, aside from being the rawest and purest of sports, is also a great way to find out more about our surroundings. Personally, I think I’ve learned a lot about life in general through the sport. It’s humbling. You get what you’ve worked for.

Ivan Radev @Lavaredo Ultra-Trail 2023

OUT: Do you have a memorable running experience/story to share with us? (or your biggest achievement)

My first Ultra was Ohrid Ultra-Trail in 2021 and being able to finish on the podium was really rewarding, so the race will always have a special place in my heart. Ever since that first time, it sort of became a personal project that I would do absolutely everything I can and try to improve as much as possible.

OUT 2022 was a DNF that I’m personally really grateful for. Having a direct encounter with a bear while leading the race at the point led to a mental breakdown which resulted with me throwing in the towel at the halfway point and sort of kicking a rock to the finish in a little pity-party.

I’m not from the mountains, everything’s not just common sense to me, but at the same time I don’t think anything of it is not learnable.

Looking back today, I wish I did race it in. But at the same time it was a rare situation where I got to see how easily all the previous hard work could be thrown away if you’re not mentally prepared for obstacles during the race, low points and not everything working out as you’d hope for.

OUT 2023 was the most memorable one for me because I got the chance to improve on the past mistakes, and coming out as 1st was really rewarding. 

OUT: How do you stay motivated when the going gets tough?

It’s supposed to be tough. No matter what we do, if you want to find out your boundaries, you have to suffer for it.

I don’t like feeling comfortable on race day. It makes me feel like I'm underperforming every single time. The places where we really grow are the ones that keep kicking us in the teeth over and over again.

OUT: What are your top three "little things" that you do to prevent injury?

Personally I’ve found myself not doing much else other than running. So I think that the preparation, consistency and listening to our bodies are the main things that will ultimately do us the most favor.

Getting used to high mileage, a lot of time on our feet, balancing nutrition are the things that I feel are the ones that matter (to me) the most.

OUT: If you could give a single piece of advice to less experienced trail runners what would it be?

Run everyday, don’t read too much online and find your own formula. Set your biggest goal possible and work for it little by little.  Don’t avoid failure, it’s all part of the game and it’s what we need to adapt better. And yes, don’t chicken out on bears ☺

Ivan Radev @Ohrid Ultra-Trail 2022

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