Pablo Vigil on the Early Days of Mountain Running & Lessons from 50 Years of Racing (Ep.117)

Pablo Vigil has been called the greatest mountain runner in the world. In the 1980s he was nearly unbeatable, winning the famous Sierre-Zinal four consecutive times. So on the Off The Couch Podcast, we talk to Pablo about the early days of mountain running; what has changed since then; why he thinks simplicity is still the key to training (and life); and much more.
Pablo Vigil

Pablo Vigil has been called the greatest mountain runner in the world. In the 1980s he was nearly unbeatable, winning the famous Sierre-Zinal four consecutive times – the most by any American before or since – and setting a course record in the process that stood for a decade. While the sport has changed quite a bit since then, Pablo’s passion for running is alive as it’s ever been. So we talk to Pablo about all of the above, including why he thinks simplicity is still the key to training (and life); what he hopes to impart on the next generation of mountain runners; how he ended up on a show with a young Kilian Jornet; and much more.

TOPICS & TIMES:

  • Pablo’s background (1:21)
  • Trail shoes in the 1970’s (4:48)
  • Sierre-Zinal (8:10)
  • US vs. European mountain running (14:16)
  • Running 3 Olympic Marathon Trials (20:16)
  • Why his wins at Sierre-Zinal are still so impressive (23:13)
  • How Pablo thinks he would have compared to current pros (28:08)
  • Linking up with Kilian Jornet (36:36)
  • A little life advice (41:31)

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1 comment on “Pablo Vigil on the Early Days of Mountain Running & Lessons from 50 Years of Racing (Ep.117)”

  1. What a great interview!

    Pablo mentions running against some British runners wearing modified soccer cleats. These were developed by a shoe maker named Norman Walsh who worked in Bolton for the company that would eventually become Reebok.

    The company still exists, producing shoes in the UK and are popular amongst Fell runners here (although inov8 now dominate the market). I have run in a pair & they’re very minimal, but pretty good (& about half the price of most modern running shoes).

    Anyone interested can learn more here:

    Also, the history of fell running in the UK is documented in a great book called: “Feet in the clouds” by British journalist Richard Askwith. Would be an excellent guest for the podcast.

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