11 QUESTIONS TO ULTRA-RUNNER JOHANNES KLEIN
Johannes Klein is a German ultra runner. Johannes – better known as Jojo – defines himself as an “Alpinist that loves to run”. Coming from classic alpinism and hiking, Jojo has trail-hunted all paths of his beloved Oberstdorf mountains – and he hasn’t stopped there!
In 2017, Jojo ran up to the top of the Mont Blanc. Since then, he is always on the look for new trails, the next one being Trail World Championship in Spain. By exercising intensively, Johannes represents an additional shape of endurance, where a good mix between enjoying life and working with discipline help him reach his goals.
Jojo says that his motivation comes from coping with new challenges – but we secretly suspect that he wants to make sure to burn all the calories he gets from eating chocolate, his favorite treat.
With his positive mindset, Johannes is bringing our DANISH ENDURANCE compression socks on every peak that he hasn’t discovered yet.
Check out the interview below!
1. You are a passionate and very successful trail runner – how did your passion for ultra-running evolve?
Since I come from the classic alpinism and hiking sports, I have been used to going on long tours in the mountains since my youth. This way I have learned to spend a lot of time outdoors and take in a special atmosphere in nature. Accordingly, long runs in the mountains are very similar to a quick mountain hike for me.
2. What does your daily training schedule look like in preparation for your big runs?
Although I train according to a training plan, this still gives me enough flexibility to spontaneously do something else or just take advantage of good weather. In addition, variety is very important to me. Exercising on different pulse levels, not neglecting strength training, as well as incorporating other sports, such as race cycling and cross-country skiing, are all key factors in my training.
3. What motivates you to train so hard?
Honestly, I’m not sure. I just like to feel my body, especially in intense phases, when the pulse is extremely high, or the muscles are under high stress. Looking into challenges and coping with them as well as possible motivates me tremendously and gives me a lot of self-confidence and balance for my everyday life.
4. One big event you are currently training for is the Trailrun World Championships in Spain this year. Are there any other running events you will participate in?
Definitely – it is my plan to compete on the marathon distance in March or April, but have not decided on any specific events yet.
5. What has been your favorite running trail so far?
That’s the beauty of my sport – I really like running everywhere. Of course, I love running in the mountains and always like to gain some altitude, but completely flat parts of a trail are also appealing to me. I already have a favorite mountain, the so-called Höfats, a uniquely beautiful mountain high above my hometown Oberstdorf.
6. We heard of your recent journey storming the summit of Mont Blanc. Are there any plans for new adventures?
That’s right, at the end of September I had a dream come true and “jumped” onto the Mont Blanc. I still have so many plans for new adventures. These projects are a big motivation for me, in addition to the competitions, to continue to train and stay fit. There are still many mountains and peaks out there that only wait for me and want to be discovered – you will certainly hear from some more of my adventures in the future.
7. Are you currently practicing any sports other than running or have you previously participated in any other sports?
I’m a typical German boy and played at my local football club, FC Oberstdorf for a few years. In addition, I think badminton is a great sport. Unfortunately, I find too little time to practice it.
As a balance to running, I have discovered race cycling and in the winter I also try to get back on my cross-country skis. Otherwise, I just love to spend time outdoors, like relaxing in the mountains with friends or family while hiking or just going for a walk.
8. What do you do when you are not running?
Look what the fridge offers and eat chocolate ?. In addition, I like to meet people who are important to me for a nice cup of coffee …
9. You often run in our DANISH ENDURANCE stockings. Which is your favorite product and why?
That’s right and I do not just run in your socks but also wear them in my free time and to regenerate. That’s why I do not have a favorite product. I just like your entire offer, which completely covers my claims as an athlete. But if I want to highlight a product, then it is certainly the compression socks, which have already accompanied me reliably on some ultra runs.
10. As a competitive athlete, you certainly have to be very disciplined. What is your biggest vice?
Haha, definitely chocolate. Here I have to be careful again and again that I do not fall into a “food craze”. Then, instead of altitude, I collect calories. The good thing is, that as an endurance athlete you easily burn off those calories again!
11. Any tips for our DANISH ENDURANCE community on how to stay fit and healthy as an athlete?
Here, I think the principle that holds for most things in life applies: If something drives you and motivates you, everything in life is possible. My experience with sports has proven this to me in the past and it is confirmed almost every day. When you are motivated, discipline and even renunciation in certain situations come automatically. I have learned not to strain myself too much, and sometimes just to enjoy life and kick over the traces. Listen to your body and occasionally give your mind some space, then the fun will always be guaranteed and your soul will thank you. #moremilesmorecalories