We chat to ASICS Trail Runner Robbie Rorich, who, with one race to come (on Saturday 16 September) has won 3 out of 3 so far of the SA Skyrunning Cup Race.
What drives and motivates you to consistently perform at your best in the final race of the series, especially when you've already won three of them?
From a young age, my passion for running and racing has been unwavering. It's about tuning out external voices and opinions and reconnecting with my inner self.
Additionally, I had a transformative experience when I spent a week on my mom's land in the Northern Cape, just before the first skyrace, while fasting. This period of reflection deepened my commitment to fast-paced mountain running. It's a significant driving force behind my continued participation.
Can you share some insights into your training and preparation routine? How do you ensure you're physically and mentally prepared for each race?
My training regimen includes core exercises almost daily because I recognise the pivotal role our core plays in our body's functionality. Surprisingly, running doesn't rely heavily on muscles, but rather on core strength.
After the Cape Town Skyrace, I had the opportunity to run in Kenya for a week, which provided invaluable insights into efficient running techniques. The collective energy and mindset of running and pushing our limits as a group was truly enlightening.
Yoga has also played a crucial role in my preparation, helping me release any unnecessary physical and mental baggage.
In a long series like this, how do you keep your enthusiasm and passion for trail running alive? What mental strategies do you use to stay excited and motivated?
Maintaining enthusiasm throughout a lengthy series can be challenging. To be honest, I wish every year could be as eventful as this one. My passion for running in the mountains keeps me going – it's an enduring love affair!
Participating in one race every two weeks only accounts for about 10% of my mountain running time, so I never feel overwhelmed.
How do you balance the need for rest and recovery with the continuous training required to stay competitive throughout the series?
Restful sleep is crucial for me, and I find that avoiding coffee allows me to enjoy deep, restorative sleep. Meditation before bedtime also aids in achieving a profound state of rest.
I believe our perception of rest and the effects of racing are often misconstrued or outdated. Personally, I've always felt invigorated rather than depleted after races.
In particular, during this series, I've explored receiving energy from running rather than expending it. Running seems to align our natural frequencies with the Earth's, creating a resonance that infuses us with energy. It's about allowing this energy to flow through us, particularly in our major muscle groups like the glutes, without causing harm or fatigue.
In essence, when we reach this state, our bodies become conduits, directly connected to the Earth's core and, in turn, the cosmos and source of energy. In this heightened state, we derive sustenance from light, transcending the need for traditional fuel like bananas. The key lies in physically embodying this accessible light.
It may sound complex, but it can be experienced in various ways. Running is just one of the paths to this realization. Remarkably, this connection with the Earth's energy is most profound during downhill runs, and I'm eager to explore how it manifests during uphill challenges as well. Only time will tell.