In the third and final post of our 'Meet the Elites' blog series we asked Altra elite athlete, Gabriel Kriel, which Altras he prefers, how he fuels before a race and what peak training looks like for him.


Gabriel is best known for his phenomenal performances on the South African 100miler scene. With two wins at Addo (100M) and podiums at George MUT (100M), UTCT (100M) & Maxi Winelands (50M) it is clear he likes to run far and fast! His grit and determination to be the best in the business is an inspiration. When Gabriel isn't training for races he is planning his next big mountain expedition with his friend and coaching partner, Grobler Basson. Together they successfully set the first ever Namib Desert Crossing FKT in 2022. Gabriel is also a certified ultra running coach helping others to reach their miler goals. 




What shoes are currently in your rotation?

Mont Blanc and Olympus 5


Take us through a big race training week (when everything goes to plan)


- How many kms +-?

My big weeks before a miler:


- How many days are intervals vs LSD vs strength/gym?

Light strength work x2, 1x hill reps at top of aerobic threshold, 1x flat aerobic threshold run, the rest of the runs are all on trails, simulating the race, plenty of vert aim for 6000m elevation gain for the week.

Would try to hold that load for 2-3 weeks before recovery.

- How much mobility & stretching do you do? 

Not much, on bigger weeks like this, there is zero free time, you running twice a day, with full time job, family and we coach other athletes too, the only focus is training and sleeping as much as possible, optimising everything to be as effiecient as possible, to fit in training and recovery. 


Aside from the prerequisite compulsory equipment), what are the must-haves in your pack on race day?

Salt tablets, nausea pills and chaf cream. 

Do you run with poles? If so, which ones?

Leki Ultratrail FX.One Superlite        




What do you eat for breakfast on race day? 

Rice or oats 2 hours before the race


How long do you taper before a big race?

For a miler 2 weeks. 


What's your cramp-prevention strategy on long races?  

Salt tablets and making sure I drink enough fluids and preparing my legs for the terrain (e.g. doing enough vert in training to condition legs for race day).   


Biggest change you've made to your running lately?  

Now that my big race for this half of the year is done, I will focus on speed over the next few weeks then build up to high volumes as we get closer to the end of year races.

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