In the second of our 'Meet the Elites' blog series we asked Altra elite athlete, Grobler Basson, a series of questions to give us a better idea of how he prepares for races and what his go to Altra models are.


Grobler is a household name in the South African ultra running scene. With wins and course records at Mac Mac (100M), Maxi Winelands, SkyRun and Addo there is no denying that he is a force to be reckoned with on the trail running circuit. Not only is Grobler a fierce competitor on the racing scene, he is also a true mountain adventurer and has a passion for doing big mountain expeditions. Together with Altra elite athlete, Gabriel Kriel, they successfully executed the first ever Namib Desert Crossing FKT in 2022. Grobler is also a certified ultra running coach whereby he helps other trail runners reach their goals. 




What shoes are currently in your rotation?

I am a avid fan of the Mont Blancs and do most of my long mountain days and all my races in them. Then I mix it up with Lone Peaks, Timps and Superiors and on the track I use the Escalante. And then the Lone Peak Alpine for the office of course.


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


- How many kms +-?

Big race training week for 100km to 160km race:

Anything between 130-170km with 6000m - 7000m of elevation gain depending on the vert to km ratio of the race.

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

In big load weeks only one intensity session at lactate threshold with another two sessions at the top-end of zone 2. 

- How much mobility & stretching do you do?

One dedicated strength session and some 15-20min foam rolling and mobility sessions.


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

Emergency gel (for the bonk)   


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

Leki Ultratrail FX.One Superlite        



What do you eat for breakfast on race day? 

I eat basmati rice with some olive oil, avocado and a bit of soy sauce 2 hours before race, then I will have something like a banana or a bar with high carbs (sugar) content 25min before the race.


How long do you taper before a big race?

100miler two weeks, 100km 9 days, 50miler 7days, 42km 7days


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

Balanced nutrition a week before the race. Training with race nutrition. Try and replicate race conditions in long training runs. Have some cramp pills with you always.


Biggest change you've made to your running lately?

Starting to bring in more intensity / speed

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