I wake up and check my watch. It’s 4:03. I go to the bathroom, lie back down, but realize that I am awake, rested and excited. The alarm was set for 4:30 anyway so I decide to just get up and start the day a little earlier. It’s dark, it’s quiet and I feel ready. All the preparations are done and it’s time to execute.

Breakfast, sunscreen, water, re-adjusting the bib — finalizing the last details and then it’s off to the starting area of the race. It’s 6:15, there’s a calm excitement in the air. …


A muddy path during my run on Flumserberg.

I’ve shifted my sleeping schedule. The race kicks off at 6:30 so for this week I’m getting up at 5. It’s one of the final steps of preparation.

In the past 4 months I’ve spent more time on sports than at any other point in my life. In May and June I ran an average of 50 minutes per day. In July this went up to 1:20 hours. But it’s not just the running (and strength training) that takes time. Ultra running is about a lot more than physical fitness.

I got used to running with a hydration vest to…


View into the valley from the path towards Öhrligrueb

On Saturday, exactly 6 weeks before the Swiss Alps 100 race, I went for what I now recognize as my first real trail run.

I slept poorly the night before. It was partly the Italian fans celebrating their victory in the quarter finals with honking and wild cheering and partly the excitement about the day to come. I guess that it will be the same on race day, so I tried to view it as a good preparation.

I woke up at 5 am, stayed in bed until 6:15 and then got up, ate breakfast and put the final things…


The view from Etzel during one of my last long runs before the break.

Back in my first post I was wondering whether “maybe I’ll just ramp up distances carefully without too much effort until I’m ready and it won’t be as grueling as so many stories about ultra running make it out to be.” That worked pretty well all the way to the end of December. I was doing 50k a week with beautiful long runs on Sundays. …


Running uphill is hard. I’ve heard talk from and about elite ultra-runners that “float” up the mountains, but for me it’s far from effortless and it takes away some of the ease and joy. It requires a very different mindset. It requires you to be ok with walking, when it doesn’t make sense to run anymore. I am ok with it — but it’s not really fun.

When I think about the race in August, the thing that scares me “least” is the distance of 50km. What scares me more is the nearly 3000m of elevation gain. …


Sunrise at the Zürisee above Richterswil during a morning run.

I still have not reached the half-marathon distance. I was so excited when my quarantine was over and I went back out to run. But it turns out doing nothing for a week is a little too much rest. Instead of feeling strong and fast, I felt slow and tired. In addition to that my knees felt a little uncomfortable afterwards.

I gave it another try two days later and again it didn’t feel great. I came home frustrated and picked up the 80/20 running book from the shelf. …


View of Lake Zurich during my long run

Today is Sunday and I had planned to finish my four months training cycle with a half-marathon. Alas, Dorela and I were in close contact with a friend last Saturday who since then tested positive for Covid-19. Although we’re feeling fine and the Swiss authorities have yet to contact us, we are quarantining until Tuesday. So instead of reaching the 21k milestone and enjoying the autumn weather, I took the opportunity to write another post.

At the end of September, we moved from the city of Zurich to the charming old town center of Richterswil, right by the Lake Zurich…


Two days ago Dorela and I had dinner with a couple of friends. We were talking about exercise and running and I kept saying that it’s important to keep the purpose of exercising in mind. They finally asked: “So why do you run?” “Because I really enjoy it”, I said. And they looked like they couldn’t quite believe me.

It’s the truth though: I enjoy most of my runs for most of their duration. There are many different reasons for this, but I’ll start by describing today’s long run. I started out aiming for around 18k of mostly flat terrain…


This morning I got up at 7:30, had a quick and light breakfast of overnight oats, banana, chia seeds, soy milk and oat-yoghurt, drank an espresso and was out the door by 8:20. Although it’s mid-September, the forecast for today was 28°C and I wanted to use the cooler morning hours for one of the most cherished parts of running training: The weekly long run.

During the week, my runs are at most 40 or 45 minutes long, often shorter. It’s a great way to get away from work, enjoy fresh air and whatever weather is around and blow off…


I signed up. The goal post is set: 50k with 2800m of elevation gain at the Swiss Alps 100 on August 14, 2021.

I first got excited about a “running project” when Eliud Kipchoge broke the 2 hour mark for a marathon in October 2019. I thought that the equivalent for me would be to run a half marathon in under 90 minutes. I chose my 30th birthday, 8 months later, as the deadline and called the project “Sub 90 Before 30”. I got super excited, ordered three books about running and started training more regularly. Then I made the…

Simon Möller

I’m a hobby runner, living in Switzerland and trying to make it to my first 50k mountain race.

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