Florian Neuschwander goes after 100 km treadmill world record: “My true skill is running quite fast for a long time”

Florian Neuschwander to attack World Record 100 km treadmill: "My true skill is running quite fast for a long time". (Photo: Instagram Florian Neuschwander)

After last weekend’s 100 km Hoka One One’s World Record attempt, tomorrow – Jan. 30, 2021 – we will get to see Germany’s Florian Neuschwander push his limits over this crazy distance. Adding to the impressiveness of Neuschwander’s attempt, though, is that he will run on a treadmill on Zwift.

In 2020 our own Editor in Chief Tim Moria ran 100 km and wrote a blow-by-blow account of that experience.

To claim the 100 km World Record on a treadmill, Neuschwander will have to be faster than 6 hours and 39 minutes. “100 km is a long time to run and, if you don’t have a good day, it’s very easy to quit, but I honestly think I can get under 6 hours and 30 minutes,” he told Zwift in an interview.

Neuschwander has been running for 23 years, starting with shorter distances, and even participated in the German Championship 10 km. But that wasn’t fulfilling enough, so Neuschwander pushed his boundaries. “Then I started road marathons,” he said. “I did my first one in Frankfurt in 2005, but I felt the distance wasn’t long enough for me. So, in 2011, I did my first ultra distance and realized I liked ultras more than the shorter, faster stuff.”

While Neuschwander did well over shorter distances, he felt like he only really reached his maximum potential when he increased the mileage: “I realized that the longer distances suited me better as my true skill was running quite fast for a very long time.”

Neuschwander has a good reason for taking on this challenge on a treadmill. “It’s a good project now that we’re all in lockdown,” he explains. “Athletes have to search for their own challenges, I want to keep fit, and I want to be ready for races when the pandemic is over.”

To be a good ultra runner, you need great stamina, but also speed. Even when running 5 or 10 km. “Look at all the really good guys like Jim Walmsley, Killian Jornet, Tom Evans – they can all run 5K in under 14 minutes. If you want to go for a fast 100K, you need to be able to do 10K in 30 minutes or even faster. I’m an ultra runner, but I still want to run fast over shorter distances. I recently did 30:09 in a 10K during training, so I think I’m still fast enough to go for a good 10K time.”

As Neuschwander will be running in Zwift, anyone can join virtually for parts of his attempt starting at 9 AM (CET). All you need to do is follow and add Neuschwander as a “favoritein Zwift.