An interview with Aleksandr Sorokin about his world record race at Spartanion 2022 – iRunFar

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Last week the Lithuanian ultrarunner Alexandre sorokin set two new world records for 100 miles and 12 hours in 2022 Spartanion race in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Running at an outrageous average pace of 6:32 minutes per mile (4:04 minutes per mile) for 12 hours, Sorokin set a new world record of 100 miles in 10 hours, 51 minutes, and 39 seconds, as well as a new 12-hour world record by covering 110.24 miles (177.41 kilometers).

This effort breaks its own previous world records of 11:14:56 for 100 miles of about 22 minutes and 105.825 miles (170.309 kilometers) for 12 hours of about 4.4 miles (about 7 kilometers). Sorokin’s latest records have yet to be confirmed at the time of this article’s publication.

In this interview, we talk with Sorokin about that performance, the changes over the last year of his life that saw him set five ultramarathon world records, and what he plans for the rest of his life. 2022.

To learn more, you can also read our news article on Sorokin’s efforts.

iRunFar: Congratulations on your 100 mile and 12 hour world records! In the past 10 months you have set five world records, twice each for 100 miles and 12 hours, and also for 24 hours. (Read more about his 24-hour world record in 2021 with our press article and interview.) What feelings and thoughts do you have about this accomplishment? You said you had so many emotions that you couldn’t sleep the night after your performance!

Alexandre sorokin: Emotions are very good, especially when you accomplish your plan. The previous 100 mile and 12 hour world records were lower than the 24 hour record, so I had a plan to improve them. I started to think that if you want to run faster you have to work more than 100%. After the race there were of course emotions of joy that kept me awake at night, plus the pain in my legs; I couldn’t fall asleep because of it.

iRunFar: Explain to us your decision to tackle this effort. How did you decide to get to the Spartanion event in Israel? How much did you think you could improve your performance compared to last April in Centurion 100 mile race track In England? (You can also read our press article and our interview with Sorokin about this race.)

Aleksandr Sorokin at the start of the day during Spartanion 2022. Photo: Tomer Feder / Sports photography

Sorokin: In fact, the plan to run in January came unexpectedly. I have sponsors and I had to work for them; my friend suggested finding a run in the winter. I had the choice between three options: [races in the] United States, Israel or Taipei. We chose Israel. As I mentioned before, these records were lower so I decided to improve them. The preparation was better, I felt stronger than last spring, so I hoped to improve the result.

iRunFar: How has your education changed over the past year? When we interviewed you last April after Centurion, you highlighted your experience of running as an adult for recreation and health and then your massive improvement in Centurion due to your non-work during the pandemic of COVID-19. What do you attribute your earnings from last year to since? Are you running more? Train differently? Do cross training and other exercises?

Sorokin: These are the main factors that have influenced [my improvement]: I became a professional [runner], I was able to spend more time training, and I gradually increased my workload. Also, I had a trainer from Poland, Mr. Sebastian Białobrzeski. Not much has changed since the spring record, just that I can spend more time running.

iRunFar: Can you tell us what a training week was like in your prime before Spartanion? Say, maybe five weeks before the race?

Sorokin: [I run] 200 to 300 kilometers each week, three long runs, two interval sessions, gym sessions several times a week, and sometimes [I go to the] Bowl. Everything else was mostly salvage races.

iRunFar: When you started Spartanion, did you start racing with specific time or pace goals?

Sorokin: I didn’t set any goals, I just wanted to run a little faster than in England. I pushed too hard at the start, so I suffered at the end.

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Aleksandr Sorokin lay down next to the course after completing the 12-hour race, waiting for race officials to measure his exact distance. Photo: Tomer Feder / Sports photography

iRunFar: How did the first 80k go for you? How did you feel How was your pace? Did you have a crew to help you? How did you refuel? It seemed from your splits that maybe you were trying to walk around 6:20 minutes per mile or 3:45 minutes per mile for as long as possible?

Sorokin: For the first 80k, I ran too fast; I knew it, but there was nothing I could do. I didn’t have a goal of running at a certain pace, I was just trying to have fun running. My refueling plan was something like this: Drink 250 milliliters of fluid every 30 minutes and get 200 calories out of it. My [crew] helped me a lot. I met him just before my flight; he is also named Alexander. I am very grateful to him for all his help and support during the race.

iRunFar: You spoke in our previous interviews about how you expect and accept the discomfort of working so hard in these endeavors. When did the discomfort start? When did it take a lot of effort to focus on the pain?

Sorokin: As I mentioned before, I was a little too fast at the beginning, which made me suffer at the end. The last two or three hours have been very hard. But I knew it would be over soon, and it gave me the strength to move on. In addition, it is much easier to operate 12 hours than 24 hours. What helped me a lot were the thoughts on my wife, my friends and the fact that all of Lithuania was supporting me.

iRunFar: Based on your split time data, it looks like you pushed hard enough for the last five kilometers before hitting the 100 mile mark. Can you tell us what was going on in those kilometers? Have you tried to take the rating as low as possible?

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Aleksandr Sorokin accepts his prize for the 12 hour race at Spartanion 2022. Photo: Tomer Feder / Sports photography

Sorokin: Actually, I wasn’t trying to run any differently, maybe it’s just something on your mind, that when you approach the 50k, 100k, and 100 mile marks you want to go through them faster, so when you get approach it, you increase your speed.

iRunFarQ .: What was it like setting the 100 mile world record at 10 hours and 51 minutes and then having another 70 minutes to run for the 12 hour world record? How do you convince your mind and body to keep going?

Sorokin: It was harder to do in England, because I was only going to run 100 miles, but the race organizers suggested that I run further. This time, I had planned to run the entire 12 hours; 100 miles was just a division [in the race].

iRunFar: In the end, you ran for 12 hours, you stopped on the course, the officials marked and measured your end point, and you sat there, waiting for the official distance to be measured. Can you share your thoughts and feelings at this time?

Sorokin: It was a moment of happiness and joy, because the work was already done. I could relax and didn’t have to think about running, I could lay back and enjoy the victory. It was one of the best times.

iRunFar: What will your recovery look like in the coming weeks?

Sorokin: I will watch my body now and he will tell me when can I start preparing again. It will take about a week or two. I don’t plan on doing anything special about it, maybe I’ll limit myself to food less and go to the sauna.

iRunFar: What are your racing plans for 2022?

Sorokin: I don’t have a precise plan yet. The pandemic continues to change it anyway. I think the main start will be IAU 24 Hour European Championships. Maybe I will participate in some races in the spring and summer.

iRunFar: Congratulations again, Sania!

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Aleksandr Sorokin at the Spartanion 2022 awards ceremony where he set 100 mile and 12 hour world records. Photo: Tomer Feder / Sports photography

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