Daan Coenen – Ultra Trail Runner

The running blog > Preparing for the Alsace

Preparing for the Alsace

February 25th, 2024

I booked a training week in the Alsace, preparing for the UTMB Alsace 100-mile race.

My first 100 mile race

I have been running ultra’s for a little more than a year now, and had a goal in mind for a long time; run a 100-mile race. I found the UTMB Alsace trail online and decided it was the perfect 100 miler for me due to its quite doable elevation (which is 6500 meters) in 175 km’s. I’m quite familiar with the terrain of that area. I ran a lot in Luxembourg and the south of Belgium, so I am not expecting a lot of difficulties with that. Leading up to this race in May, I decided it was a good idea to plan a week of intense training in the same area, so I did!


Looking for a place to stay, I kept the same town as my race stay, which is Obernai. A small French town located in the north-east of the Alsace. I’ve rented an Airbnb, so I can make my own food, which I will need a lot of. As I mentioned, Obernai will also be the town where I will be staying during my race in May. We will be running from Colmar all the way to Obernai, so that sounded to me like the best place to stay.


As I am tapering right now like a massive race is a bout to start, I will be running a lot in the Alsace. I am planning on running at least the same amount of km’s in a week there as I will be running in the race. I looked up some amazing routes, some short ones, some long ones and decided I will be running two ultra distances.

Now as what I am used to doing in my normal schedule will not apply for my week in Obernai. The training in the French region will be slow, very slow! I will walk all the uphills, and take walking breaks, since I expect this to happen in my race also.

Really, the goal is to prepare the best I can for moments in the actual race. I will be sharing a lot on future blogs about my week, including routes and my thoughts of them.


I am not alone that week, I will be training a lot with my friend Max, who started trail running half a year ago also making it a holiday! One of my other friends who lives in Strasbourg will also come by for a few days, which will make the experience even more fun!