Johanna Erhart - quite fast at the mountain

Come and meet Johanna Erhart - interview with a real power woman

We already interviewed the captain of the Zell Shipping Company, a male Porsche fan and the organiser of the Zell Film Festival; all of them very interesting men. But now it’s time to interview a real power woman for this blog. I have browsed through the event calendar of this year’s summer and found what I was looking for. The now legendary Großglockner Ultra Trail is staged again in Zell am See-Kaprun from 27 - 29 July 2018. And this is when it clicked. Do you know Johanna Erhart? The young and famous trail running talent from Salzburg who was able to celebrate some brilliant achievements in mountain races and her winter core discipline – ski mountaineering – in recent years? Well, you will know her soon!We already interviewed the captain of the Zell Shipping Company, a male Porsche fan and the organiser of the Zell Film Festival; all of them very interesting men. But now it’s time to interview a real power woman for this blog. I have browsed through the event calendar of this year’s summer and found what I was looking for. The now legendary Großglockner Ultra Trail is staged again in Zell am See-Kaprun from 27 - 29 July 2018. And this is when it clicked. Do you know Johanna Erhart? The young and famous trail running talent from Salzburg who was able to celebrate some brilliant achievements in mountain races and her winter core discipline – ski mountaineering – in recent years? Well, you will know her soon!


Very busy and always out and about

I meet Johanna on a Friday morning, apparently the only day when she has a bit of time. The everyday life of a DYNAFIT athlete future solicitor seems to be rather stuffed with training, studying, sponsors and uni. Johanna takes the time and tells me a lot about her life; how she discovered mountain sports and where her travels might take her next. The Großglockner Ultra Trail has been in this young athlete’s event calendar several times already, but more about that later.


Come and meet Johanna Erhart


Hang on, Johanna is not from Salzburg? No, she was born and bred in Schladming, but has been living in Salzburg for many years already. This is also the town where she is just about to successfully finish her law studies. As someone from Schladming, she was born with a passion for sports and initially also for skiing. Her parents have always been sporty ambitious; her father was a successful triathlete and influenced the leisure time of the entire family. Johanna knew early on that a career in alpine skiing is out of question. To her, the training and competitions are simply too one-sided.

from the start a heart for endurance sport

Johanna has been interested in triathlon even as a teenager. Her aim was to accomplish an Ironman at the age of 18. A goal she achieved later on. At the time, she attended the HIB Sports High School in Saalfelden and everything pointed to a talent in cross-country skiing. But she never quite liked the technique and her heart started to beat madly for ski mountaineering in the last year at school. Given the passion when she describes what a ski tour in the Salzburg Mountains means to her, she really doesn’t need to increase the pace on her way to the top. But she does it anyway and is really good at it as various participations in some cool races like Mountain Attack, Hochkönig Erztrophy or La Patrouille des Glaciers from Zermatt to Verbier prove. For Johanna, it simply can’t be steep, long and challenging enough.



UP TO 20 H TRAINING PER WEEK …

… are needed to be among the best in such competitions. Johanna herself says that there are days when she seems to have endless energy and trains extremely efficiently. The glacier at the Kitzsteinhorn becomes her second home in autumn. Starting in October, she trains there intensely for ski touring races. Johanna loves the training conditions in the Hohe Tauern, and she also runs various alpine trails here in summer. The fact that she is just about to finish her long and complex law studies, which must have been quite a task alongside training and events, makes Johanna such a special athlete. But she manages and is obviously quite good in balancing brain and lactate.

a day in the life of Johanna Erhart

The day starts with training in the morning; she simply can’t sit at uni all day without her daily dose of endurance sport. She likes to take her morning run in the nature surrounding the City of Salzburg. Unless a necessary power training session is on the agenda, you will hardly find her in a fitness centre. After uni and long hours of mental work, she is out and about outdoors again for her evening training session to end the day in fresh air and with a pleasant training heart rate. Johanna spends the weekends at the mountain and goes on mountain runs or you will find her on long extensive ski tours in beautiful nature in winter. This is where she gets the motivation and strength that make her faster than some of her competitors at the many competitions.



The trails around the Großglockner

… have become Johanna’s favourite especially in summer. The Großglockner Ultra Trail is a super event because the routes, the trails, the backdrop and the landscape are hard to beat. She has already run the route of the Weissee Gletscherwelt Trail across 30 km from Berghotel Rudolfshütte to Kaprun three times. The route here follows a beautiful trail across the Kapruner Törl. According to Johanna, from there you have an amazing view to the Kaprun High Mountain Reservoirs. The trail then leads slightly downhill into the valley to Kaprun. Johanna loves this selective route. “It is quite playful and you have to look out for as to where you are running to.” Johanna is not a big fan of uphill mountain runs where it is only straight uphill to the finish. She loves the alternating uphill and downhill passages, the play with the terrain and the rationing of energy and stamina.

and i got quite a few tips too:

When asked which distances she runs in training, Johanna replied: "No-one trains racing distances. This wouldn’t work. You have to train step by step for the challenge ahead." Her recommendation as balance to running: stability exercises for knees and joints. It will not work otherwise. "Get on the MFT board, on the Pezzi ball, on the slackline and build muscles in the knees." Also important for trail running is coordination and concentration. Johanna loves to run behind someone to train the movement on the trail. An early season start is important when it comes to ski mountaineering: nothing should keep you in the valley from October onwards. Out of the fog in the valley, uphill to the sun at the glacier and off to your training session. Johanna does not do any strength exercise – nature is just too beautiful for this.

Johanna Erhart is a real top athlete who already knows exactly what is needed in men-dominated endurance sports despite her young age. Her advice to all young girls out there: “Set your levels high and go for it. Don’t get disheartened and don’t let anyone tell you that something isn’t possible. If you are confident and rise above yourself, you will quickly surprise yourself!”

What wonderful words to end this interview, Johanna. Thank you so much for your time and the pleasant chat and we wish all the best for all your future sports performances and your work in the legal world!