Chasing the clock: the challenge of an FKT

For runners, the thrill of pushing personal limits and embarking on new challenges is part of the sport’s allure. One such challenge that has gained immense popularity in recent years is the pursuit of an FKT, or Fastest Known Time.

An FKT represents the fastest time a runner has completed a specific route or trail, making it a test of both speed and endurance. In this post, we’ll explore the world of FKTs, what they entail, and what you should consider before taking on this ultimate running challenge.

What is an FKT?

A Fastest Known Time is a record set by a runner for completing a specific route or trail faster than anyone else known to have attempted it.

FKTs can range from short, intense sprints to gruelling long-distance endeavours that traverse rugged terrains and wild landscapes.

They’ve gained popularity thanks to GPS technology, which allows runners to document their routes and times, and social media platforms, where they can share their achievements with the running community. is a comprehensive database of FKTs, with searchable results by location, distance, and route. It also features reviews of past attempts, providing valuable insights for runners planning their own FKTs.

But before you begin an FKT

Before you set off on your FKT adventure, it’s important to consider the following.

Choose the right route

Select a route that suits your running strengths and preferences. It could be a local trail, a challenging mountain route, or a road-based FKT. Research the route thoroughly, including its distance, elevation gain, terrain, and any logistical considerations.


Preparing for an FKT is not to be taken lightly. It may require weeks of dedicated training, both in terms of mileage and elevation. Be sure to incorporate speed work, endurance training, and hill repeats into your schedule. If you have any questions or need help with your training, please feel free to contact me.

Safety first

Safety should always be a top priority. Inform someone you trust about your plans, share your expected return time, and carry essential safety gear such as water, food, first-aid supplies, and navigation tools. Assess the environmental conditions and potential risks, and be prepared to turn back if necessary.

Nutrition and hydration

Proper nutrition and hydration are critical for any FKT attempt. Plan your fuelling strategy carefully, and consider factors like water sources along the route and whether you need to carry your supplies.


Choose a suitable time for your FKT attempt, taking into account weather conditions and daylight hours. Running in extreme weather or darkness can significantly increase the risks.

Leave no trace

Respect the environment and follow the principles of “leave no trace.” Stay on established trails, avoid disturbing wildlife, and carry out all trash.

Permits and restrictions

Check if your chosen route requires permits or follows specific regulations. Respect all rules and guidelines to ensure a responsible and ethical FKT attempt.

Document your attempt

Use a GPS device or smartphone app to track your route and time. Having a reliable record is essential for verifying your FKT attempt.

Support crew

Depending on the route’s difficulty and distance, consider whether you need a support crew to provide assistance, supplies, and motivation along the way.


Mental toughness plays a significant role in completing an FKT. Prepare yourself mentally for the inevitable challenges and moments of doubt. Visualise your success and stay focused on your goal.


Running an FKT is not just a test of speed and endurance; it’s a journey of self-discovery and pushing your limits.

While it can be a demanding and exhilarating endeavour, it’s essential to approach it with careful planning and a strong sense of responsibility. Choosing the right route, prioritising safety, and dedicating yourself to training are crucial steps toward a successful FKT attempt.

Remember, an FKT is not just about the destination; it’s about the adventure, the challenge, and the satisfaction of knowing you gave it your all. So, lace up your running shoes, embrace the journey, and chase your Fastest Known Time.

Picture of Dan Cross

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