Training for the Running of the Bulls®
The majority of people who participate in the world-famous Pamplona bull runs are doing so for the very first time. If you’re planning the ultimate bucket-list adventure, you’ll want sound guidance from people who have run the gauntlet many times and lived to tell the tale. Running with the bulls is inherently dangerous and dozens of people are injured each year. For your safety, it is therefore crucial to get advice from veteran bull runners.
Without a doubt, it is the lack of preparedness and general knowledge that fouls up the novice. The jury is out on what kind of Pamplona Bull Runner Training is most useful. Some say it is critical to be in top physical form, while others say that strategy and awareness are the only thing that matters. Regardless of who is right, it’s important to educate yourself and follow the Official Rules for the bull run.
You can improve your overall safety at the Running of the Bulls by making sure you’re well-rested, in good health and mentally prepared for the challenge. If your priorities focus heavily on late-night partying, think twice before embarking on this dance with death.
Here at Running of the Bulls®, we are currently interviewing the best bull runners from around the world to give you insights into their training regimen. Many of these tips can be found in this informative documentary featuring some of the most authoritative speakers on the subject of training and safety at the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona.
Get to know the Running of the Bulls Course
Most seasoned runners, called mozos, agree that strategy and timing outweigh physical prowess when it comes to safely participating in the encierros, or bull runs. The bull run course is relatively short, spanning less than half a mile through the winding, cobblestone streets of Pamplona’s Old Quarter.
At first glance, the Running of the Bulls course map looks simple. The route snakes along three primary streets: Calle Santo Domingo, Calle Mercaderes and Calle Estafeta before channeling into the Plaza del Toros where the animals will be fought that evening.
After singing a blessing for San Fermin, runners are forced to navigate uneven terrain, treacherous curves and other hazards at break-neck speeds while avoiding injury. Experts may choose to run the more dangerous sections of the course (such as Dead Man’s Corner), whereas beginners should stick to easier portions, where risks of being harmed are marginally lower.
Learn how to run with the bulls
The organizers of the San Fermin Festival take bull runs very seriously. Only the best Spanish fighting bulls from ranches around the country are selected. These bovines tip the scales at more than 1,200 pounds and are surprisingly nimble given their cloven hooves. As the stampeding herd moves closer to you and other runners trip you up, knowing how to react and what to do makes all the difference in the world.
First-time runners can get trusted, vetted advice from Running of the Bulls, Inc. Over the years, we have partnered with numerous bull running experts whose experiences, triumphs and calamities are well-documented. Sign up for our free mini-crash course, and learn how to run with the bulls in Pamplona!
Running of the Bulls Documentary DVDOur Running of the Bulls products are available as part of a travel package and will be delivered to you upon arrival in Pamplona. From Director Olivier van der Zee, this is a great way to prepare for running or watching the bulls in Pamplona, this documentary features incredible never-before-seen footage of the bull run along with interviews with notable runners and the Pastores who care for the bulls during the run. Originally shot in stunning 3D, this movie debuted in Spain in June 2013 as "Encierro 3D" and is a fantastic overview of the bull run route, the runners, the bulls and the history. DVD, Region 1 (North America), 16:9 format, 80 minutes.Read more
One important step you can take is to purchase and watch this informative documentary with some of the most authoritative speakers on the subject of training and safety at the Running of the Bulls® in Pamplona:
As we compile the training advice, we will publish it here. Good luck with your preparations. See you in Pamplona!
¡Viva San Fermín!