The 3 Rs: rest, re­cover, run…

Ul­tra-marathon train­ing tips for the long run

Trail Running (UK) - - Training -

Go­ing longer than the clas­sic 26.2-mile marathon dis­tance is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar, and dis­tance run­ning coach Tom Craggs ex­plains how do it.

Build the miles

Time on your feet is im­por­tant, but don’t fall into the trap of think­ing it’s all about easy miles. Qual­ity ses­sions are cru­cial.

Try this: Build in a weekly tempo run at a speed where three or four-word an­swers are about all you can man­age. Within a 45 to 60-minute run, start with a sim­ple 5x5 min­utes at this ef­fort with a 90-sec­ond jog re­cov­ery and then build to 6x5 min­utes, 3x10 min­utes, 20/10/5 min­utes or even 30 min­utes con­tin­u­ously as the weeks progress.

Build en­durance

You need strength en­durance – the abil­ity to hold your ef­fort and pos­ture with many miles al­ready in the legs.

Try this: One way to do this could be to com­plete your tempo ef­fort runs up and down a stretch of hill. Get­ting used to run­ning faster up and also down­hill is great for build­ing all-round strength.

Love your limbs

Your legs and feet take a bat­ter­ing in ul­tra races and train­ing. De­velop some good re­cov­ery pro­to­cols to keep your limbs alive and kick­ing.

Try this: A sports mas­sage every two to three weeks helps keep on top of mus­cle fa­tigue, com­pres­sion gar­ments can be use­ful, and look af­ter your key weapon – your feet – by us­ing re­cov­ery footwear such as Oo­fos san­dals (pic­tured).

Mas­ter hik­ing

If you’re run­ning a long-dis­tance ul­tra or rac­ing in the moun­tains, the chances are you’ll be walk­ing for stretches on race day. Don’t let your ego ruin a great race by not try­ing this in train­ing – don’t be sur­prised on race day if an ef­fec­tive walker over­takes you as you try to run.

Try this: Prac­tise power walk­ing, es­pe­cially on steep gra­di­ents. Lean for­wards slightly to mimic the gra­di­ent of the hill, ei­ther driv­ing your arms or plac­ing hands on your quads on very steep gra­di­ents.

Tailor your train­ing

Ul­tra train­ing is all about speci­ficity – that means get­ting your body pre­pared for race day, which in­cludes get­ting used to the sur­face you’re go­ing to race on.

Try this: Do the ma­jor­ity of your train­ing miles off-road, and in­clude stretches of run­ning on your race ter­rain in the fi­nal 60-90 min­utes of your key long runs, whether that’s steep tech­ni­cal hills, flat road or track sur­faces.

Find a bal­ance

Ef­fec­tive train­ing is all about bal­anc­ing stress with the right amount and qual­ity of re­cov­ery to progress as we get fit­ter when we re­cover, not when we train.

Try this: Train to a plan that’s re­al­is­tic and recog­nises your other life stresses, such as work and fam­ily. Be very care­ful with your long runs – too many ul­tra­run­ners leave them­selves ex­hausted by try­ing to run too far or tack­ling back-to-back long runs when they aren’t ready.

Eat for vic­tory

Train­ing with­out eat­ing prop­erly will mas­sively im­pact your re­cov­ery. On race day your fu­el­ing strat­egy will make or break your per­for­mance, and you must prac­tise eat­ing and drink­ing on the move in train­ing.

Try this: Solid foods are a sen­si­ble op­tion if you’re tack­ling a long-dis­tance ul­tra, but they can take some get­ting used to when run­ning... that’s what train­ing is for!

Test your­self

Prac­tise run­ning in your race kit, pac­ing and fu­el­ing so when the gun goes on race day you feel con­fi­dent and have a plan.

Try this: En­ter a 10k, half marathon or marathon; but com­plete it in your ul­tra kit, fu­elling as per your ul­tra and at your ul­tra race pace.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.