Ultramarathons. What , why and how are the questions I'm most commonly asked. Hopefully you find some answers here from my own personal perspective. My other blog at www.mile27.com.au/blog is full of information on running and health and fitness in general.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

A Hard Weeks Training

Well it’s been a while since my last blog. I’ve been very busy trying to get a website up and running which will hopefully be out in a few months.

For a change I thought I’d take my educational hat off and just tell you a bit about my training. I am often asked as to what kind of training I do, how many miles, intensity etc so I thought I’d share a fairly typical week with you. This is week 3 of a 4 week cycle. I base it on a 3 week increasing in mileage program with week 4 an easy recovery week. So for example I may do 50-60 miles (80-96km) in week 1, 70-80 miles(112-128km) miles in week 2, 80-100 ( 128-160km) in week 3 and then drop it down to 30-40 miles ( 48-64km) in week 4. The basic structure of each week is the same but I change the location and interval times to progressively harder each week.

Monday – Barefoot and Running Technique

30 minute barefoot run ( Vibram 5 fingers) including running drills and strides on grass. The barefoot running I’ve been doing for a while but I’ve just started doing the strides as a means of developing running technique and efficiency
Total 3-6 miles ( 5- 10km)

Tuesday – Hill Repeats
6 x 5minute hill repeats with 45 second recovery followed by easy run back down the hill. Total recovery is around 5 minutes. These are run as pretty much all out efforts with the aim of keeping the time consistent. My first repeat is usually the slowest and the next 5 are all within a few seconds of each other
Usually do 30 minute warm up and cool down so total session is 2 hours and around 16 miles ( 26km)
This week's hill was Highgate west hill which is 1km long.

Wednesday – Easy Run
2.5 hour run in Hampstead heath, sticking to trails, very easy pace but very hilly.
19 miles ( 30km)

Thursday – Plyometric and Core training
45 minutes of lunges , jump lunges and dynamic core work
Yoga Class - I try and do this every week but work has a habit of getting in the way and I'm managing about every second week.

Friday – Threshold Session
30 minute warm up followed by 40 minutes hard. An easy 30 minute run ( 15 out and 15 back) brings me back to where I finished the 40 minutes hard. The aim then is to get back to where I started the 40 minutes in less than 40 minutes. The pace for these runs is around 3.50min per km or 6.10 per mile. 30 min run followed by run home completes the session to a nice round 40km

Saturday - Long Hilly Run
This week was 50km in 4 hours 55 with 1600m of ascent descent. Run up and down the west side of the Heath from the athletics track to Jack Straws Castle 10 times. Here's the profile of the run. I try and run the uphills easy as possible and then make use of gravity and run the downhills a bit faster

Total Mileage for the week 144km or 90 miles.

Keep in mind not every week is like that the preceeding two weeks would be less and next week less and I'll only reach this kind of mileage in the 2-3 months before a race. My body cant handle that kind of mileage and intensity week in week out like some. I could of course reduce the intensity and therefore increase the miles but I feel there is more value in keeping the intensity and reducing the miles - even for an ultra runner.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Training in the Heat

Here's an article on Top Tips for training in the Heat that I wrote for the July edition of Running Free Magazine. It's on page 26.

If the article on core training piques your interest take a look at