When there’s less than 100 days to the start of Ultra-trail Australia by UTMB we ask – What should athlete be focusing on right now?
Here’s out top-5 considerations for the 13 weeks ahead.
- Stairs, there I said it.
Increase specificity over time but focus on building base for now. You can introduce technical terrain and specificity gradually – don’t do it at the expense of maintaining good volume now.
Similarly, elevation matters, but you can incorporate it with increasing implementation as you close in on the objective.
Consider putting ‘some’ stairs into your running and I recommend beginning to replicate the elevation gains and losses of your race by incorporating them into the occasional long run.
A reminder that at UTA, the shorter distances are actually the steepest distances! ShockEmoji
- Strength Work… (you mean I can’t just go for a run?)
UTA being the ‘challenging’ (but rewarding!) course that it is, there’s a need for athletes to be STRONG enough to endure the distance and finish well.
Strength training will also help reduce injury, reduce endurance fatigue (slowing over time) and make you look great in the mirror!
Remember Eccentric Strength! Decelerating and unloading of muscles has a massively fatiguing effect so ensure you incorporate some ‘spirited’ downhill running.
I recommend one specific eccentric run per fortnight.
A reminder for our SQUADRUN athletes that you get a dedicated UTA Strength Programme for $10
- Train your tummy too!
The stomach is a muscle and one of the best things you can do to prepare the race-fuel-insinkerator is to practice your fuelling in your training runs.
This might mean having a gel on a shorter run because it’s a stomach training consideration as opposed to a requirement for energy.
Try an easy jog after a meal. Alternatively, try running on empty then necking a bag of candy and a handful of chips then two cups of electrolyte then a hard run up a hill. FOR SCIENCE!
I recommend sometimes running full, sometimes running empty, and sometimes running inbetween.
- All your base.
We’re at the part of your programme where you’d want to be kicking around you heaviest aerobic loading. Time on feet or kms in the bank, however you track it – now is the season for bulking (your strava).
If you’re time poor or struggling to get the runs in appreciate that “1 kilometre is better than no kilometre”. Out the door and around the block for a 15mins might just be the most productive training session you can fit into your day so do it!
I recommend increasing your volume by about 15% as a rolling average of the last 4 weeks.
- Ensure you have sorted your Start Group
Where you begin your race is pre-determined and must be locked in for review/approval by around 8-Mar. The UTA website makes this very clear and you have 4 options.
I wont repeat it and it’s all there.
SQUADRUN is an option and if you’re training with us I can help you if needed.
I recommend you familiarise yourself with the start group process or risk starting in the final start wave (with a lot of very fun humans).
Lastly, there’s nothing quite like getting out on the course and for those that have access to the trails around Katoomba, ensure you get a feel for what awaits you on race day.
Familiarise yourself with some of the unique challenges of UTA.
We help athletes.
It’s much more than a programme.
We’ll be there on race day to see you get it done.
More about what we do here: https://squad.run/train-to-2022-uta/