Sep 052014
 

Rinjanie finish 2

One day after Catherine and I had decided to spend a month or two in Bali between relocating within Australia Catherine stumbled upon a photo on Instagram that mentioned the Mt Rinjani Ultra. A check of dates confirmed we would be in Bali when the race was on and I quickly decided that if there was an ultra nearby then it would be criminal not to do it.

I was slightly disappointed when reading it was only 52km but then intrigued that the winning time last year was just under 15 hours. Ok it had 5800m of vert and went to an altitude of 3720m but even still 14 hours? I was in for a shock and the most testing race of my ultra career! Continue reading »

Jun 132014
 

Does your body or your mind limit your race day performance?

Mind over matter. Signage before the last big climb of the Yurrebilla Trail Ultra

Mind over matter. Signage before the last big climb of the Yurrebilla Trail Ultra

We all know that dead feeling in our legs, the feeling of complete physical exhaustion. Mentally we could keep going but our body is saying no more. Or is it?

The latest thinking is that the mind controls fatigue much more than the body. Continue reading »

May 232013
 


Not a bad way to spend a weekend

Not a bad way to spend a weekend

What is the difference between the elite runner and the back of pack runner? Is it fitness, training, genetics, mental or some other factor?

A few weeks ago I spent the weekend watching over 1000 runners compete in Australia’s biggest ultratrail event – The North Face 100 – held in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Apart from supporting the runners I coach who were competing and enjoying the atmosphere I was also looking for the differences between the faster and slower runners. I was keen to see if I could find any areas of improvement for the slower runners that didn’t involve any extra training time. Time is a factor for many athletes and whilst the elites tend to prioritise training above most other aspects of their lives the rest of us have other commitments that often restrict the amount of running we can do. Many of us are also limited by how much training our body can cope with before it breaks down. So is there a way to improve performance without any extra training time? Continue reading »

Mar 182013
 


Photo by Stefica Key

Photo by Stefica Key

The long run is obviously the most important training session of the week for an ultra runner but how long should it be?

I was initially of the opinion that longer was better but after building up to a long run of 75km before my first ultra and dying big time in the race I re-evaluated my ideas.

For my second race my longest run was only 45k and it was run at a much slower pace than my previous long runs. This was a resounding success as I was still running strong with 95 miles of running in my legs.

Why the big difference and why did running less ks at a slower speed in long training runs result in me running more ks at a faster speed during the race?

Continue reading »