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 »

Nov 222012
 


The plank is seen as a fundamental core exercise that every runner should include in their training routine. But could it be making your core less suited to the demands of running?

If you have read any of my other blogs on the topic you’ll know that there is no research that shows that traditional core training has any positive affect on running performance or in preventing injuries. Continue reading »

Oct 062012
 

Walking is typically seen as the soft option in running races, however in an ultra its often the smart option. In a hilly race even the elites walk, the difference between them and the back of the pack runners is the amount of walking and the speed at which they walk.

When training for my first Ultra I made the mistake of thinking that I didn’t need to practise walking in training. Surely if I can run then I can walk. This was a big mistake!

Continue reading »