There’s no doubt that trail running has blown up over the last year. It makes complete sense though. It is relatively easy access in terms of cost, travel, and ability level. Grab a pair of old running shoes, find a nearby trail and start clocking some kilometres.
Running can often make you feel horrendously unfit when you’ve not been doing it for a while but stick at it for a few weeks and you’ll be gliding along trails and exploring further reaches of the hills and mountains in no time!
You might find that with each run you’re looking to go further and higher. Testing your body’s limits and enjoying the freedom of exploring the trail on foot and feeling capable. The “ultra bug” has bitten and you may now want to set your sights on a race so that you have a goal to reach for or an opportunity to test yourself against the best and the rest of the trial running community. The team from Maxi-Race have a few points of advice to guide the ambitious in training for an ultra-marathon. Read on below.
If you are looking for a new goal for 2022 why not try your hand, or should we rather say legs, at an ultra-marathon trail run? The K-Way Maxi-Race Cape Winelands presented by Banhoek Chilli Oil Company 75km and 120km routes are becoming firm favourites for local, out of province and even a few international runners too. There is also a 45km option available!
Right, so how exactly should you go about training and prepping yourself for an ultra-marathon trail run? After all, you not only want to run it, but want to have at least some moments of enjoyment whilst running it, and of course making sure you get to the finish line!
Here are some tips from our top athletes on how they have done it:
- Train as consistently as possible throughout the year. Unless you have superhuman powers, you cannot simply run a 75km or 120km route with only a few weeks of training under your belt – give yourself time! Spread your training out so that you are not cramming too many big weeks in right before the race, and don’t push yourself to do too many massive peak weeks! Keep it consistent!
- Work to a training programme. It doesn’t have to be a super detailed daily training programme, but simply one that can help you know when to focus on bigger training weeks and how to structure your training around family and work commitments, in other words, life! Having a programme is also a great way to set yourself mini goals that you can easily work towards, this will help you keep both mentally and physically focused.
- Train for the race you are running! Get yourself out onto the actual race route before you run it, take advantage of the recce runs that the race organisers set up. This will help you know what to expect and pick up some valuable advice from the race organisers and guides about the route.
- ALWAYS practice your race nutrition and wear your race gear before the event so that you don’t have any additional variables to deal with on race day – trust me it helps to have one less unknown to worry about on race day!
- Finally, try to set yourself a race plan that you can use on race day, this will help you through the route and help to give you an idea of how well you are doing on race day.
The K-Way Maxi-Race Cape Winelands presented by Banhoek Chilli Oil Company is taking place on Saturday the 1st and Sunday the 2nd of October 2022 – entries for the 2022 MaxiRace Cape Winelands 120km and 75km routes are open. For more info visit www.maxirace.co.za