After a block of aerobic base conditioning I set about a six week specific training block followed by a post Sri Lanka race two week taper in preparation for my England International at 100km. The method was to specifically prepare for the 100km and utilise the multi-day race in Sri Lanka nestled into the two week peak period of the training block. In preparation for every race conditioning should be as specific as possible in regard to pace, terrain, sessions and distance and use the period to test out specific variables such as race nutrition and equipment you may use.
As both the 100km and Sri Lanka would be on relatively flatter terrain, hills, mountains and undulating terrain were not directly highlighted in this block. The terrain would be a combination of road and more compact trails. Therefore less variance in stride length and the muscles being used replicating race conditions. It may be suggested to focus just on road training but the relative risk associated with the extended miles pounding on an unforgiving surface meant a fine balance was needed and therefore I balanced my steady state running between roads and firmer and less muddy trails where I could maintain a good rhythm but also relieve the muscles as well from the impact sometimes meaning grass verges and school fields were needed. Additionally, the 100km would require the need to hold a stronger, faster pace than typical a longer trail ultra, so specific sessions focused on increasing my range of gears through a weekly lactate threshold extended tempo run at marathon pace or faster and an additionally interval session between half marathon and 10km with long efforts off short recover. Longer back to back aerobic runs were between marathon and 55km distance to replicate race pace, extended fatigue and fat burning efficiency needed for the 100km distance.
My extended circuit training session mimicked running based movements for the legs to isolate specific muscle groups stabilizing the body over the extended distance considering the reduced variance in stride length and form as opposed to a longer trail race. Also this had a strong core focus to improve economy and efficiency of the body.
Having just completed the block and in the winding down taper in preparation for the 100km it is easy to think the hard part is over, but fueling and recovering well and not pushing too hard in the final days is vital and a crucial area I need to think and constantly improve on. The importance of balancing protein, carbohydrate and sufficient nutrients to aid muscle recovery and refuel and stay healthy during this period is vital as during any training period.
Peak training week Pre-Global limits Wild Elephant Trail 210km 6 day Stage Race
A combination of mixed trail and road running with faster sessions spent on the road
Monday am: Circuits 3 x 18 exercises 30secs/15secs recovery; 60 mins steady
Monday pm: 100 mins steady treadmill heat run
Tuesday am: 90 mins steady + core work
Tuesday pm: 70 mins steady
Wednesday am: 100 mins with 6 x 10 mins hard intervals / 1 min jog recovery
Wednesday pm: 70 mins steady
Thursday am: 90 mins steady + core work
Thursday pm: 70 mins steady
Friday am: 4hrs steady
Friday pm: 70 mins steady
Saturday am: 4hrs steady
Sunday am: 100mins including 78 mins tempo