Published articles

HR Training. Part 2: How to use your zones to optimise training

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Last month, I suggested many of us could improve our ultra performance by utilising heart rate zones to optimise your training. I explained how to set your zones but, once you’ve done this, how do you use them to improve your training?

That’s what this article is all about. Read the full article here >>>


Why do we hit the wall?

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‘Hitting the wall’ has been considered a rite of passage for distance runners and triathletes for years, but the reality is it’s not necessary to experience it at all…

My knowledge here is from the real world school of hard knocks. In my experience, two factors result in ‘hitting the wall’

 

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HR training. Part 1: How to set your zones

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Despite the obvious similarities to marathoners, ultra runners tend to pride themselves on their difference to their vest wearing, tempo running, gel gulping cousins. And yet we’re not all that different.

One box that marathon runners tick with a thick black marker-pen is they are very conscientious with their training. Anal, almost. That’s not us. Not really. We’re much more of an organic breed. We often run on feel, don’t obsess over the numbers and take a more holistic approach to it all.

But I do believe there’s a middle ground to be had here. I’m not suggesting you all go and buy a pair of dangerously short shorts and start hitting the track every Tuesday but there’s something I think we can learn from marathon runners: the use of training zones.

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Running in the heat

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Whether you lace up your kicks in Japan or California, France or the UK, chances are you’re preparing to hit the trails under a fairly intense sun. The world over trails are parched and runners are struggling to cope with training and racing in the heat. In this article I explain what happens to your body when you run in the heat and, importantly, what you can do to manage the impact this has.

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Race to your potential and execute your best ultra

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The best predictor of performance at your next ultra is your training. We believe that the better we train the better we’ll perform.

But training is not the sole factor that determines the outcome of your race. You could have a superb build-up, but if you ignore some of these points below you will not race to your potential.

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How to keep ultra fit on a family holiday

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Summer is upon us, which means plenty of trail action for us ultra runners. The sun is shining, training building and races fast approaching. It’s a great time to be alive!

But hold up, there’s an event on the horizon which can either be an absolute gem, or one which can spell disaster. The Family Summer Holiday!

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Ultranoia – how to cope in the final lead-up to race day

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The term ‘Maranoia’ has been bandied around for a few years now. Used to describe the feeling of lack of preparation leading into a marathon, it’s a very real condition. But fear not, there is plenty you can do to control your emotions when it strikes. Tackling ultranoia can be categorised into three approaches: physical, mental and nutritional tactics.

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7 Schoolboy Mistakes To Avoid At Your First Ultra

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Us hardy ultra runners don’t really have an “off-season” but for all intents and purposes, the ultra racing season is about to kick off. The first timers will be counting down the days. You may be questioning what on earth you were thinking when you signed up for this crazy event. With that in mind, here some of the more common mistakes we often see from first-timers at their first race.

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Trail runner to road marathon: How to tweak your training to nail a road marathon

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Marathon runners are a strange breed. Coming from us ultra runners, that’s saying something. But they are. They pound tarmac for miles, run right on the edge of their lactate threshold and in urban jungles. And their shorts are really, really short. However, you may find yourself pondering what you could do over 26.2 miles. If so, this article’s for you. I share training and nutrition tips to transition from ultra to mara.

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Strength and conditioning for ultra runners

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Strength and conditioning (S&C) is the use of exercise prescription specifically to improve performance in athletic competition. S&C forms the foundation of nearly every single sport, and yet it’s a vastly underestimated aspect of ultra run training. In this article I share why you should be incorporating S&C into your ultra run training, how to do it to your plan and how to structure sessions.

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5 Healthy Breakfasts in 5 Minutes

brekkaIt can be difficult to eat well in the morning. We’re all in a rush, whether it’s to work, the gym or on the school-run. But the importance of getting your breakfast right cannot be underestimated. Get it right and many things fall into place: you’re well fuelled, your mental game is strong and your body is full of the nutrients it needs to fire properly until lunch. In this article I share 5 super quick breakfasts.

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Treadmill or Dreadmill – 3 sessions to keep you fresh

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Love it or loathe it, the treadmill should have a place in every ultra runner’s armoury. It shouldn’t solely be saved for the grimmest of grim days, either. There are, of course, days when the weather is somewhat Biblical and a treadmill comes in handy, but the main reason for using one for certain sessions is down to the resulting higher quality session. Check out these three to get started with.

Read the full article on RunUltra >>>


Crewing the CCC – 100km ultra around the Alps

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The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc is the biggest mountain race of the year and attracts the best ultra runners in the world. This year was no exception, and it is saying something when Kilian Jornet comes second in a race… UTMB, though, is more than one race, it is a week-long festival of ultra running that includes different events. I’ve written an article on what it’s like to crew the CCC for ultra runner, Kerry Sutton.

Read the full article here >>> 


How to lose fat when you can’t run

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There are various ways in which you can incorporate fat burning into your ultra running training, by both manipulating your physical training (HIIT, fasted etc) and your nutrition (timing, nutrient content). But what about when you don’t want to (or can’t) run? Maybe you need a break from running but still want to shed fat? Perhaps you’re injured and can’t run but can do something else?

Well, you’re in luck, my aspiring lean bean, there are plenty of non-running ways to burn fat. Read the full article >>>


7 Top Cross Training Sessions For Ultra Runners

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During my ultra days, I found I got injured as I increased my mileage. Above 60 miles pw, my body would protest, so I started cross-training. It worked a charm. My weeks became more time-efficient and my body thanked me for it. Check out my favourite cross training sessions in this article for RunUltra.

Read the article here >>


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