... ... Andy DuBois

Andy DuBois

Nov 112016
 

Ben Duffus finishing the World Sky Running Championships 2014

Ben Duffus finishing the World Sky Running Championships 2014


Welcome to the blog, our newest coach, Mile 27’s Ben Duffus. Here Ben gives his thoughts on how he plans his minor and major races throughout the year to optimise his performances

One of the attractions of ultramarathon running is the opportunity to explore the limits of both our body and mind. But as the human body has a limited capacity to recover from being pushed we need to be careful with the frequency and depth to which we push ourselves. It is very rare to see an elite marathon runner attempt more than two to three marathon races in a year. In ultramarathons, if we want to push ourselves to our absolute limit, we should plan to be in peak form for no more than 4 “A races” in a year. The exact number of races a runner peak for depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of event, previous training/racing history, sleep patterns, nutrition and age. Already our sport is plagued with burnt out elites who have over raced; the likes of Western States winners Geoff Roes and Timothy Olson have been quite open regarding the toll over-racing has had on their health.

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Sep 092016
 
Fat burning profile ?

Fat Burning profile

Given an ultra takes a lot longer than 2 hours (the approximate limit of our carbohydrates to supply energy) it is clear that fat is going to be a big contributor to our energy supplies.
The less effective we are at using fat for fuel the more carbohydrates we have to consume during a race to fuel our muscles. The more we have to put into our stomachs the more chance of stomach problems. Given stomach upsets are a major causes of DNF’s and below par performances in ultras it makes sense to work on increasing your bodies ability to burn fat.

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Aug 122016
 

The comfort zone – it’s a place we all like to hang out. We know how it feels, we know it’s a safe place to be and the outcomes of any actions in the comfort zone are very predictable. But it’s not where all the fun happens, it’s not where we learn and grow as runners or even as people. If we want to achieve anything meaningful, then we need to step outside that comfort zone, and see what we are really capable of.

On the morning of day five of the Big Red Run I had a choice – stay in my comfort zone and take the predictable outcome of 3rd place, or risk all and go for a win or 2nd place, and risk losing 3rd. It wasn’t really a choice to be honest and I knew as soon as the gun went off what option I was taking.

But let’s back up a bit and see where the story began.

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Apr 082016
 

Live somewhere flat and want to race here ?

Trail and ultra races in the mountains are growing in popularity. The challenge of the massive climbs and descents, the stunning views and the chance to connect with nature at its most spectacular are powerful draws. But many of us also live in places where there is very little in the way of elevation. So how can we go about training effectively for races with lots of vertical.

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Dec 042015
 

Is setting a goal time and then working out splits to achieve along the way the best way to approach a race? Is time the best means of measuring your success?

UTMB race plan - I was over an hour down at half way !

UTMB race plan – I was over an hour down at half way

A goal can be defined as “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result”. Is the finishing time really the object of your ambition or desired result?

If we set a time goal and for the sake of putting it in context lets say a goal of breaking 14 hours for a 100km trail race; are there conditions where not achieving this goal could still result in a successful race ? Could you finish faster than 14 hours and be disappointed?

What if you had one of those races where everything went right , you felt great all day and nothing went wrong , you crossed the finish line 100% spent unable to go a second faster but the clock said 14.20 . Should you be disappointed you didn’t meet your goal time?

What about if you crossed the line in 13.30 but spent over 45 minutes at checkpoints , had a crook stomach for a third of the race, and crossed the line feeling like you could have gone much quicker . Is the fact you went sub 14 enough to give you that post race glow of a job well done?
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