Feb 052017
 
Coach

Ben Duffus with Coach Andy after finishing 7th at the 2013 TNF100

As an online running coach I’m obviously a big believer that a coach is a good investment in your running. It’s not just for the elite, in fact many of my clients make up the back half of the field. If you want to take away the uncertainty of what type of training you should be doing, if you want to reduce your risk of injury if you want to improve your performance or want to take on a race that scares the pants off you then a good running coach can help. Above all though a good coach will help you enjoy your running more.

Over the last few years I’ve seen a big increase in the number of online coaches, which is great for the runner, more variety and different price points make coaching an affordable option to just about anyone. However, like any industry, there are good coaches and let’s say not so good coaches. How do you go about determining the good from the not so good? A few pointed questions and a bit of research can help you sort through the good from the average. Continue reading »

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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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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Jun 262015
 
Looking for this much vert probably isnt going to help your training

Looking for this much vert probably isnt going to help your training

“It’s all about the vert” is a common catch phrase for those training for hilly ultras. But is doing lots of vertical all you need to do to perform well in an ultra with large amounts of ascent and descent?

With the popularity of training software like Strava it is easy to compare the amount of vert you do each week with others and get swept up in a more is better thought process.

But the whole idea that the more vert you do the better your performance is analogous to the idea that the more running you do the better your performance. Whilst high mileage is a factor most of us agree its what you do with those miles that count just as much if not more as the amount of miles.

So why is vert any different? Surely it is how you get that vert that will have more effect on your race performance than the total amount of vertical.

Is all vertical the same?

Does hiking uphill give you the same training response as running uphill ?

Does running uphill help with your hiking speed uphill?

Does running easy downhill load the legs the same as running fast downhill?

Does running down technical terrain load the legs as much as running down fire-trail?

Does running down fire-trail develop your technical descending skills as much as running technical descents ?

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