Feb 182014
 

20140217-170530.jpg
For many years we have been lead to believe that a dehydration level of more than 2% will negatively affect performance and therefore we should drink to limit dehydration to this level. This advice has even been given out by coaches and trainers for years and was the official recommendation of the American College of Sports Medicine in 2007.

Where this 2% rule came from no-one is really sure as there is no research to show that this is the case when applied to athletes in actual races. In fact there is an abundance of research to show the opposite. Continue reading »

Jan 302014
 

Ryan Sandes TNF

Many ultrarunners I know like to keep it simple; put shoes on, head out the door and run. There is nothing wrong with that approach but if you want to improve then the body has to have the right stimulus to force it to adapt and become stronger.

Elite athletes aim to leave no stone unturned in training. They do all they can to provide the body with the right stimulus and recovery to maximise their training. Whilst many of us don’t have the time to focus on training that some of the elites do most of us could improve in a number of ways with very little if any extra time involved.

I’ve listed below 27 ways you can improve your running that don’t need much if any extra time. See how many of these you can implement in your training program.
Continue reading »

Jul 092013
 

Blister heelsBlisters are a common problem for many marathon and ultramarathon runners. There are many ideas for how to prevent them, some of them old wives tales and some of them have a bit more credibility. But despite the use of every remedy known to mankind some of us still suffer blisters. Maybe our understanding of what causes them is incorrect and we need to try something different. Continue reading »

May 232013
 


Not a bad way to spend a weekend

Not a bad way to spend a weekend

What is the difference between the elite runner and the back of pack runner? Is it fitness, training, genetics, mental or some other factor?

A few weeks ago I spent the weekend watching over 1000 runners compete in Australia’s biggest ultratrail event – The North Face 100 – held in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Apart from supporting the runners I coach who were competing and enjoying the atmosphere I was also looking for the differences between the faster and slower runners. I was keen to see if I could find any areas of improvement for the slower runners that didn’t involve any extra training time. Time is a factor for many athletes and whilst the elites tend to prioritise training above most other aspects of their lives the rest of us have other commitments that often restrict the amount of running we can do. Many of us are also limited by how much training our body can cope with before it breaks down. So is there a way to improve performance without any extra training time? Continue reading »

Mar 182013
 


Photo by Stefica Key

Photo by Stefica Key

The long run is obviously the most important training session of the week for an ultra runner but how long should it be?

I was initially of the opinion that longer was better but after building up to a long run of 75km before my first ultra and dying big time in the race I re-evaluated my ideas.

For my second race my longest run was only 45k and it was run at a much slower pace than my previous long runs. This was a resounding success as I was still running strong with 95 miles of running in my legs.

Why the big difference and why did running less ks at a slower speed in long training runs result in me running more ks at a faster speed during the race?

Continue reading »