... ... Mile27 - Mile27
May 252018

Road runners pounding the pavement in the London Marathon

We, as trail runners, gravitate to trails for a number of reasons. It might be the scenery, the lack of focus on split times and PBs, the grassroots atmosphere of trail races or simply because we prefer running in nature than on roads. But somewhere along the way I think those of us who have made the switch have lost some of the important lessons that road running can teach us.

How many of you get to a flat section of a race and start wondering when the next hill is so you can walk? How many of you struggle on the road sections of races? If there isn’t a rainforest to run through or mountain vistas to gaze upon do we enjoy our runs less? Is the enjoyment of our runs more related to external stimuli than internal?

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Mar 142018

What do you use to determine the intensity or pace in races or training on trails?

For road runners pace is a good a metric as any to work from but pace on trails varies too much for it to be of any value.


The Stryd Power Centre

What about heart rate? Heart rate training has been around for a while and has some merits but also some limitations. It is subject to many variables – mental fatigue, physical fatigue, caffeine, adrenaline, stress, weather and cardiac drift to name a few. There is also a lag between your hearts response to an increase in effort.

Heart rate is a measure of the hearts response to the work being done by the body. Why not measure the work directly and use that instead of heart rate? Power meters allow us to do just that. Continue reading »

Sep 062017

Time spent in aid stations during an ultra can range from minutes to hours and can be the difference between making the race cut-offs and DNF’ing. It can make the difference from a top 10 performance or top 50, a silver buckle vs a bronze buckle.

In this video Ben Duffus; who surely has the record for least amount of time spent at aid stations in a 100km race, 54 seconds at the UTA100 in 2015, and yes that’s all recorded aid stations, not just one, takes you through how to get in and out as quickly as possible.

Jul 092017

Running poles are common place in mountainous ultras but when you first start using them you can be left wondering what the fuss is about. They can seem more of a nuisance or hindrance than something that aids performance. A lot of that comes down to technique. Whenever I watch beginners using poles I see some very common technique issues which limit their usefulness.

Luckily, Mile 27 Coach Ben Duffus has put together this great video series to show us how to get the most out of using poles.

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May 232017

Nothing beats that finish line feeling!

Crossing the finish line of an ultra is an amazing experience and once you cross that line the next phase of your training starts — recovery. Ultras take a big toll on your body and whilst lying on the couch drinking beer and eating pizza might sound like a good idea there are better ways to ensure you recover quicker. Continue reading »