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training for a winter ultra
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anyone ever done one?

i'm going to take my first crack at a 56k ultra in march. it's on trails, and includes ~2300m of climbing. it's also self-supported and very low-frills.

i'm in reasonable shape at the moment after a september xtreme-style half ironman, and generally have a decent running base. but i'm feeling weak around the core, do too much sitting, and have two little kids. i'm thinking a combination of long hilly runs and gym time might be my best (and most feasible, work-wise) option.

who's got some experience or ideas?

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https://lshtm.academia.edu/MikeCallaghan

http://howtobeswiss.blogspot.ch/
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Re: training for a winter ultra [iron_mike] [ In reply to ]
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I attempted an Ultra a couple years ago and in retrospect, wish I did more flutter kicks and side to side running drills.

My lower abs and groin felt blown out - I didn’t have many miles of run training anyway.

An emphasis on core should do nothing but help.

https://www.strava.com/...tes/zachary_mckinney
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Re: training for a winter ultra [iron_mike] [ In reply to ]
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Time on the trails, hills (preferably large and steep, work on ascending and descending). Sounds like you'll be carrying a bit of mandatory gear. Get accustomed to the best way to pack it and carry it. Work out what is comfortable for you in 8 hours of adverse conditions, eg. clothing options and combinations (which may change throughout the event), chaffing prevention, blister prevention, etc.
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Re: training for a winter ultra [iron_mike] [ In reply to ]
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^^^^^^^^

Gym time is good-esp planks and bridges type stuff but the best prep will be hilly runs working on what you can control-gear choices, food/drink, foul weather gear, ect. A few years back I ran a January 50K that I thought would be frozen trail. Warm spell and rain a few days before turned it into a mud fest( NJ). Lots of folks were poorly prepared. As tough weather will add time to any race prep like it is a bit longer and if everything goes your way you will just be faster for it. Good luck!
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Re: training for a winter ultra [iron_mike] [ In reply to ]
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Do lots of Nordic skiing! :-) You won't have a weak core after that...
I'd just stick with your usual training schedule (because of work and kids) and add some longer runs in the new year.
I like to keep my "gym" sessions short and sweet and always after a run or bike. 2-3x a week, 20min max.
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Re: training for a winter ultra [SlowAmericano] [ In reply to ]
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thoughts on back-to-back long runs? let's say that during the work week i could get in gym time and a couple of quality tempo/hill runs. thoughts on stacking up my long runs on saturday and sunday, and ensuring that they contain some good mix of hills, exposure, and technical trails?

____________________________________
https://lshtm.academia.edu/MikeCallaghan

http://howtobeswiss.blogspot.ch/
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Re: training for a winter ultra [iron_mike] [ In reply to ]
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iron_mike wrote:
thoughts on back-to-back long runs? let's say that during the work week i could get in gym time and a couple of quality tempo/hill runs. thoughts on stacking up my long runs on saturday and sunday, and ensuring that they contain some good mix of hills, exposure, and technical trails?

A couple years ago I did a 100k in February on a 36F degree day that dropped to 20s after dark. Yeah, ummmm, that was “fun”...hahaha.

#1 thing in ultra training is always aerobic fitness.

You don’t need more weekly miles than you would do for marathon training but it is a good idea to be more biased to the weekly long runs. For instance, 6 to 8 mile runs during the week then 18-20 and 12-15 on the weekend. Back to back long runs aren’t hugely important for distances below 50 miles but if you’ve got the time they can be helpful. I’ve done 50K races with only one long run per week, for me the second day is bonus... With that said, in the last month it is a good idea to do a couple weekend back-to-backs just to get the feel of the distance fatigue.

I’d say that time on feet is more important than distance for the long days. A 5 hour day on trails with climbing and technical bits that only gets you 16 miles is more valuable than a 3 hour 22 miles on smooth rolling terrain.

Practice powerhiking, you’ll be doing that on race day.

If possible, at least once a week get on trails that simulate the race course. It’s good to be accustomed to what you’ll see on race day.

Practice fueling on the long days! Sometimes your go-to items become inedible after 5 hours when you’re really tired; better to learn in training than race day.

In the gym you’re going for functional weight training. It’s a long haul effort so heavy weights/low reps doesn’t have as much benefit as lighter weights/more reps. Don’t do so much gym work that it negatively impacts the running. Personally I find I can skip the gym and just do body weight exercises. Check out David Roche’s “mountain legs” routine on YouTube...

You’ve got a long time between now and March, don’t go nuts in November only to be tired and not want to go out on a bad weather day in February. Embrace the cruddy winter weather if only for the mental strength benefits.

Personally I find the hardest thing about winter ultras is the winter training. But the major plus for you is that if you get a nice spring day in March then the adversity you worked through in January and February pays off big time!
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Re: training for a winter ultra [Ijustrun] [ In reply to ]
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great stuff, thanks!

____________________________________
https://lshtm.academia.edu/MikeCallaghan

http://howtobeswiss.blogspot.ch/
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Re: training for a winter ultra [iron_mike] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Iron_mike, you did Helveticman right?

I am hardly an expert, but just did the Einsedeln Trail Run: Self supported, 55km and 3500m climbing, and a race organiser who has a slight sadistic tendancies when it came to routing the descents. It was my first Ultra Distance Trail run and it was brilliant. Took me 8h5m to finish.... and there was 40cm snow on Hoch-y-Brigg

Decent shoes are essential, also think early on what clothing you will need, and make sure you have a decent backpack.

If it is in Switzerland, you should find water pretty easily. I carried too much

Have you practiced with poles, they are a huge benefit on the climbs

Think about what food you will need to bring with you don't just rely on gels.

In terms of training, I ran up Pilatus a couple of times (1400m). As I live on the side of Zugerberg, I also ran up this on trails on a reasonably regular basis (500m). I also did a 40km run along the Albis Pass (2000m) as part of my training. What I underestimated is running downhill, I didn't have the technique, and my quads were on fire on the descents. Really think about how you can strengthen your quads and practice good downhill technique

Which event are you doing?
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Re: training for a winter ultra [mattsurf] [ In reply to ]
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hey matt -
yeah, i did helveticman. training went relatively well but the race itself didn't; still, i hope a bit of that fitness is still hiding in my legs somewhere. between the upheaval of covid and two little kids at home i'm far from consistent these days.

the race is called the crux ultra, and it's actually put on by the helveticman team. hilly, gnarly, and totally self-supported. and 10 bucks! interested?

i live just on the other side of the albis, so i do climb felsenegg once in a while in training; i think that will become my go-to long run during the winter. i almost always do it with a pack, but i think i'll add progressively more weight as i go. i figure for water i'll carry relatively little and get a bottle filter to purify whatever i can find. one problem is that a lot of fountains are turned off in winter, though, so we'll see! a big part of the appeal of this race (and of helveticman), for me, is that it's also an interesting logistical problem. gear, fuel, pacing . . . all add a nice dimension of adventure.

leg strength generally isn't a problem for me (!), but i am conscious of wanting to spend some time in the gym to make sure i'm nice and stable and not feeling beat up, as you say, on the descent.

____________________________________
https://lshtm.academia.edu/MikeCallaghan

http://howtobeswiss.blogspot.ch/
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