UTA Phase 2a and 2b

It is now 9 weeks out from Ultra Trail Australia 50km. Phase 1 is over and I’m well and truly into the next phase:

2a: The Build Up. This phase is about ensuring that i have the fitness to go the distance. Spending time on my feet and building cardiovascular fitness, required strength and endurance.

For the next 4 weeks it is all about building my running capacity and spending time on trails, stairs and hills. Over the past month or so I have spent some time in the blue mountains getting to know the course, building my running legs and getting up close and personal with the hills of the Jamison Valley. 

In the last blog I outlined my training plan which consisted of 3 gym sessions and 3 runs per week. As this was a good plan to start with i have been able to stick to it, with the exception of swapping a gym session for a corrective exercise session on a Monday after a particularly hard weekend in the mountains. This is ok, if your body is telling you you need to hit some reset buttons you should listen to it. More importantly, if you are one to push through pain and discomfort have simple objective assessments that will let you know if you are showing early signs of inefficiencies creeping in. It’s always best to nip them at the bud, otherwise a cascade of compensations occur resulting in injury. Here is a quick self screen from an article we wrote earlier The Runner's Bum.

My mileage is steadily increasing from week to week. I'm happy with the distances and pace of my mountains runs and have started adding back to back sessions so i get conditioned to running on tired legs.

My daily homework remains the same (phase 1), and as i push myself harder i feel i need to keep on top of it. There are also some new additions:

Leg lowers using stretchband

Toe touch progressions

Foot vents/release

Prolonged deep squat

These were added as my hip mobility and neural tension in the lower limbs started to tighten. This is a good example of nipping the problem at the bud preventing it from growing into a injury that could sideline me. 

Over the next month I will build up to a 40km training run and/or a 5hrs time on feet run. I'll be spending a  lot of time on course in the mountains honing in on trail specific skills and dial in my nutrition strategy.

Most importantly I’m having a ball training and playing in the mountains and I am injury free.