It has been a massive motivating kick up the mule ass and a helpful reminder to live each day in pursuit of achieving something that is within grasp. Entry to the UTMB - Ultra Trail Mont Blanc - is determining the shape of the training year ahead. Being successfully drawn in the ever increasing size of the ballot was met with a yelp of joy and a clenched fist. 7861 applicants for 2650 starting bibs. Yes, I was happy and excited. Today, as excited and happier than 2 weeks ago.
Training is accomplished with consistent growth in stress, planned rest, simulation weekends, strength and conditioning, mindset practiced, equipment testing, healthy nutrition and ensuring it is not the priority in the weekly cycle of life.
Training was successful in 2017 to achieve the qualifying standard with this approach and plan. The results it reaps can be championed and celebrated, and yet there can only be sense in trying when day to day life is being navigated successfully. That's why previous DNF results have never been too painful to reflect upon. There were positive achievements to turn to immediately that easily remind the inappropriateness of taking these races too seriously within the overall framework.
The next 3 weeks moves on from the last 3 weeks put in place. Mileage is not be the be all and end all. There is a lot of climbing and that will be completed at a strong marching pace, one of the positive physical skills I have in my possession from being a Royal Marine. Alongside this comes the strength, flexibility and endurance required to remain functionally mobile during the multiple 1000-4,000+ ascents.
February will remain balanced with an increase to some 60-70 mile weeks and vertical gains increasing to 10,000ft in a week cycle. Sitting alongside and supporting this will be continuation of strength, flexibility, developing conditioning on a turbo trainer, nutrition and rest. Most importantly will be a daily reminder that everything in life from day to day is more important and will be one of the key factors that delivers a successful UTMB result.
So what does it all mean? And does it really matter?
The warm up asked everyone to work on to parts of the running stride.
1. The lift phase
2. The contact phase
With many an interpretation of running methods out there, we are consistent to coach physical engagement and never deliver opinion that asks someone to unsubscribe from how they are already moving.
The aim is to strengthen, lengthen, speed up, empower and improve our clients body and mind.
A simple exercise of counting to 4 (or 8 or 16 and so on) and repeating it to one self at a particular point in the stride cycle WILL enhance control, power, efficiency and endurance.
The stats can help and it does tell us something that can be utilised.
The regular stride rate of the client from the first graph is 170 steps per minute. 85 per leg turning over on the longer runs. Fine, not a problem. Injury free and enjoying the outdoor efforts.
During the sprint drills the cadence has increased to 178-182 spm. The group were only asked to employ the count to initiate lift or in time with contact. No one was asked to ‘speed’ up their tempo.
Awareness of each lift is actually helping them to fall quicker to the next step, and the power of the lift increases stride length. Likewise, placing focus into the contact phase is allowing the power of the hips and leg muscles express themselves, also increasing turnover and stride length. Fuller recruitment which WILL enhance the ability at steady state pace.
Win win. Practiced often enough and the individual will experience the benefits crossing over into endurance runs and faster splits over 1-3 miles.
If this approach to run training has been of interest then come and join us at our group training sessions in Poole or contact Madmule for training advice and training programme support.
Best in training & health
Just about every professional can translate their method of work into a successful method of how to train.
Whatever your professional template is, it has a structure that leads to a successful outcome when followed through. Over the years, I have established, one of the best ways to get a client to achieve their training goals is to ask them to relate to their work knowledge and experience. There has never failed to be a crossover that links that individual to getting closer to realising their ambitions.
We can talk all day long about the anatomy, training effects, percentages of intensity and delivery of movement. One of the ways to help someone connect the dots and place value to the recovery practices, nutrition prep and holding the recommended intensity is to ask what they do for a living, and how do they operate in that environment to be successful. From this, we establish the positive traits they bring to the workplace, and therefore these are attributes that have to be mirrored, directly and indirectly, to the training plan.
Just like the workplace being "up and down" from day to day, so will any effort to build a fitness platform over a year.
What are you doing about the down days at work? These strengths of overcoming a hurdle are frequently seen during a hard training session, an event or completing activity when you least feel like it.
What is happening during the up days at work? Enthusiasm and motivation to follow through with the system that got you there, and normally achieved by persevering with confidence that the result will come. Again, these directly correlate with how you might approach your personal fitness and activity.
What are your strengths in the workplace?
How can you better make use of them in your personal health and fitness?
It is likely, that by answering the above, you will be better placed to use your strengths in achieving your personal goals, which in turn will lead to better health to take to the workplace.
Up and down is what we have experienced in 2018.
It is going to be exactly the same in 2019.
Just by how much the divide reveals itself is to be discovered.
Remember, it is normal and no one is getting it right 100% of the time.
Best in health and happiness.
Apply your strengths at work to your personal activity plan and who knows what you'll see.