So the challenge has been set and you have signed up to run an ultra-race in the mountains – it’s time to train!
With the 5 day, 300km Berghaus Dragon’s Back mountain race fast approaching (and some crazy members of Team Berghaus taking part) we asked fell running legend Steve Birkinshaw to share some tips.
Multi day mountain marathons are nothing new to Steve Birkinshaw – winner of the 2012 Dragon’s Back Race and World Record holder for running all 214 Wainwright peaks in just 6 days and 13 hours.
Steve gave us 6 key tips for training for this epic race…
Training for the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race
1. First – decide what your goal is for the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race. This can be to finish, aim to complete it in a particular time, or just enjoy the whole experience and amazing journey down the length of Wales. It is best NOT to set a goal that depends on someone else’s performance (such as winning or beating a particular person) as this is outside your control.
2. Focus your training and preparations on achieving this goal. Work on any particular weakness that will stop you achieving your goal.
3. Do some long days out in the hills over similar terrain to that found on the race. This will prepare your body physically and mentally.
4. Plan on doing two consecutive long days training on the hills. Starting the second day is hard but it is an amazing psychological boost knowing you can do two long days.
5. Long days out when training should be very steady (walking a lot of it is fine) and not completely exhausting – you should be able to continue training over the next week. Time on your feet, and doing the climbs and the descents are the key. The distance and time of these sessions can be gradually extended over the months leading up to the race.
6. Some training should be on the rough terrain you will get on the Dragon’s Back Race. You need to be confident running over rocks, tussocks and heather.
These six tips are certainly going to get our Berghaus Dragon’s Back Relay team started, with Steve due to deliver future instalments which will focus on preparation before the race and also a breakdown of how to tackle the Dragon’s Back Race course on the day – stay tuned for these updates.