Hi there, thanks for tuning in!
I hope everyone’s training is going well, and that you are all en route for whatever races and challenges you have entered this summer! Personally, I am have officially covered half the distance of the 50km Race to The Stones (26km), which went way better than I had expected. Now, I’m not big on sharing (or bragging) about times etc. however, I managed to stay within my goal of 10km/hour.
Last week I also took a VO2max (maximum oxygen uptake) test at Kingston University to check my current fitness status and so I could adjust my training plan accordingly. For those who don’t know what a VO2max test is, easy explained it is a maximal effort test where you would run/bike until exhaustion and at the same time wear a mask (to analyse oxygen and carbon dioxide diffusion) so that the Physiologist can analyse how much Oxygen your body can take up and how efficient your muscles are at utilising the available oxygen. Sometimes this test also involves blood lactate measurements (with a finger prick) to further quantify when lactate is building up in your muscles and at what speed the accumulation of lactate would result in fatigue. I wanted to do this test for a while now, as it is one of the most accurate wats to test your fitness. Depending on your goals, this could be a helpful tool for improved performance in running.
Moving on from the testing, I also wanted to highlight some of the most important things when training for a race: Keeping on top of your strength and conditioning! To date, I truly believe coming from a strength training background has really saved me from injury when taking on these long runs. Building strength in your legs and your core is essential to prepare your body for the load it will take over the 10k, half-marathon, marathon or ultra-marathon. I am not saying you will have to sacrifice your run training to spend hours in the gym; just simply train smarter! If you add in 1-2 strength sessions a week with specific focus on single leg strength (like squats, single leg balance, lunges, deadlifts etc.) and core strength (glute activation and stabilising muscles in the abdominals and back) this will help you stay injury free and improve your running. Also, don’t forget your stretching afterwards!
Other than that, I must say that training for an Ultra-Marathon is really hard work but I am also enjoying running more than ever before 😊