Lifting dumbbells, doing lunches, squats and abs. I’ve just done another session of strength training. With the ERYRI 25K at Ultra Trail Snowdonia and the Dolomiti Extreme Trail coming closer, I’m focusing more and more on strength training.
This week has been an interesting week. Last Tuesday I had an interview with ultra runner Jeroen Stoof. He’s preparing for his second 100 miles race; The Great Escape. His first 100 miles race, Beat the Trail, went very well. He felt his legs, but they weren’t painful. He thinks he owes that to the strength training he’s doing.
Yesterday I had an interview with the Sports scientist Sven Verstappen. You’ll find that interview here on this website next week. But I will already tell you this; he recommends trail runners to do twice a week running focused strength training sessions.
The trick so far has been finding time to include strength training in my training schedule. Lately I’ve been running 5 times a week; mostly in the morning. On the other two days I do yoga. Besides that Sara and I do a core workout 3 times a week. And one or two evenings a week I try to squeeze another Yin yoga session in.
By now I do think I have a nice base for running. I’ve done two 50k+ ultras: Endurance Life Sussex (53,2) and the Brabantse Ultra Trail (51,2) and two trail marathons: Run Forest Run Ommerland (44,5) and the Mighty Marathon (43,5). Now it’s time to fine tune my training. That’s why I started to work on my leg strength last month.
After the Mighty Marathon, 2 weeks ago, I took a little break. My legs were pretty trashed after that race. Plus I had the Brabantse Ultra Trail coming up. This week I decided not to run, but I did resume my strength training. Tomorrow I’ll go out for a little run again, together with Sara.
Next Monday Sara and I are leaving for Wales, where my next race is; the ERYRI 25k. We’ll spend the week hiking in Snowdonia national park. I think the best way to train my legs for a race in the mountains is going into the mountains. So this is my chance.
The week after we’re home, so it’s back to squats and lunges and running 4 times a week. I think that’s enough. Jeroen Stoof can run ultras with 4 running sessions a week, Sven Verstappen thinks running 5 times a week is more than enough, and also the American endurance sports coach Matt Fitzgerald thinks it’s better not to run every day for an older athlete.