Endurance and Ultra distance running has become a popular sport worldwide especially in the trail and mountain running scene.
Even though endurance and Ultra distance running is SUPER tough mentally and physically, it hasn’t been a deterant to the kick butt female athletes who have braved the dirt and mud, muscled up the climbs and endured the challenges of muscle fatigue and mental toughness to make it over the finish line!
Girl power??? Or shall we say Smartgirl power?
Well yes, I’d definately say so!
To all the female athletes out there who want to attemp running these long distances, here are my top key pointers to help you become better at endurance and ultra distance running.
Smartgirl Endurance and Ultra distance running 1 0 1
Focus on Distance Training before Speedwork
One of the common errors made is trying to run far too fast too quickly!
Your muscles and running gate must build up stamina and endurance. Rather start slow and go for longer. Speed work sets can be added into your program as you progress, gradual increases in pace will also prevent the onset of injury.
Make sure you warm up correctly
Do NOT neglect this aspect!
Giving your body the chance to ease into your training session will enable you to finish strong.
Finishing a workout strong builds confidence and enables you to fit in more training sessions in a week. A good DYNAMIC stretch prior to your running session will increase your muscles responsiveness to movement a lot more effectively.
START SLOW and FINISH STRONG.
Make Your Nutrition just as important as your Workout
Your training program is not complete until your nutrition is on par.
If you are feeling fatigued after workouts and low on energy, you need to make sure that you are taking in enough fluid, electrolytes during your session and that your protein uptake after your workout is sufficient for recovery.
Identify Red Flags and Pain
Endurance and ultra running pushes your body to the limits.
You will feel tired and fatigued muscles, but if muscles start to tighten up too often and do not get better through your workout, then you need to respond to it.
Joint and muscles injuries occur often when we choose not to listen to our bodies –> AVOID OVER TRAINING!
Fuel your body in advance before race day
It doesn’t help you ‘Carbo load ‘ just one day or night before a race. A proper loading diet should be followed up to 8-10 days in advance.
Long distance runners generally do not carry large quantities of muscle mass, however they do have strong TENDON strength and excellent fitness levels.
PRE- and POST- event carbohydrate loading is recommended in order to maximize the muscle amd liver carbohydraye levels.
Get to the gym and start getting stronger
Follow a specified training program for the distance you are running and to make the necessary physical conditioning needed to achieve your goals.
Remember to focus on CORE TRAINING.
CROSS TRAINING is important
Because you are a runner does not mean that all you need to train must be running specific.
SWIMMING and CYCLING are low impact activities on your joints that are very effective for building lung your capacity, leg and upper body strength.
Find a RELIABLE training PARTNER
Make sure that you train with someone who will be there at 5am even in the winter cold and be prepared to walk a journey with you.
Runners don’t go on the endurance and Ultra distance running journey alone… its too far for that 😉
ENJOY what you are doing
Never forget why you decided to push yourself in an endurance or ultra distance run.
It is that motivation that will get you into the right mental state to push your body.
and TAKE A SUMMUT SELFIE 🙂
Training chart and goal setting
You are going to have to stay dedicated when training for endurance and Ultra distance running –> so make sure your training schedule is visible to you.
Whether you stick it on the fridge or set a reminder on your phone, stick to your program and get it done.
Set achievable goals that are realistic with regard to your daily activities. School runs for the kids and all the other add-ons take time. Running your own business takes time and the demands of your every day TAKES TIME.
So… commit to when you have time and can train and do everything you can to NOT skip a training day.
The Oldenburg Trail Challenge
The OLDENBURG TRAIL CHALLENGE is tomorrow and the run will be not only beautiful but also a VERY good test for any endurance athlete.
So Smartgirls, challenge yourself and get out on the trails and show what you are made of!
Enjoy your training and remeber, START SLOW and FINISH STRONG.
*Written by our health and fitness guru Justin Oelofsen • Owner and exercise specialist at Just n Motion.