In preparing for an ultra, there is nothing more important than putting in the consistent, week-in, week-out training that builds endurance in the legs and body for powering past the 'dark periods' that can hit runners in the 7-8 hours after the start of an ultra. My TNF100 training consists of a solid, hard 12 week block with blocks of hard weeks mixed with an easy week about once a month.
The schedule during the week is pretty consistent:
28km run to work
5 sets: 10 chin-ups, 12 leg lifts, 20 pushups
10k easy - trail run with headlight
Wk 3: 50
Wk 4: 30
Wk 5: 50
Wk 6: 40
Wk 7: 30
Wk 8: 90 (Training Camp)
Wk 9: 50
Wk 10: 60
Wk 11: 45 (Mt Solitary Ultra)
Wk 12: 50
The schedule is pretty simple - two long runs during the week (Wednesday and Sunday), two high intensity runs (Tuesday and Saturday) to keep some speed in the legs and also pre-tire the legs for the long run the following day, and some recovery runs on the other three days. Volume is pretty consistent too, dropping down to a low of around 90km a week and a high of 170km a week.
Last year my time was 12.43 in TNF100, which was a fantastic result I was really pleased with. The goal time was 14hrs, and the 12.43 came really easy on the day. Most things went really well - the nutrition was spot on, and I powered how without really having any real rough patches.
This year I aim to improve slightly in come in around 12hrs. This goal time is definitely possible - the legs are in better shape this year with less niggles, and I'm pretty confident that switching to Injini socks and Roclite 285 will get rid of the blister issues that I had with the Salomon XT Wings which are tighter across the toe box and caused some rubbing last year.
This weekend is the higlight of the training calendar for TNF100 for me - a training camp on the course with a few mates based out of the Fairmont. We'll be running the first 4 legs on Saturday (with the exception of the private property section between CP2 and CP3), backing up with a 5am torchlight run from CP5 back to Fairmont on Sunday and then finishing it off with CP4 through to CP5 mid-morning on the Sunday. Its a great weekends training and it looks like the weather is going to be great for us.
The shots below a from last years camp. This is the third year we've got together as a group to run the course before the event - its definitely something worthwhile if you live anywhere close to the course.
Now - get out there and train!
Rob abd James enjoying a quick bite at CP2
Me and Rob on the clim up Nellies to CP4