From the vertical kilometer to the sky Ultras, the majority of any Skyrunning event will cost to rise. Therefore, increasing your speed and efficiency of climbing will produce a huge profit on match day. Here, Ben Duffus gives us some ways you can use this in your training!
1 One of the main components of the Skyrunning training program is the repetition of steep hills. This is a mountain runner’s speed to work, there are a lot of benefits. In the early part of the training block, a total of 20 minutes of sessions involving all outputs on the hills, requiring 3-7 minutes of rise (with a long recovery in the middle) will produce VO2max and hill-specific intensity. As the game gets closer, slower tempo, longer hills, a total of 30-60 minutes of uphill runs (a brief recovery between), will increase the duration of the uphill we can afford.
2 Because the gradient increases, your speed will follow the decline. The Skyrunning event with climbing needs to be climbed, so we need to develop our ability to climb uphill quickly. Our long-distance running on terrain with similar height profiles will provide plenty of practice opportunities. It is important to remember that we should hike just because it is more efficient, not because we need to recover. So the intensity should be the same when we are running. Purposefully including repeated mountain climbing at higher than the running speed will help to teach us not to slacken while walking. For example, a 3-hour long-distance run can start a 4 x 10-minute quick rate hike and easily jog down.
3 You can use a variety of walking techniques to help flex your legs. One popular technique is to use the same arm to push the front leg down. However, the pole may be the best way to get your upper body involved. The key is to put the rod firmly in front of you, drive down the tape (rather than tightly grip the pole), and then forced open. On medium steep slopes, planting alternating rods (similar to waving the arm while running) is usually the most comfortable. On really steep slopes it is usually the most effective way to grow two poles at the same time and drag them with both arms. If you want to use the pole on the day, make sure you are accustomed to using them during the training.
4 It’s not just enough to be able to run and hike hills, and we also need to be able to easily switch back and forth between the two. This is a common pitfall, and once people start walking uphill, they feel committed to hiking and may not be running another step up to the top. But if the gradient of the climb is relieved, then we should be ready to start running again immediately (and vice versa when it is steep again). This ability can be honed during a specific mountain session. For example, a six-minute mountain session can be split into three batches to run for 1 minute and then quickly walk for 1 minute.
5 This will improve your climbing ability. Exercise, such as climbing and lung activity, closely mimics the movement of the mountain, so it will target the proper movement patterns. Check if your next Skyrunning event has a lot of steep slopes or stairs. Your feet are flat on the upstairs, but sloping uphill. So if your race has a lot of stairs then doing normal elevation and lungs is great, but if it has more slopes then try doing these exercises on a sloping surface.