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Training long distance running is essential if you aim to finish an Ultra Trail. Prolonged running will allow you to develop both basic endurance, that is the ability to stay on your legs for many hours, and the mental strength to accept and overcome the crises that will inevitably arise.

The progressive increase in the duration of your long sessions will also produce a series of important changes on your body at the level of capillaries and muscle fibers.

Follow the 10 Tips from TRM Coaches, professionals and athletes to better organize your long runs:

  1. During the basic preparatory period, paln 2 long runs a month alternating with one/two weeks of minor workout load. The first long run will be shorter, just over half of the second.
  2. Remember to plan a progressive and balanced increase in mileage over the months, starting with 10-12% per session
  3. Carefully plan the track, studying the elevation development, the characteristics of the terrain, the water points in order to correctly estimate the duration. Choose tracks in line with your competitive objectives and of increasing complexity over time
  4. If you have a tendency to shorten your sessions, adopt the trick of choosing circular or in-line paths, which never pass through the same points
  5. Alternate running alone with long runs with companions of your level, they will help you better cope with the required commitment
  6. Do not leave home fasting, have a proper breakfast 2 hours before starting training, avoiding dairy products and fruit juices. Between tea or coffee, choose the first one that has less gastrointestinal problems
  7. Set a pace consistent with your level. During the long runs, with the exception of the qualifying ones, the average HRMax is between 75% and 80% FcMax, in the endurance zones. In the easiest sections you can accelerate but remember that staying too long above the threshold will make you waste more energy and increase the recovery time of the session
  8. Correctly fed according to distance. Above 2 hours of duration, you will need to plan to carry carbohydrate-based gels and bars with you. A rough estimate on which you can rely can be 1 gel every 1h15-1h20 and 1 bar every 3h
  9. Don’t forget your hydration. You need at least 500ml of liquids per hour (up to 1 L if there is wind or the temperature rises), not only water but also by introducing specific compounds designed for endurance sports to dissolve in the bottle and alternate. Drink in small sips every 20′
  10. Long sessions are particularly stressful for the body, they require adequate rest the previous day and proper recovery. After the long run remember to take a recovery drink within 30′, eat within 70′, rest for a couple of days and plan a sports message to speed up your recovery.

Are you planning to run an Ultra Trail? UTMB, CCC, TDS, Tor des Geants ….? Don’t hesitate, rely on the Coaches who have brought hundreds of athletes to the finish line and also the only ones who have raced the Transpyrenea 2016 898K bringing Italy to the podium.

Check out the custom programs HERE


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Cristina Tasselli

Digital Strategic Marketing Director - certified Innovation Manager - in multinational companies, she is still today the only Italian female athlete to have ran 900 km and 55,000m D+ in the mountains in a single stage race (Transpyrenea 2016, 3rd women overall). She counts numerous Podiums and international Victories on races over 100k. She holds a SNaQ CONI certification as a Trail Running Coach, Athletic Trainer and in Nutrition and Sports Supplementation. Since 2014 she is President and sports executive of innovative technology startups and companies, including Trail Running Movement and Digital Sport 360. She trains elite trail running athletes and she teaches in trail running coach certification courses. She is an author of sports articles on training, nutrition and supplementation in trail running and running, both in Italian and in English and Spanish. She manages relationships and collaborations with Federations and Race Organizers.