HOW TO TRAIN ENDURANCE IN TRAIL RUNNING AND BECOME MORE RESISTANT
In Trail Running, the main ability that the athlete must have is Endurance. Thanks to specific training, any ultra trail runner, can improve this ability and reach a level of athletic training that will allow him to endure prolonged efforts, initially unthinkable, for a long time. The development of Resistance, endurance, will allow you to increase the level of physical and mental strength with which you will be able to face and overcome the numerous physical and climatic difficulties that will arise during a competition.
You have probably already experienced times when your body has signaled your limit of resistance: symptoms of fatigue or various pains. These symptoms are the alarm signal that your body sends you to protect yourself from possible injuries or other situations of discomfort. It is important that you become aware of these signals and begin to distinguish and manage them. You must know that these signals are calibrated on your daily efforts or the level of training and they manifest themselves before reaching the real limit beyond which you cannot go. Therefore, when you think you have reached your limit of endurance, in reality, the “reserve” light has turned on and you still have room to continue
Let’s see how.
The ability to resist is linked to three aspects:
- Psychological factors such as willpower, determination, the desire for redemption, aspects sometimes summarized with a word, “Resilience”.
- Ability to manage energy resources, that is, the mechanisms for efficient use of the energy stored before the competition or introduced and transformed during the competition.
- Technical skills, that is, the set of specific skills acquired in training such as the sense of pace, the effectiveness of the athletic gesture and the coordination of movements.
By training endurance, your body adapts to the increased energy demands and raises the threshold of muscular and mental fatigue.
Are you worried that you have not sufficiently developed the aspects described above? Don’t worry, here’s some good news!
Endurance is the conditional capacity that is most easily improved through specific training and can be increased relatively easily even if you are not young.
Here’s how to do it.
To train endurance, the key session is endurance running at a constant speed. The ideal training sessions start at 45-50 minutes and progressively increase in duration depending on the competition goal. During the session, you must take care of your breathing and avoid changes in speed (pace). Furthermore, it is essential to keep a heart rate below 75% so as to keep a continuous effort at low intensity.
A few additional tips, if you didn’t practiced athletics when you were younger:
- train your pace on the treadmill where you can set a constant speed
- take advantage of the winter season to run on an athletic track to check if your perception of pace is correct. An example? Set the pace at which you want to run for 20Km in endurance, 1 lap yes and 1 no check if you are maintaining the same speed
You will see that, over time, you will be able to find the correct rhythm by listening to your breathing and managing your pace accordingly, even without the aid of your heart rate monitor or GPS watch.
To train mental endurance, the discussion is a little more complex… Improvements are more difficult to obtain because they are linked to aspects of character and one’s own experience, but you can work on it.
Here are some tips:
- go out to train in any weather situation, especially the most uncomfortable ones (wind, rain, snow…). If necessary, keeping the distance written in your table, change the track or altitude
- train, even briefly, in very difficult conditions, night, ice, temperatures below freezing, etc …
- do not shorten or finish the workout in advance, but commit to finish also if you need to slow down.
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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.
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