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15 TIPS TO RUN THE ULTRA TRAIL MONT BLANC 2023

15 Tips for Running the Mont Blanc Ultra Trail written by TRM professional athletes and coaches

Are you in the starting list of the UTMB? Did you train well in the last few months?

You are now in the final stage of preparation; the adrenaline rises and there is very little left to go. It is important not to lose concentration and pay the utmost attention not to do anything that could compromise the work done up to this point

Here are our Coaches’ Top 10 Tips for the last 3 weeks before the race.

WORKOUTS

  1. 21 days from the start you should performe your the last long run. The ideal is to choose a distance of up to 70km and a D+ around 3800m during which you will recall the fundamental training elements for the UTMB. You will have to foresee a mix: a night part, climbs, descents and flat sections that characterize the race course. Remember not to push to the max and take the opportunity of this last workout to complete the equipment and nutrition test!
  2. Done, the last long run, start a progressive kilometer unloading, keep the same sequence of workouts and intensity but reduce the overall weekly mileage
  3. In the 15 days prior to the competition, we suggest not to plan against holidays or weekends by the sea and, if possible and compatible with family commitments, opting for the mountains.
  4. The weekend before the competition, do the last run on trail not exceeding 15-18K and a d+ of 500-600mt
  5. The week of the race limit yourself to slow running workouts even on undulating paths of max 1 hour + stretching sessions
  6. The day before the race, rest and avoid spending a lot of time walking around the UTMB Salon

PREPARATION

  1. Pack the mandatory equipment in your camelbag and weigh it several times. Ideally you should be able to have a total weight of no more than 1-1.5Kg excluding water and making the most of the aid stations. Remember to place your gear inside plastic bags (those for food) to prevent them from getting wet from the rain or the humidity of the sweat
  2. Write a race plan indicating your pace, stops at the aid stations, any change of apparel or gear and obviously what you will eat or drink in the different sections of the race. Remember that in such a long race the gels and bars must be spaced out and used interspersed with other nutritional elements to avoid hyperglycaemia. When calculating the amount of sugar, sugary drinks such as coca-cola are also counted. Share the race plan with your crew
  3. When defining your goal, if, for example, you ran the LUT or a similar race and you finished it with a time close to 23-24h you can think of a UTMB around 42-43h. Nothing will stop you from pushing harder at the end of the race if you feel you can!

THE DAY OF THE RACE 

  1. Avoid dairy products, vegetables, fruit, carbonated drinks, meat. Eat your usual breakfast based on sugars and carbohydrates, anticipate lunch time at 12.00 and organize a snack based on carbohydrates 2 hours and 30 minutes before the start of the race
  2. Take an afternoon nap
  3. If you are at your first experience of a 170Km ultra trail, start slowly, use the first hour of the race up to Les Houches as if it were a warm-up. Alternate slow running-march and walk on short hills. Remember that the race really starts from Courmayeur onwards, it’s from there that you’ll have to give your best.
  4. During the night phases, increase the concentration of sugar in the drink, which will help you stay more alert
  5. If you feel nauseous during the race, stop eating sugary foods, drink plenty of water, walk around and eat some crackers with grains of salt on the surface. Remember that crises come and go… think, look for the solution and keep walking… don’t give up
  6. From Champex – Lac onwards, withdrawals statistically decrease drastically and the perception that one can become a Finisher begins to gain ground. At the Champex life base, quickly change your wet clothes and get ready for the last 45K, tackling them with all the grit you have left…. you’re there now!

Would you like our Coaches to help you to prepare your ULTRA TRAIL 167km RACE PLAN? Invest a few tens of euros in a well-structured plan by TRM Coaches and let yourself be guided to the finish line!

FIND OUT more about the Race Plan, click 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.