As with previous years, we start the Pitboard Training Tips with hills, because as you know the Mount Panorama Punish certainly has its share.
As far as road races this is truly unique in terms of the way the elevation is thrown at the runner. Not only the sheer gain covered in such a short time but the length of the hills and the various pitches throughout the lap make sure you are tested from start to the top of the climb! And you haven’t even started going back down yet, more on that in the coming weeks.
You have to prepare for a “climb” as opposed to a “hill” making sure that you are prepared for the specifics of the race will go a long way to making your race as enjoyable as possible.
Three practice points, training focuses or pointers for race day.
1) Find Long Hills: for this race, you will need to tackle hills in your training as part of a weekly schedule. This training can be hill session focused as well as including hills into your other running, such as in your long run or easy sessions. The key is to train as close to the course as you can, that means – long climbs up to 1000m, steep challenging gradients and preferably on the road as the race is a road run.
2) Control Your Effort: any race that starts on a climb can be a disaster if you do not control yourself early. The first half of the course is uphill so making sure you identify what effort you can maintain in your sessions. Look at the signs of fatigue when running, find what you feel comfortable with for the race and most importantly test yourself in training so you know what effort you can run at on the day. The main focus is avoiding the red zone, try to avoid going anaerobic and sitting as high in the aerobic zone as you can.
3) Be patient: the process for success starts now and with a consistent approach to running your hills you will find the race far more achievable. Making sure you meet your training schedule, are hitting each runs targets and being focused on the end game of the race will ensure that you are physically, mentally and confidently prepared for the race.
Training advice – 1 weekly hill session running on a steep hill at around race effort/pace. Additionally, include hills into your easy runs or long run working at an easy effort focusing on your form.
Stay tuned for my next training tip, Pacing Effort.
Remember, each week at 6pm UP Coaching Bathurst meets with a fully coached training session focused on preparing for the Mt Panorama Punish. The location varies depending on the session so be sure to check the event details on the UP Coaching Bathurst Facebook page. Everyone is welcome and catered for.
~ Coach Wes