Train the way you want to race and race to the way you have trained.
This race, the Mount Panorama Punish, is certainly a race where this statement could not be any more appropriate. “Mt Pan” as it is affectionately known as by Bathurst locals will certainly bring it’s A game on November 11 and you will need to be ready to roll.
My first “Pitboard” training tip for the event is no surprise at all, hill running. As far as road races go this event is truly unique in terms of the way the elevation is thrown at the runner. You have to prepare for a “climb” as opposed to a “hill” and further to this you have to run hard both up and down the long steep inclines all the while running at your threshold. Certainly not an easy task at all.
Three practice points, training focuses and pointers for race day:
1) Practice hills: Based on your current fitness 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 make sure you develop both your strength running uphill and also work on longer hills to ensure you can tackle the entire climb from bottom to top. Most runners will need to walk/hike points of the climb as well, this is fine and if you plan for it make sure you train for it. More on setting a plan to come.
2) Have good form: Hill running form is key to making sure you keep moving as swiftly as possible and do not waste any extra energy as you progress further up the road. Driving your knee through and forward as opposed to swinging your foot will help with your biomechanics and lifting the foot not pushing the ground will keep your feet fast and light. The underlying key to a successful run up “Mt Pan” is adjusting you stride length to the gradient to ensure you keep your turnover high. As the hill ramps up shorten your stride and when it flattens out open up the gait a touch, these form points are good to think about in training as they will help you on race day.
3) Have a plan: Unless you have run the track prior you will need to be slightly flexible with your approach on the day. In general thinking about how you will run up and down will make a massive difference. A walk/run pattern or having set walk/run check points will be used by most runners and for those who plan on running the whole way, you will also benefit from having focus points on the way up. Understanding that you will need to adjust your pace, effort and technique depending on the specific part of the track you are running is important, you will need to know the course or be aware of the elevation profile in advance and also how you are going to race it on the day.
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.