Have you signed up for the first ever Mount Panorama Punish, a 6.2km #onehotlap of the most iconic race track in Australia? You have probably seen the track on TV or perhaps you have travelled around the circuit yourself, either in a car or on foot. You would now know that it is very much a beast of a running race and preparing for the event is vital in ensuring you have what it takes to get across the finish line on race day.
My first “Pit Board” training tip for the event is no surprise at all, hill running. There is not many other road running races that include such a steep and long climb (both up and down) in Australia and this is what makes the event so unique, such a great challenge. Running long hills like #mtpanorama requires practice, good technique and a plan to ensure you get the most out of your race.
1) Practice hills: Most runners will need to gradually increase hills into their training and I recommend being mindful not to overdo the hills early on. Build hills of different lengths, gradients (how steep it is) and difficulty into your running once or twice a week. Aim to become confident in running both up and down and as your strength improves begin to challenge yourself with a longer or steeper hill in training. You don’t need to be able to run a 2.5km climb just yet, start with repeating a 250m hill several times to get used to both going up and down.
2) Have good form: running both up and down requires good technique, just like any other aspect of running. Controlling your stride length (shortening as the gradient increases), remaining tall, driving your knees through (not up) and relaxing your shoulders when running up will make a big difference. On the way down limiting any jolting through avoiding over striding, using your arms for balance and picking the best line will make the run back down much more comfortable (more on downhill running to come in future tips).
3) Have a plan: thinking about how you will run up and down will make a massive difference. From having a schedule/plan of 1 min running to 1 min walking or something similar when running up, to picking the path of least resistance (finding the easiest line to run) on your run back down. 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 in advance. There are definitely sections that are not as steep and believe it or not there is actually some flat running, so get an understanding of the famous track and start thinking how you can best run it.
Stay tuned for my next training tip, Pacing Effort. Remember, each week Wednesday at 6pm UP Coaching Bathurst meets with a fully coached training session focused on preparing for the Mount Panorama Punish. Everyone is welcome and catered for.