What goes up must come down is the saying and in the Mount Panorama Punish this is very true indeed! Once you pass the famous #BrocksSkyline you would all know that the run into the finish is a 3km downhill (mostly) taking in the long #ConrodStraight offering you a chance to stretch the legs after the brutal run up the mount. Getting this section right will be tricky and the following point will help with this happening:
1) Relax: running with flow down the hill is super important to conserving energy, protecting your knee and keeping your quads intact for the finish. Minimising breaking (jolting steps), keeping a natural stride and absorbing impact through bending your knees on the steeper sections are things to practice in your hill sessions in the next week or two. Becoming comfortable running down will lead to a relaxed descent on race day.
2) Take the racing line: the track has a higher side, steeper drops, etc. that will affect how you feel going down, particularly your confidence in footing and pace. Depending on what part of the track you’re at you will need to run closer to the top (right side) especially down through the Esses, Dipper and Forest Elbow avoiding the steep dips and drops. On other sections running in the middle of the road or closer to inside (left) side of the track will offer you a more direct and fast paced descent down the hill to the finish.
3) Practice: running downhill at speed/effort is definitely something you need to practice in training in advance to race day. In the next week or two, put a few hard downs in your hill reps, or better still complete a session where you run up slowly at easy effort and push hard back down the hill. Adding some steeper hills into your downhill program would be highly recommended, and the closer to what you’ll expect on race day the better.
4) Be a kid: watching a kid run downhill is often the best example of what to do. They pick the best line, relax and flow down the hill will great grace and simplicity. Try and tap into your inner child and get back to that downhill running of yester-year. Simply put, run every step on its own accord and have fun bombing down the most famous descent in Australian motor sport!
Stay tuned for my next training tip, Preparing your Race. Remember, each week 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.