Mark Green Ultra Trail Australia finish

A delayed UTA could be the opportunity of a lifetime for a PB!

By Mark Green on 06 Mar 2021

These are strange times. The world feels like it is in some sort of meltdown, and the uncertainty it is causing is very stressful.

Running is often the best form of “therapy” to help deal with stress, so if at all possible you need to keep running.

It is easy to become frustrated that the events you have trained hard for are getting postponed or canceled. There is nothing you can do to change the situation, so instead of becoming frustrated you need to find a way to come to terms with it as quickly as possible, and turn it to your advantage.

We are only 8 weeks out from the UTA, had it run to schedule. If you have been training to a plan you should already be in great condition with plenty of strength and endurance.

Imagine if you had your current level of strength and endurance back on the 1st January. You would have been in the perfect position to put in another really solid training block and have the race of your life at the UTA.

Now you don’t have to imagine it. That is the opportunity you have right here in front of you.

Don’t waste all of the hard-earned strength and endurance you have built up over the last few months. Use it to your advantage.

What Training Should You Do Right Now?

If you have been training hard, then backing off the volume and intensity for the next couple of weeks is a good idea to help recharge your batteries and find your Mojo again.

But after two recovery weeks, you should get back on the horse, train consistently and focus on your strength and stability exercises and running technique.

The length of your long runs can drop back to January levels again for now, and by including a hill rep or stair rep session mid-week, it will help you to maintain your leg strength, and keep you motivated.

The key to good race results is consistency. If you can freshen up a little bit over the next two weeks and get back into consistent training, you will be setting yourself up for the race of your life later in the year.

What if Australia Goes into Lock Down?

I’m sure you have all heard the news that in Italy and Spain you currently aren’t allowed outside for anything other than a trip to the supermarket or the pharmacy. You certainly aren’t allowed out for a run. If that happens here in Australia, there are still some things you can do to maintain your fitness (and your marbles!)

Skipping– You don’t even need a rope!. Skipping is one of the best running-specific ways you can maintain your cardiovascular fitness and strengthen your calves and achilles.

Jump Squats– These will help to keep your glutes and quads strong

3 Minute Lunge Workout – Lunges help to strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and quads, and improve your balance and coordination.

Push Up / Side Plank – These will help improve your core strength

Round the Clock – This will help to improve your ankle flexibility and improve the strength and stability of your hips and pelvis

Foam Roll Your Quads– All of these exercises are likely to result in tight quad muscles, so make sure you do some foam rolling to keep your knees happy!

Treadmill Running– If you are lucky enough to have access to a treadmill make sure you run with good technique. The repetition caused by taking exactly the same stride thousands of times on a treadmill can make you more susceptible to overuse injuries like ITB pain or Achilles tendonitis. You can minimise the risk by incorporating all of the above exercises, as well as focussing on your running technique.

Good Luck. Stay Well. Here’s to some PB’s later in the year.

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Mark Green

Mark Green

Mark is a highly qualified physiotherapist and an accomplished athlete having competed at the top level in trail running for a number of years. He's the founder of The Locker Room, an outstanding resource to help runners perform at their best.

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