The advanced training guide is for participants with a good fitness level, who would like to finish the event in under 20 hours. Advanced participants will run parts of the trail and take minimal rests.
The advanced program builds up week by week like the other training programs, however it is designed as a suggestion only. Athletes should first consider their current training regime then consult a fitness professional for specific advice.
Try breaking down your training into different sessions to help build stamina and strength. Below are the different types of training and an explanation of how create a balanced program.
The key to the Advanced program is the long run on weekends, which builds from 12 kilometres in the first week to a maximum of 36 kilometres. Experienced runners may like to train longer (up to 50 kilometres) though this may not be necessary. Save your energy and concentrate on quality runs during the rest of the week. Consistency is most important. You can skip an occasional weekday session, but do not cheat on the long runs. Your pace should be slow and comfortable, and ideally you will train with your team, on the trail. Use these sessions to confirm what you will wear, eat and drink during the event.
Running on hills should be included once a week in the first four weeks. Increase to specific hill-repeat training once or twice per week in the next eight weeks, if you have the necessary conditioning. You can also alternate hill-training with tempo runs and interval training. Hill-repeats are the only way to get the strength required for the many hills you’ll encounter.
Note: Be careful when running downhill because of the increased risk of injury.
When training for endurance events, long repeats (800 metres, 1600 metres or even longer) work best. Start including interval training once a week after building your base. Starting with four repeats, increase up to a maximum of eight—depending on the total distance—and run close to threshold level. Be sure to have a good warm up and cool down. Between each effort, you should allow two to three minutes of walking/jogging recovery.
A tempo walk/run is a continuous effort with a build-up in the middle that is close to your maximum pace (much faster than your event pace). Your peak pace for tempo training should be the pace you’d do if you were racing flat-out for 2 hours (instead of 24 hours). The pace build-up should be gradual and the peak speed should come about two-thirds into the workout, and only for three to six minutes. You can do tempo training almost anywhere: on the road, in the bush, on a track or in a park. Tempo runs should not be punishing — you should finish feeling refreshed, so don’t push the pace too hard or for too long.
Cross training helps to prevent injuries and makes training more interesting. Consider substituting a running session for a paddling, swimming, cycling or gym activity. Train for about the same length of time you would have walked/run that day.
Tapering for the event
Be sure to taper down during the three weeks before the event so your muscles are rested and recovered. Do your last long walk/run two to three weeks before the event, then cut back your distances. Cut your distances to 50 percent of your training load during the last two weeks and reduce this to about 30 percent during the final week. Two days before the event, walk or jog lightly to stay loose and relaxed.