Mountain running is considerably different than jogging and track and field running. Mountain running can be done on treks that are away from traffic and take you into nature. Hills, mountains, forests, narrow passages. The terrain is mostly rough with steep inclinations that require walking than running. The nature of the terrain and the length of the race demand good training and adjustments.
It is not uncommon that runners take lightly their participation in such a difficult race that at some point it becomes to much for them and they finally give up. This is even the case with the most consisted runners who run on even ground.
The athletes who decide to participate should be prepared to face a difficult race and avoid some basic mistakes.
Wow can someone be well prepared for a mountain race?
GENERAL RULES: Priorities for the proper training for the mountain race:
The age and experience of the athlete is of outmost importance. Athletes with little or no experience in mountain running should develop a basic stamina and endurance before they start training on the mountain. They should avoid running uphill at the first stages of their preparation. The beginners and those of intermediate level athletes should follow the program bellow:
Basic stamina (high aerobic ability)
Strength (with weights)
Improvement uphill running technique
Improvement of the (running on the sand, jumping on the trampoline, power plate)
Familiarization with steep uphill and downhill running
Maximum oxygen intake
The results are achieved through repeated training. Gradual kilometers increase – uphill and downhill- 10% per week and per month. Gradual familiarization with the mountainous environment. The demands of mountain race require respective muscles’ work. The gradual empowerment and recovery of the muscles results in avoiding injuries and helps the runners to have a more effective training.
Follow a monthly training schedule. Gradual 10% kilometers increase for three weeks and the forth week cut down the training by doing less kilometers than the first week.
Gradual increase of the kilometers firstly on a flat ground and then on a mountainous ground.
1st month : Steady trekking in steep uphills and running on flat ground in footpaths/trails once a week.
2nd month : Steady trekking in steep uphills and running on flat ground in footpaths/trails once a week/ running on slight inclination once a week
3rd month : Steady trekking in steep uphills and running on flat ground in footpaths/trails once a week/ intensive running on slight inclination once a week/ uphill and downhill steady running once a week
Gradual inclination increase
Gradual exercise intensity increase on uphill running ( special training)
Gradual kilometers increase
The duration method is considered to be the cornerstone for the improvement of the aerobic capacity.
The stimulations are achieved in trainings which last from 1.30 to 5 hours depending on the level of the athlete and the planning period..
Aerobic loose running on a flat ground for 1hour and 30 minutes
Aerobic loose running on a flat ground, on slight uphills and downhills with steady intention throughout the journey, trekking on uphills ( e.g. 140-160 beats per minute depending on the athlete) for 2 hours
Aerobic loose running on uphills and downhills with mild slope (140-160 beats per minute depending on the athlete) for 3 hours
Training on uphills and downhills:
The training results can be achieved through the intensity, overcharge and duration (30”-30′) of the work out.
High intensity, low duration in high incline:
4X4′ (2′ fast incline – 10% with 97% intensity- 2′ slow climb down 60%
4X10′ (5′ fast climb up 6-7% incline, intensity in 90%- 5′ slow climb down 60%
Lower intensity for long duration and low incline:
2X30′ (15′ fast in 4-5% incline and 85% intensity- 15′ jogging at 60% in climb down)
30′ fast running in 3-4% incline and intensity in 80%- 30′ jogging at 60% in climb down)
The eccentric contraction can injure the muscles, and the climb down demands specific muscles stregthen with special training on climb down and up.
Short distance climb down with high intensity (aerobic activity) :
30′ aerobic activity in 3-4% incline and 60% intensity- 30′ fast running 70% in climb down
Long distance climb down with high inline (good technic):
4X4′ (2′ aerobic walk in 12% incline with 60% intensity- 2′ fast climb down 60%)
Specific training for climb up and down:
Keep up pace and speed
Relax arm position
Straight up posture
You think before you make a step
In a lower level athletes it will be better for them walking in a good pace.
The terrain in combination with neuromuscular fatigue require good proprioception and kinaisthisis.
Pilates ball (abdominal bending)
Ballance plate (with both legs and each leg separately and standing on the toes)
Balance on tree trunks
Εecercising of the ankle joints with rubber stripes
Swimming with flippers
Jumbs on tramboline
The requirements of the mountain race and the neuromuscular fatigue require strength training, with or without weights.
Squat -Leg press – εκτάσεις τετρακέφαλου – biceps bending – adductor –jnduction – gastrocnemius – chest – bendings – running hand position with weights
Abdominal – dorsal
Strengthening exercices with rubber stripes
Strength exercises with Pilates ball
Climbing up bench with or without weights only for the proficient
Mountain running shoes
Shoes for mountain running have to offer the ultimate protection for the athlete. It should be lightweight and with extra protection and support.
They sould also offer front-impact protection from stones. At your option, there are some things to remember: in addition to style, color, pay attention to comfort and quality.
If your shoes tend to be narrow, then you should consider the option for larger size.
If you can not decide what size you choose, we suggest you go with the larger size. Wherever you can, you make adjustments to better align with socks, insoles, and proper bonding. You may also add a heel.
Your goal is both to have enough space in front of the shoe and to shake your fingers easily.
It is wisest to try the shoes at the end of the day when your feet are swollen.
People are twice as likely to buy shoes that are too small than very big.
We suggest that you sould measure size of shoes every year.
Many times women’s feet grow at half the size (or more) after pregnancy.
Feet can aslo vary in size up one full size , from right to left and vice versa. In this case the best thing to do is to obtain those shoes that fit the larger foot.
If the shoes do not give you enough comfort and do not absorb the vibrations it is better to buy insoles. A good pair of insoles will support the balance of your feet and keep them in the collapse of the pedal arch and boost the surrounding muscles and joints.
Flask with water
In big games hydration is needed. Low profile and proper position of pack will help you to maintain optimum hydration and transport and carrying those small essentials as a bar or wind sell. Towards the inner tank will be immediately accessible if replacement is needed Having a secure pocket will be also essential. For the fastest participants, flasks with water is quickly accessible for replenish.
The advantage of tights than the traditional short is that it offers better protection from branches, bushes. Be sure to choose a lightweight and breathable material that offers comfort and freedom. Be sure to have a pocket for you to put some energy gel or to use it for other purposes.
Τ – Shirt
Be sure to choose a lightweight and breathable material that offers comfort and freedom.
Breathable and waterproof. Easy with a small volume in the coil.
PSYCHOLOGICAL PREPARATION FOR THE NEWCOMMERS
Making the leap from running on tartan and the road to the mountain, you need to know what you will encounter!
Paths with stones and leaves, steep slopes with loose soil, with foliage and rock slide.
The basic training will be coming to the mountains or in climbs and descents
Conditions of cold, rain, fog and frost … but very hot in summer.
For those who were unhappy with the above, you will be rewarded by the very nature. The workout, the game in the wild and beautiful mountains of Greece is not comparable to anything and you will be addicted. Keep those instructions carefully in mind and begin your explorations in the mountains ….!!!