Running Exercise Routine

Altitude training

Recently he has found that with age he has had to reduce slightly the intensities of his interval and hill sessions.Despite this, or possibly because of it, his racing performances have improved further.

I will consolidate these ideas into Fordyce 9-Point Approach to Training for the short ultramarathons, which in this case would be run at the end of May or beginning of June.

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Point 1: Start Gently in January and February Regardless of How Fit You Are

Train hard over distances of 6 to 10 km, and do not run more than 110 km/week with long weekend runs of up to 25 km. Bruce includes one speed session a week on the track during January and February.

Point 2: Start Specific Ultramarathon Training Only in the Middle of March

In March, Bruce begins to move towards his peak by increasing his training distance to 130 km/week; in April, which he considers to be the most important month, this rises to 176 to 192 km/week. This heavy training (beyond 130 km/ week) is sustained for a maximum of only 8 weeks.

This has had the effect of increasing his peak “cruising speed,” particularly in the second half of ultramarathon races. This was best exemplified in the 1987 Comrades Marathon in which he was 4-1/2 minutes behind the leader with 20 km to go, but won by 6-1/2 minutes, the latter all made up in the last 8 km. During that race he was timed at 3:20/km between 60 and 70 km, equivalent to a standard marathon in 2:20, or only 3 minutes slower than his best.

Further support for this 6- to 8-week training rule is provided by a study that showed a dramatic fall in both performances and V02max values during the 6th week in athletes who underwent an intensive laboratory-based 6-week peaking training program (Mikesell & Dudley, 1984).

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