GET READY FOR THE 100KM by Orlando Pizzolato
The hundred metre sprinter’s training is not so different from that of a marathon runner, but of course there are some technical aspects to take into consideration.
First of all, considering that the 100km requires a physical effort half as much again than that of a marathon, it is necessary to train on long distances, but maintaining a slow rhythm of running. In any case the training for a marathon should be an useful base to start: a marathon requires a training of 3 moths, of course for the runners with a good aerobic efficiency; on contrary the unfit runners need even six months of preparation. On the other hand, the 100 km needs an addition at least of 2 or 3 months. Moreover, the following two weeks after a marathon are considered as a phase of recovery; afterwards, it needs a specific training of six or ten weeks and, to conclude, 15 days of maintenance of the energy. To strengthen the aerobic endurance, every session should be quite long, even if it is not always possible to run as you would, due to the job, the family or other social commitments. Therefore, to make the training profitable, the runners without a lot of free time at their disposal should use some strategies: for example, running on Saturday for 3 hours and even on Sunday morning for at least 2 hours, in order to make your metabolism, your muscles and your articulates fit. The ideal would be a running session of 4-5 hours, above all in order to prepare your mind to endure a lasting strain. The increase of the length of every session it is a good train for marathon, but especially it is suitable for the last 6-10 weeks before the 100 km. In this case we suggest to run 3 hours on Sunday, in order to reduce the time of the recovery. Moreover, I advise you to follow a little trick in your feed: between the two running sessions, follow a low sugar diet (minimum bringing in of carbohydrates in order not to restore energetic reserves used during the training), so, during the second session the muscles should use the energy of the fatty acids. In this way you can conserve the carbohydrates, limited in comparison to the fatty acids, and the performance should better.
In this type of long training, as we said before, the running rhythm has to be quite slight and the pace should correspond to the 70-80% of maximum heart rate. Besides, though being important to train on hillside, we suggest not to experience an hard route because you could risk to stop before the end of the session, due to an extravagance of energies. I am not saying that an hundred metre sprinter should not train to face the slopes, but this should be the subject of a specific running session. In fact, the slopes shouldn’t be too long and the pace should maintain a quiet rhythm in order to run more or less an hour. We suggest to avoid running downhill for a long distance, because it can be very hard on your body, and if you don’t run downhill properly, your muscles fibres could be sore. In order to avoid these problems, some sessions, as those of the recovery, should be run on a soft ground to reduce the impact. On contrary, the training on long distances should be done on asphalt ground in order to prepare the muscles and the articulates for the competition. In addition to the long session of sight running and running uphill maintaining a quiet rhythm, a good training should be the session of steady running: this training has to be quieter than that of a marathon, but it should last much more. Therefore, if the steady running for a marathoner is faster of 30’’/kilometre than the slow running, for the hundred metre sprinter should be faster of 20’’/kilometre. In this case, you could train on steady running participating to half-marathons, but maintaining the rhythm requested by the training.
A very important thing that the hundred metre sprinter has to take into consideration is the recovery of water and blood sugar. In fact, the water is the most important element, especially if it is a hot day, because a lack of it could compromise the performance. During the training you should get used to drink a lot, even specific drinks such as water with sugar. In particular we inform you that the maltodestrine are very suggested because they assimilate fastly but they are released gradually. Moreover, to make easier the recovery of the muscles, above all after long distance running, you can take branched chain amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine and valine. The amino acids are the base elements of the proteins and the latter are the components of the muscles. Restoring the amino acid for the body means “to rebuild” the sore muscles. The best moment to take it, it is immediately after the conclusion of the training: the suggested standard dosage is 1gr/10kg body weight.
The muscle strained, due to the impact with the ground, reduces the flexibility of the muscles. This lost of flexibility brings about the impossibility of the muscles to work efficiently and, of course, there could be the risk of contractures and cramps. In order to avoid this risk, we suggest to do, as much as possible, exercises to stretch the calf, the anterior muscles of the skin bone, the thigh (quad and seat bone) and the back. It is not necessarily required to do the stretching immediately after the running session, especially if it was an hard session. In this case, the muscle is too stimulated and probably the muscle wouldn’t stretch as it should do; therefore, it is better practise the stretching the following day when the muscle is more relaxed.
The nutrition is another basic aspect to take into consideration. As everybody knows, the main problem of an ultramarathoner is the lack of a sufficient quantity of glycogen in order to provide energy to the muscles. In this case, it is important to ensure that the nutrition of the previous days is rich in carbohydrates, starting from the Wednesday breakfast. In order to absorb many carbohydrates as possible, on Tuesday it should be better to follow a low-carb diet: in this way the body will be like a “squeezed sponge” absorbing water more than usual.
REFRESHMENT DURING THE RACE
Every 5 km starting from the first refreshment, it is better to drink a sip of water with possibly maltodestrine. We also suggest to eat biscuits without cream and energy bars containing carbohydrates and branched chain amino acids. It is important to eat just a peace of it every 30 minutes, beginning after two hours from the start, in order to preserve the level of blood sugar.
CLOTHING AND SHOES
In the first part of the competition, when the sun hasn’t already set, you should wear shorts and singlet to limit the sweating. Afterwards, when the sun goes down and the temperature drops, it is more desirable wear a t-shirt or even a jersey with long sleeves. Moreover, the runners that think to alternate running and walking have to wear a sweatshirt or even a tights, because, after a lot of kilometres, the energies have been running out and it is easier to feel cold, especially if you are sweaty. An indispensable clothing should be the k-way jacket, because it helps to retain the warmth. Anyway, you have to plan to change your clothing at least 2 or 3 times during the race, because wet clothing make you feel cold.
Concerning the shoes, I suggest keenly not to wear new ones, but the shoes that you use to train in which the seams and the material are already soft. It is the same regarding socks: they must be soft, but without thick seams especially in the inner part in contact with the skin. It is a way to avoid wounds, due to the rubbing and gall. The shoes don’t have to be too light because the feet and the articulates, especially ankle, knees and hips, could perceive the impact with the ground too much. Eventually, you could think of changing your shoes during the race. In this case, you could wear cushion shoes before the slopes, because they are more comfortable.
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