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How long does it take to prepare for an ultramarathon in the mountains?

In previous publications, we tried to disassemble how many workouts are optimal in a weekly cycle, but what really matters is how much you train during the entire training period, and not a few days or even weeks. It is imperative to get the whole periodization right. Modern athletes start quite a few races, and periodization can be very blurred without special training cycles, but despite this, everyone has a main goal of the season and the basic principles for reaching peak form remain.


How long does it take to start preparing?

Of course, everything is individual and depends on your goals. But if you trained consistently 3 times a week for at least 6 months, we recommend starting training at least 5 months in advance, optimally 7 months in advance.
If you already have enough serious races behind you and you have been training steadily for several years, at least 3 months will be enough for you, optimally 5 months.
Professional athletes can spend years preparing for the main race, but if we consider the final main cycle, then at least 3 months, optimally 5 months.
The basic principles of building the training process.

The training process is a creative process and your task is to make the training program varied and undulating. It must be remembered that the growth of sports form occurs when we rest and if there is no quality recovery, then even the most correct training system will fail, you also need to understand that we are all individual and there is no universal training plan for all athletes.
At different stages of preparation, we should focus on different types of training, as an example, let’s take a training cycle of 6 months. And let’s look at one of the periodization options that can be used for many athletes.


Formation stage – this stage should be started gradually, without forcing the load, the duration of the stage is from 20 to 40 days. We recommend to focus on training aimed at strength endurance, hypertrophy. Strength training should be combined with calm aerobic work and shock loading should be minimized. It is advisable to leave light intervals with TANM intensity and slightly lower, short intervals of a power nature. Long run should not be long.


Main stage – is the main stage of training, when the main training volume is performed. Duration from 60 to 80 days. The main task of the cycle is to improve the processes of energy supply; many long workouts are performed. Against the background of a large training volume, other qualities may deteriorate, so that this does not happen, it is imperative to do at least one workout at the TANM or IPC level and at least one strength training. We recommend finishing the preparation stage with the longest workout, even if you are preparing for 100 miles, we do not recommend doing it for more than 6 hours.


Pre-competition stage – we recommend doing this stage from 20 to 40 days, the main task is to increase the speed at the TANM level and keep the “setting of fat metabolism”. We recommend doing more special work, long running is already performed at a higher pace, the volume of the training load decreases, but the quality of the training work increases. You need to pay a lot of attention to running technique and muscle adaptation. Strength training is already being done primarily – plyometrics and strength endurance.


Taper – training remains practically the same as in the previous stage of preparation, but the volume of running decreases and the quality of work increases. But such a stage of the tape is far from being suitable for racing in the mountains, if your muscles are not sufficiently adapted to racing in the mountains, most likely you will have to lower the intensity and add strength work. It is also common for athletes to reduce the intensity and there are more and more of these types of eyeliners in mountain races, although this is very unusual in other endurance sports. This stage lasts from 5 to 26 days before the race, we recommend gradually reducing the load.


We will tell you how to assemble this puzzle and what kind of training and why you need to do it in the following publications.

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