Ultra running is no joke, but it’s the training that really shows you what you are made of. When I set myself the goal of running 100 miles (160km) I knew it was going to be tough as nails, I thought yeah I will learn so much running it (and I am sure I still will when we toe the line in September at the legendary Karkloof100) but it is the training that has been something of a revelation for me.
Don’t let the vert hurt
Depending on the type of terrain your goal race is you will naturally
train accordingly. If your race is over smooth jeep track and clean
forest trails spending hours in the rocky technical mountains every
single run won’t necessarily benefit you as much as flat dirt road
running will. I’ve had to force myself to walk the hills, and hey it’s
OK! No one is going to be laughing at your Strava laps because you
walked the hills. Saving energy on the ups means you run the flat and
downhills when others are forced to walk later in the race.
Don’t waste tired legs
For years I have tried my best to make sure I am as rested as
possible before the weekend long run, but a few weeks back when I was
slogging through a 4 hour run feeling like death warmed up all I wanted
to do was stop. Then it suddenly hit me, I worked hard to get this tired
and I am not injured, so just keep running. Running your long run on
tired legs is a great way to simulate a possible race day environment
when you start to feel tired towards the end of the race. This can be
applied to any run distance training. It not only teaches you to run on
tired legs but builds some serious mental fortitude because we are never
as tired as our brain tries to tell us we are. You can always go more!
Train at goal race pace
This has been by far the toughest part of my training. Not counting
the very little speed work I do, most of my runs have tried to be at
goal race pace for the karkloof100, which happens to be almost 3 minutes
per km slower than the average I am most comfortable at. Training slow
takes proper discipline, having people pass you while you are walking is
not good for the ego but training at 4min/km will have zero benefit
when you are running for 24 hours plus at 7mins/km. Training the slow
twitch muscle fibres and building endurance is a patience game. One that
you will reap serious benefits from if you can get right.
The hunger is real
It’s true what they say, training for an ultra puts a fire in your
belly. The proverbial fire of passion and zeal to go further than ever
before, but more importantly a literal fire that burns up anything you
eat in 30 seconds flat. The fight for clocking as many miles as you can
without getting injured before race day is only surpassed by the fight
to consume as many calories as humanly possible, and hope it’s enough.
Make sure you like being with yourself
For the most part running is a selfish sport, especially ultra
running. You will be spending hours out there, mostly by yourself. If
you don’t like your own company you will have to quickly learn to like
yourself. Ultra running for me is about self-discovery (among other
things), if you feel like you don’t know yourself very well just enter
an ultra. You will get acquainted very quickly. Getting comfortable
being uncomfortable and still being patient with yourself when things
don’t go according to plan is a skill that is learnt and one that can
benefit in all spheres of life.
Spotify will change your life
If you still don’t like yourself after training for an ultra just
register on Spotify. Podcasts and playlists for days that will keep you
entertained. I try not run with music mostly but there are some days
when you are just so flat and can’t bring yourself to have to process
any thoughts while running. It’s days like these when a Spotify “Lazy
Weekend” playlist serenading you through your long run makes you feel
like you are running on cotton wool.
Find an understanding spouse
I should have lead with this because it is probably the most
important part of training for an ultra, especially if you would still
like to be married when you cross the finish line. Don’t forget to put
that quality time into your spouse / partner / significant other on top
of all the hours you are hogging to clock the miles. Making them feel
special and that they are still the most important goal of your life
goes a long way to helping them support you in your goal to reach that
finish line. You might be so focused on the sacrifices you as the runner
make in your pursuit of your goal, that you haven’t seen the sacrifices
the love of your life is making.
P.S. Loni if I hadn’t said it enough thank you for letting me train
for this. Thank you for having yummy suppers ready when I get home late
in the week from long runs. Thank you for understanding and support me
in this. I couldn’t have / can’t do it without you
KwaZulu-Natal’s premier hundred mile footrace, Karkloof 100, taking
place for the second time in September this year, is excited to welcome
international elite ultra-trail runner, Kelly Wolf, to it’s field. The
event will also be hosting a 50-miler which starts from the turn around
point of the 100-miler route.
At just 23 years old, Wolf has taken the ultra-running world by storm
since turning professional in 2017. In just over a year, Wolf has
dominated in her field, with podium finishes in major trail running
events around the world. This year alone, Wolf was the first female home
at the Tarawera ultra-marathon, a 102km race based in Rotorua, New
Zealand. And more recently, won the Lavarado 120km ultra-trail marathon
in Italy over the weekend. Both races are part of the Ultra-Trail World
Tour, a collection of the most established and difficult trail races
across the globe – something the Karkloof100 aspires to become part of.
Based in Telluride, Colorado in the USA, a town which lies at 8750ft
in the San Juan Mountains, with a population of just 2300, Wolf’s
backyard is literally her training ground. By day, she is a gymnastics
coach but spends every spare minute exploring the mountains that she
As excitement for the Karkloof100, which is now just three months
away, builds, co-race directors, Andrew Booth of KZN Trail Running and
Jack Davis of the Trail Lab, are thrilled to have Wolf on the line-up
for the 50-mile event.
The Westfalia Farm on the karkloof100 route
“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to show Kelly not just the
international standard of our event but also the beauty of our province
and the hospitality of our country,” said Booth, adding that bringing
Wolf to South Africa to take part in the race would not have been
possible without international hydration pack brand Ultimate Direction –
a joint sponsor of both Wolf and the Karkloof100 event.
“Although the race is still in its infancy, it has already drawn an
incredibly talented field of local athletes. And now will welcome its
first international runners, and first elite female runner. This is a
great sign, a proud moment, and testament to the fact that South Africa
is becoming a serious destination for ultra-marathon trail runners to
visit and compete,” he added.
“We hope our future Karkloof100 events will entice more international
runners to make this South Africa’s ultimate 100-mile trail event.
Watch this space!” said Davis.
Wolf will be running alongside a mixed bag of national elite athletes as well as novices taking on the run of their life.
South Africa has some legendary places in terms of trail running with endless views and miles and miles of prestine trails. If there was ever a place that could be considered a top example of this, the small town of Greyton would be it. There simply is just too much to explore in 1 day of running so imagine our excitement when we heard of a 2 day stage race taking place over the weekend of 18/18 March 2018. The GreytRun promises to be a weekend of mountain stoke and family fun.
Runners crossing one of the many rivers in the area.
The run used to form part of the weekend festivities at the Greyt
Escape Mountain Bike Race but now, for the first time, it will be it’s
own stand alone race. Runners can expect to be blown away by not only
the running as the hospitality of the communities in the surrounding
Genadendal area are nothing short of legendary.
The two day event covers roughly 58km with a total elevation gain of
around 1500m over the two stages. According to race director, Michael
Viljoen, Saturday’s Stage 1 covering 30km “will take the runners in an
easterly direction along the mountain range, traversing through fynbos,
trails over farms, hidden valleys and secret kloofs, with stunning
mountain proximity and great views over the valley. The second half will
see the runners going back to Greyton via a more flat course along the
valley floor and the banks of the river, towards the finish in town
through bush trails that stir the senses and spur them on to be their
best, before a well-deserved rest and recovery for Day 2.”
Day 1 Route and Profile
“Stage 2”, says Michael, “is 32 km with 717 metres of climbing. Fly
like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Try to conserve your energy as you
stroll over rolling hills in the first half, before tackling two big
climbs as well as the GC. The route features jeep track as well as
single track, as it makes its way around the historic town of
As with most Stage Races there are a number of accommodation and entry packages so check out which one suits you best here. You simply cannot beat the vibe in race village between the stages so if you can try stay over at the race venue.
For those looking for something a little less serious there will be a
21k, 10k and 5k taking place on the Sunday which will appeal to runners
of all levels, so it really is a fantastic family weekend out.
Use the discount code “bbtr10” for a discount on your entry.
Registration will be at the Old Potter’s Inn in Main Road, Greyton.
A review of the ASICS Gel-Fuji Attack 5 Trail Shoe
The People’s Champ. A title many strive for but few ever receive. The People’s Champ is someone who always remembers their roots, they always remember those who helped them get to the pinnacle of their sport. The People’s Champ gives back to their people. Whether it is family, friends or a complete stranger the People’s Champ remembers their humble beginnings and helps out wherever they can. Take for example Manny Pacquiao, he came from the slums of the Philippines to the pinnacle of professional boxing. Instead of hiding behind his mansions and fancy cars he remembers where he comes from, he proved this when he built over 1000 homes for poor Phillipinos in his home town. That is a true People’s Champion.
The more we are running in the latest edition of the ASICS Gel-Fuji Attack the more we are realising that this shoe is The People’s Champion, of the running shoe industry. A shoe that has come from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of its sport. All throughout its ascent up the popularity polls it has remembered its fans, improved what needed to be improved but essentially staying consistent. Consistently brilliant. The ASICS Gel-Fuji Attack 5 is The People’s Champ. There is no doubt about it. Go to any trail event and at least half of the shoes you see will be ASICS. Why is this? Why is one brand so popular? We believe it is because the brand, ASICS, is not afraid to keep giving back to its fans. If you compare how much the average pair of ASICS retails for compared to its competitors you will see what we mean. The Gel-Fuji Attack 5 is available for R1599 at RUN Specialist Store, that is atleast R400 – R600 cheaper than the competitors we would stack this shoe up against. We haven’t called this shoe ‘The People’s Champion’ on price and popularity alone, and we don’t believe it is only popular amongst consumers because of its price. To be the Champ you have to be able to go toe-to-toe with the best. Let’s see how The People’s Champ stacks up against the rest.
ASICS Gel-Fuji Attack 5
ASICS seem to be one of the only brands who have figured out that
multi-directional lugs on the forefoot (and not only on the heel) is a
massive advantage on the descents. Not every runner brakes with their
heel on a steep descent. Having some lugs facing the other way on the
descent gives the shoe a lot more stability than we initially thought it
would. Especially landing on rocky surfaces while running downhill, the
added grip did wonders for our confidence. The outsole is built for
speed, there is no doubt about it. The lugs are built for ‘full ground
contact’ meaning the whole outsole is designed so that you have the
maximum amount of outsole in contact with as much ground as possible in
every stride. This makes the shoe stable on loose rocky terrain, muddy
terrain, hard pack and even tar. Granted the lugs aren’t aggressive
enough to be an out and out mud slinging machine but it will still keep
you upright in the wet stuff. The shoe handled incredibly well for us
across various terrain. One of the BBTR testers used the shoe at
a recent 3 Day Stage Race, the Cell C AfricanX. There was rain on Day 1,
intense heat on Day 2 and more rain on Day 3. On each stage the shoe
Day 2 was a rocky and technical 34km route with around 1100m
elevation. The added Rock Protection Plate gave enough protection from
sharper rocks popping through the midsole. ASICS have gone with their
High Abrasion Rubber in the outsole which we have found to be very
durable. Doing a fair bit of running on tar and hard cement sections on
the trails has not excessively worn down the shoes. Although these high
abrasion materials in the industry are good for durability we sometimes
find this negatively affects the grip of the shoe. Thankfully this has
not been the case in the Gel-Fuji Attack 5. The rubber compound is hard
but still has decent grip. It won’t grip like a Speedcross or something
with a softer compound so if total grip is what you are looking for, you
might look for something softer. If durability with enough grip to feel
confident on the technical stuff is what you are after this shoe is
right up there with the best.
The midsole is built around a neutral platform and is split up into
two sections, in the forefoot is a molded and contoured compound which
does well to keep the shoe stable. It does this by preventing excessive
‘side-ways’ flexing of the shoe which keeps the ankle and the foot
straight. This added stability is great on technical terrain but if you
prefer a flexible and loose midsole you might find the shoe a little
stiff. It is always a fine line between flexibility and stability on the
trail but seeing that many first-time trail runners will head out in
the Attack models they have done well to ensure the shoe remains stable.
As mentioned earlier our tester used the Attack 5 at the Cell C
AfricanX 3 Day Stage Race which covers 94km of trail running over 3
days. Before the event he had only run 10km in the shoe so going into
the event we were all very interested to see how the shoe treated him
after so short a run-in. The amount of cushioning was perfect for the
high mileage covered over the 3 days. After covering 36km on Day 1,
going into a 34km on Day 2 the shoe remained comfortable and didn’t give
any blisters. That in itself is a win! The 10mm heel-to-toe drop is a
little high for us but it didn’t pose any problems throughout the event.
The second part of the midsole is a Gel Pod in the heel which is one
of the reason the shoe is so comfortable, the Gel Pod did wonders in
absorbing some of the impact over the 3 days. This is another feature
that makes this shoe so good across varying terrain as it is comfortable
not only on the trail but also on tar and harder running surfaces. The
midsole is also made up of what ASICS calls its SOLYTE material which is
lighter than their standard EVA and SpEVA + materials. The shoe isn’t
incredibly light so the lighter midsole material does well to keep the
weight down. At 294g (Mens UK9) it isn’t the lightest shoe available so
it does fall in the ‘All Round Racer’ category for us. A perfect high
mileage trainer for logging those high miles leading up to an event.
We sometimes find a stable midsole is often accompanied by a loose
fitting Upper which for us defeats the point of trying to build a stable
shoe. This is not the case with the Attack 5. In fact the Upper might
be a little too built up as it is not the most breathable shoe we have
come across. On Day 2 in some serious heat a more breathable Upper would
have been a welcome relief. Having said that the thick Upper does have
it’s advantages, most noticeably the shoe stays dry inside. Running
through puddles and wet grass socks stay dry which for us is fantastic,
especially if you prefer running with dry feet. We thought blisters
could be an issue because the thick upper would trap moisture in the
shoe but the ‘ComforDRY Sockliner’ works incredibly well to wick sweat
off the foot, keeping friction to a minimum. Admittedly it isn’t a shoe
we would run through a desert with but training in winter is going to be
a whole lot more pleasant with a shoe like this. One of our favourite
features of the Upper is the pocket on the tongue that holds the laces
securely inside. The possibility of branches pulling your laces loose
while running along the trail is no longer a problem as they are tucked
At almost R600 cheaper than its competitors the Attack 5 is in a
league of its own. A R1600 shoe that performs like a R2200 shoe is one
of the reasons we have dubbed this shoe, The People’s Champion. The
People’s Champion just keeps giving back to its fans. Not only in
affordability but also in performance. We have a feeling this shoe will
be around for a very, very long time and it most certainly can hold its
own against its more expensive competitors. If you are a road runner
looking at getting into trail running or even a seasoned trail runner
looking for a stable, nuetral high mileage training shoe then the ASICS
Gel-Fuji Attack 5 is for you.
Is it for fun? Is it to test yourself? Is it to cause adaptations that make you better? Something else altogether?
I think all of these things are potentially valid, but in my opinion what training actually involves is a person attempting to cause an adaptation (or set of adaptations) to occur in order to become better able to achieve specific goals.
A focus on fun and tests doesn’t necessarily achieve this, and as as
tempting as they may be I don’t think this is what training is for. But,
ultimately, it does depend on what your goals are; and please note that I didn’t say to completely exclude these.
So what if your goal is to become a better runner?
If you want to win races, and to get fast over certain distances,
always training for fun or treating every training session as a test is
quite simply a mistake; this would be a case where you either need to
change your training or re-evaluate your goals.
If the above-mentioned “get faster over certain distances” is your
goal, then specific adaptations that allow the human body to do this are
what we want to result from our training.
I think one of the most important adaptations to seek as an endurance
athlete that would aid this goal would be mitochondrial biogenesis,
which can be mediated by a protein called PGC-1α –
a key regulator of energy metabolism. Our mitochondria are the part of
our cells that generate most of the energy, so it should make sense
that we want lots of mitochondria that function well in order to be a
good endurance athlete. Increasing PGC-1α, then, would be a goal that
one should probably have as an endurance athlete, and so training in a
way that best does this might be a good idea!
One of the things that I’ve recently learned exhibits control over PGC-1α in skeletal muscle, is testosterone.
In this study, wherein some rats were fed exogenous testosterone, there were significant increases in their skeletal muscle PGC-1α. The level of increase here would likely only be seen if one were supplementing with exogenous testosterone, since the rats doing so had ~12-fold increase in serum testosterone vs. the control; but this at least demonstrates a potential link between testosterone levels and PGC-1α (and so mitochondrial biogenesis) in skeletal muscle.
PGC-1α itself also increases angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels) and fat oxidation — so it does more than simply increase mitochondria. Both of these factors would also be helpful for improving performance.
The fact that PGC-1α is affected by testosterone should make us think
twice about whether we want to engage in training that has a robust and
prolonged stress response involved with it, which may negatively impact
testosterone. This goes back to my original point of matching our
training up with our goals.
So perhaps simply running as much as possible as fast as possible for as long as possible might not be the best way to train. We can negatively affect our testosterone production by waking up early to run (ie sleeping less), running too much or, more simply put, experiencing chronic stress. In doing these things we are potentially stopping one of the adaptations we want to be happening in the first place as a result of our training.
So if we want to actually benefit from our training and propel ourselves toward our goals, how should we go about doing so?
I believe the method that makes the most sense is to reduce or remove the junk middle-ground training and train either at a high- or low-intensity.
High intensity training induces metabolic stress, and also increases mitochondrial biogenesis through AMPK which is an enzyme that becomes more active when there is low energy levels within the cell, and subsequently activates PGC-1α. This happens especially so when in a glycogen-depleted state. This especially makes sense when we think of metabolic stress as a state wherein we don’t have enough energy as we need for whatever we are doing, and high intensity exercise is the “whatever we are doing” and the lack of glycogen (stored carbohydrate) is the “don’t have enough energy.”
Middle ground training is not as intense as high-intensity
training (because high-intensity is done at a level beyond which is
sustainable for time), and not as long-duration as low intensity high volume
training, so although it will still obviously have some of the effects
mentioned above, it is not going to give you the biggest return on
investment. As fun as a tempo run
may be, it should have a specific place in training in relation to your
goals (race) and should probably not make up a large part of training.
This is a training model that I have mentioned before referred to as polarised training, which was looked at in this paper where they tested a group of well-trained athletes who were randomised into groups of either high intensity interval training (HIIT), high-volume low-intensity training (HVT), lactate threshold (THR) or polarised (POL). Here is a description of the intervention:
The HVT included three blocks each
lasting 3 weeks: 2 weeks of high-volume training followed by 1 week of
recovery. The two high volume weeks each included six training sessions
with three 90 min LOW sessions, two 150–240 min LOW sessions (according
to the training mode: running, cycling, or roller skiing) and one 60 min
LT session using different types of interval training (e.g., 5 × 7 min
with 2 min recovery, 3 × 15 min with 3 min recovery). The recovery week
included three training sessions with two 90 min LOW sessions and one
150–180 min LOW session.
The THR included three blocks, each
lasting 3 weeks: 2 weeks of high volume and intensity training followed
by 1 week of recovery. The two high volume and intensity weeks each
included six training sessions with two 60 min interval sessions at the
LT (5 × 6 min and 2 min recovery in the first block, 6 × 7 min in the
second block and 6 × 8 min in the last block), one 90 min LT session
with longer intervals (3 × 15 min with 3 min active recovery in the
first block and 3 × 20 min for the remaining two blocks), one 75 min
session with varying changes in intensity (“fartlek”) (intensities
resulting in a blood lactate of 1.5–5 mmol·L−1) and two 90
min LOW sessions. The recovery week included one 60 min LOW session and
two 60 min LT interval sessions (5 × 6 min with 2 min of active
The HIIT included two interval
blocks of 16 days with one adaptation week prior to and one recovery
week after each block. The adaptation week included two 60 min HIIT
sessions, three 90 min LOW sessions, one 120 min LOW session and 1 day
of recovery. The condensed 16 day interval block included 12 HIIT
sessions within 15 days, integrating four blocks of three HIIT sessions
for three consecutive days followed by 1 day of recovery. The recovery
week contained four LOW sessions of 90 min and 3 days without any
training. All of the HIIT sessions included a 20 min warm-up at 75% of
HRpeak, 4 × 4 min at 90–95% of HRpeak with 3 min active recovery and a 15 min cool-down at 75% HRpeak
based on the protocol proposed earlier. The LOW sessions lasted 90–150
min depending on the training mode (running vs. cycling) at an intensity
resulting blood lactate of <2 mmol·L−1.
The POL included three blocks, each
lasting 3 weeks: 2 weeks of high volume and intensity training followed
by 1 week of recovery. The high volume and intensity week included six
sessions with two 60 min HIIT sessions, two 150–240 min long duration
LOW sessions (duration according to training mode: cycling, running or
roller skiing), which included six to eight maximal sprints of 5 s
separated by at least 20 min, and two 90 min LOW sessions. The recovery
week included one 60 min HIIT session, one 120–180 min LOW session and
one 90 min LOW session.
The study was meant to assess specific “key endurance parameters”
over 9 weeks. These parameters included submaximal and peak VO2 (VO2submax and VO2peak) and HR (HRsubmax and HRpeak),
as well as time to exhaustion (TTE) and velocity/power. At the end of
the 9 week period, it seemed that polarised training demonstrated “the
greatest increase in VO2peak , time to exhaustion (during a specific protocol) and peak velocity/power.”
It would seem that a training model that includes the best of both
worlds (and eliminates what interferes) makes sense both intuitively and
in light of evidence. Polarised training allows one to use
both high intensity training and high volume training (mentioned above
to both induce mitochondrial biogenesis through different mechanisms)
separately and effectively without running the risk of overtraining.
I would, however, plan my own training quite a bit differently than was
done in the above paper, which will likely be discussed in the future.
About the Author:
James is an amateur-adventurer and a curious thinker that spends much of his time outdoors playing amongst and exploring nature.
According to James he is a “pretty average person”
(note however that he doesn’t claim to be normal!). He feels there’s
nothing special that he possess that allows him to enjoy any of the
things he does, or to live the way that he decide to. That mean’s that
pretty much anybody is capable of doing whatever he does here, or at
least has the capacity to develop an ability to do such things.
James is attempting to explore the full capacity of being a human — to enjoy life to the fullest extent that he know’s how.
Becoming a better human is something he deems to be important, and
thankfully for us he will share anything he can come up with that may
If I think of female super hero’s Cat Woman usually comes to mind,
for me she has always been one of the best and most fiercest of all the
female super hero’s. Being one of DC Comic’s master’s of villainy she
would always prove to be a fierce rival and a force to be reckoned with.
Her Cat-like agility and stealthy thievery enables her to thwart even
the strongest and toughest of opponents. If Cat Woman had a hobby, it
would be trail running, and she would be pretty darn amazing at it with
her fierce agility and power.
Now unfortunately for the ladies out there, you can’t all be Cat Woman but fear not because the team at PUMA have given you the next best thing, the PUMA Faas 300 Trail Shoe. Designed specifically for ladies who crave those cat like reflexes and agility that Cat Woman seems to enjoy so much!
Sole of the PUMA Faas 300
Right out of the box it is clear that this shoe means business. The sole of the PUMA Faas 300 is littered with claw like lugs just waiting to tear at the dirt and rocks as you whisk along the single track, just like Cat Woman would leap and skip between buildings with her loot on a moonless night in Gotham. Running on wet, muddy or loose gravel will give you great confidence in the grip of the shoe, our tester even said, “They are super grippy, I could even probably walk up an acute angled wall if all the odds were in my favour.” Once you hit the hard pack don’t think yourself crazy to stop and check if the lugs (read claws) have retracted into the sole as the spacing between the lugs (read claws) and the comfort of the Faas Foam gives you a wonderfully smooth and flat ride on the harder stuff.
Staying with the sole lets look at the midsole, PUMA have used their
Faas Foam throughout the midsole which gives the shoe a great ride and
is very comfortable (according to our lady tester, Lona Trew-Browne).
They say a cat always lands on her feet and with this mid and outer
sole any lady is going to be happy to land on her feet on a rugged and
technical trail. One of my favourite aspects of the PUMA Faas 300 is how
PUMA have managed to give the shoe a decent and comfortable amount of
cushioning while still keeping it light, agile and in a ‘minimal-shoe’
bracket. The one thing that it is missing though(which has been added to
the V2 model) is a rock-plate which along with the Faas Foam keeps the
shoe nicely flexible but does slightly lack in the under-foot protection
Heel to toe drop on the PUMA Faas 300 will bring you out at 8.0mm
with Heel Height of 26.4mm and a Forefoot Height of 18.4mm. These
measurements with the pliability of the Faas Foam gives you a very
lightweight shoe weighing in at fierce 8oz. (or 225g).
The PUMA Faas 300 Upper
The Upper has not let down in the comfort and agility department
either with a padded tongue as well as a cushioned heel bridge. PUMA
have gone with an upper that is reinforced with their Translucent
Webcage Technology and has a dual density mesh throughout which is very
effective in keeping dust and dirt out of the shoe.
One benefit of buying shoes that are made by one of the largest
Lifestyle and Sport Shoe manufacturer’s in the world is you are sure to
get some great colour options. This particular pair came in a flaming
purple which will definitely turn a few heads, yet it is dark enough to
hide the dirt a bit longer than a lighter colour.
So there you have it ladies, there can be only one Cat Woman but thanks to the team at PUMA everyone can run like her.
There is a lot one can do with 12 hours. You could perform a living donor liver transplant surgery, slow cook a Pork Belly stew to mouth watering perfection, or even fly from Cape Town to Paris to watch Zlatan Ibrahimovic score a wonder goal in the Champions League. All amazing things but up until a few weeks ago very few people thought you could run over 100 miles in that same time. Yet that is exactly what Zach Bitter did at the Desert Solstice 24 Hour race in the US on 19 December, setting a new world record for 12 hours with a distance of 101.66 miles. Simply Sensational. That’s averaging a mile every 7 minutes and the shoes he did it in? You guessed it… the Altra Running ONE 2.5 road shoe.
Altra Running is making some serious waves in the running industry with their lightweight, no frills, no fuss running shoes. Simple yet wildly brilliant. Not only are Altra’s trail and road shoes setting records and winning awards all over the world but the company as a whole is making massive leaps in the running industry. As of 2016 Altra Running will be the exclusive foot-wear sponsor of the infamous Western States Endurance Run. This is a remarkable achievement, especially for such a young company that has only been manufacturing shoes for a few years now. Their shoes are good, really good and the running community is starting to recognise that fact.
Flying High with #ZeroLimits
A few months back we reviewed the Altra Superior 2.0 trail shoe and found it to be a game changer, lacking a few good qualities but as a whole… A solid game changer. In this review we will be looking to see if the ONE 2.5 will have the same effect on the road running shoe industry.
In terms of what you can see, the outsole is pretty simple. Just your
standard rubber outsole to give you the grip you need. In terms of what
you can’t see, i.e. the technology behind the outsole there is plenty
going on. Instead of just giving you a piece of rubber to grip the
surface as you run Altra have developed what they call their ‘Foot Pod
Technology” which works incredibly well with the midsole and the runners
foot to give the shoe flexion exactly where your foot needs it. This is
the first shoe we have come across where the outsole has been developed
so closely with the midsole in mind that it is almost impossible to
separate the two. The patterns in both fit together very well to map the
bones and tendons of the runners foot, this gives the sensation that
you aren’t even running in shoes at all.
A shoe designed with the runners foot in mind
There is no doubt about it, this shoe is built for speed! A lot of
speed and according to Altra, “without sacrificing the comfort needed to
maintain that speed through the finish line”. A 23mm stack height
ensures there is optimum comfort, giving you enough cushioning to hit
distances like Zach Bitter did in his 12hour record. The midsole
features Altra Runnings signature Zero Drop foot-bed meaning the heel
and toe’s are flat on the foot bed, this encourages are more natural
forefoot running form. This does make it a shoe for a specific type of
runner so if you haven’t run in a Zero Drop shoe before and are looking
to make the switch it is a process that should be taken carefully to
Altra will be the official shoe sponsor at the 2016 Western States Endurance Run
Running in Zero Drop shoes has many benefits. One of the
disadvantages we have found in the past is that a zero drop shoe can
feel a bit “sluggish” because you don’t have the elevated heel-to-toe
drop. Shoes with a 4mm or 8mm drop give you some momentum through the
transition phase as your foot strikes the ground, zero drop shoes
encourage a forefoot strike which can make them feel sluggish at first.
We found the ONE 2.5 transitioned brilliantly into the next phase after
the foot hit the tar, this is because of Altra’s A-Bound Technology
which according to Altra “reduces ground impact and adds a spring to
each step.” We found this to be true and worked incredibly well with the
InnerFlex grooves built into the midsole, completely removing that
sluggish feeling out of the foot transition phase.
Zero Drop. Zero Limits.
After running quite extensively in the ONE 2.5 we are pretty
convinced that the ONE 2.5 is Altra’s most comfortable shoe they have
produced to date. The no stitch overlays and quick dry Air-Mesh make for
a very comfortable, sock-like feel inside the shoe. Very rarely are
light weight racing shoes this comfortable, because of this fact it is a
great shoe across all distances from 10km to 100miles. The ONE 2.5
features Altra’s signature Foot-Shape Toe Box which if used with a sock
like Injinji gives you a massive amount of room inside the shoe for your
little piggies to play all the way to the market. Your toes can
naturally spread out and relax more instead of being cramped and unable
to move inside the shoe. This coupled with an effective forefoot strike
will increase your stability as you run.
Breaking Limits. Setting Records.
The Upper has been completely redesigned from the previous version
and it is very noticeable. The Upper dries faster and wicks sweat more
effectively keeping friction in the shoe to a minimum. We find this is a
major factor in the shoes comfort. The Upper also fits better over the
arch and top of the foot. The wider toe box gives your forefoot lots of
room while the rest of the upper keeps your foot from moving too much in
All in all we found the Altra ONE 2.5 to be absolutely fantastic!
Lightweight, comfortable, and very fast. The ONE 2.5 is a solid option
if you have been running in Zero Drop shoes on the trail. If it is good
for Zach Bitter we are pretty sure it is good for us!
The Altra ONE 2.5 is available from the RUN Specialist Store in Cape Town. 7 – 11 Bree Street. The shoe retails for around R1599.00
PUMA have come along way since the days of the NightFox and the TrailFox trail shoes, so far in fact that it is almost hard to believe that those shoes and the shoe we are reviewing today come from the same stable. Not to say that the previous models were bad. Rather it is a testament to how technology and science behind manufacturing, state of the art, performance gear has advanced. As trail running popularity is growing in leaps and bounds (excuse the pun) all the major shoe manufacturer’s are keeping their fans happy with gear purpose built for smashing through the toughest of terrains. Some go a more balanced route like the PUMA FAAS 300v2 Trail Shoe which we reviewed a few months back and some go all out manic!
We are happy to report that PUMA have not neglected the most hardcore
of the trail running community. Those that shun the idea of having to
put time on the road, those of us who are offended by single shot skinny
latte’s. Those of us who would rather have a double shot full cream
cortado put some extra hairs on our chest. You get balanced and then you
get crazy, and that is how we would describe the Faas 500v2 TR…
certifiably nuts!! I mean just look at them…
Aggression personified in a shoe!
Now before we get ahead of ourselves we are not saying that PUMA have
nailed it and can now sit back, rest on their laurels while the other
brands try to catch up. No, not at at all. They have come a long way
since the TrailFox released in 2006 but they still have a ways to go,
but more on that later. Lets dig into the specs and see what makes this
shoe tick before we make any suggestions on improvements.
Right off the bat you can see these shoes mean business. Just look at
that grip. If we had to liken these shoes to an animal it would hands
down be a Velociraptor. If the unfortunate humans who became dinosaur
food in Jurassic Park were wearing these shoes while running through the
jungles we think they might have had a bit more screen time. With the
claw like talons protruding from the bottom of the outsole there is
plenty of grip, and confidence to go with it. We were almost too nervous
to run easy in these shoes for fear of them slapping us and telling us
to get a move on! As we see in pretty much every PUMA running shoe the
Faas 500v2 TR features the brilliant ‘EverGrip’ technology which
according to PUMA is ‘Abrasion-resistant’. If by ‘Abrasion-resistant’
they mean that the shoe doesn’t wear very fast then yes, I would say it
is very ‘Abrasion-Resistant.’ I was happy to see that the lugs on the
outsole did not crack or break off after some pretty long (7 hours plus
on one instance at UTCT) and technical runs. Value for money will always
be a major factor when purchasing a new pair of shoes and for us these
shoes score brilliantly in durability. Think DuraCell Bunny.
Multi-Direction lugs give you plenty grip on the up hills, through the
technical singletrack and also provide some breaking force on the down
The Faas 500v2 TR has a slightly more plush ride than the Fass 300v2
TR we mentioned earlier. With a stack height of 22mm at the forefoot and
26mm at the heel and a 4mm footbed there is plenty of cushioning
without completely taking away any feedback you might want to get from
the trail. A 4mm heel-to-toe drop encourages a midfoot strike which we
like a lot. Even though you get some extra cushioning you won’t
sacrifice on the weight. The shoes still weight in around the 340g mark.
As the name suggests the Faas 500v2 TR features PUMA’s lightweight and
versatile Faas foam midsole. The midsole is built to provide a more
gradual transition from heel to midfoot by slowing down the rate of
pronation. This is done by some ‘release grooves’ in the midsole. These
grooves give a little more flex to the midsole by dispersing the force
generated from running evenly throughout the midsole. While we found
this worked fantastically well on hard pack or more ‘flatter’ surfaces
unfortunately it did add a bit of instability on the super technical
terrain. We found there was a little too much lateral movement at times
causing the ankle to roll slightly to the outside of the shoe. Nothing
major, but just enough to be aware of it. In terms of cushioning the
midsole felt exactly like a Faas midsole, consistent in that it was
comfy and smooth as the Faas foam is.
Plenty of grip to open the taps with confidence.
This is where version 2 has received the most upgrades from the first
version of the Faas 500 TR. The Upper has been upgraded with PUMA’s
WeaveMesh technology. This provides the midfoot with a lot more support
and really does make the shoe feel snug and fit well. One thing we
notice with more ‘cushioned, higher mileage’ shoes is that they can feel
cumbersome and a bit sluggish but the Faas 500v2 TR does very well to
still give you a spring in your step. The WeaveMesh plays a big part in
this. The Gaiter-compatibility and the Gusseted tongue will keep debris
and unwanted irritations like little stones etc. out of the shoe, a
welcome advantage when running for hours on end. PUMA were one of the
first major brands to feature Ortholite’s EcoOrthoLite technology in
their shoes. The technology has proved to be very popular and the Faas
500v2 TR features a sockliner made of that same technology. The benefits
of this include advanced breathability, moisture control, and
anti-microbial properties. All of these aid in preventing chaffing.
Another great advantage for those long runs.
We also found that the heel cup and tongue of the shoe came up nice
and high on the ankle which provide great support on the technical
stuff. Even though the release grooves in the midsole let the shoe down a
bit the added support on the ankle more than made up for it. Having
said that if you prefer more movement around the ankle this shoe might
not work for you.
The Upper as a whole looks incredibly solid. We have yet to see any
tears or breakages in the mesh after a good few long runs in some dense
EcoOrthoLite Technology in the sock liner.
What would we improve?
So earlier I said that PUMA have come a long way since the TrailFox but that we still feel they have a little way to go before they have an industry changer on their hands (in the trail shoe department). As great as this shoe is we still believe there is something missing. You see I unfortunately blame Puma for this. I blame them because of a little shoe called the PUMA IGNITE. The IGNITE midsole has ruined the Faas midsole (and almost any other midsole for that matter) for me, the one piece IGNITE foam is so insanely comfortable and responsive the Faas foam feels like a stack of A4 pieces of paper stuck on top of each other with Pritt glue. Don’t get me wrong, the Faas midsole is comfortable! It has worked for PUMA for years! I have an 8 hour trail run in the blistering rain at the 2015 Ultra Trail Cape Town with no blisters or sore feet to prove it. The Faas midsole is fantastic, but stacked against the IGNITE midsole it doesn’t even come close.
We hope a day will come when PUMA start bringing out trail shoes with
the IGNITE midsole as a feature, for us that would be a game changer!
On that day Trail Runners perception of PUMA as a trail running shoe
will literally change forever. Unfortunately that probably won’t be a
reality for a good year or two, maybe even 3. So we will just have to be
happy with the Faas foam for now, till our dreams of an IGNITE Trail
Have you ever heard the expression don’t bring a knife to a gun
fight? Well that pretty much sums up my early years as a kid. I had a
pretty rough time in Primary School. It was a decent private school with
all the luxuries that came with it but when it came to the playground
it didn’t matter what car your daddy drove. It was survival of the
fittest, the strongest and the meanest. Since my genes decided to bloom
later on in life I somehow always managed to be separated from the herd.
An easy prey for the stalking wolves of the concrete playground.
Now why am I telling you this? It sure isn’t so that you feel sorry
for me. I don’t regret those early days, they toughened me up, taught me
a lot about preparation and survival. I learnt early on that to win a
fight you needed to be, either, A: Stronger and Faster or B: Have a
bigger stick. Take world wars for example, the country with the biggest
weapons and baddest armies usually come out tops. Add Nuclear Warfare to
the equation and you have a slam dunk. In World War 2 Japan was giving
America and the allies all kinds of hell on various fronts. Refusing to
give up they fought with honour and ferocity.
That is until. Hiroshima.
After the US dropped the atom bomb “Little Boy” on Hiroshima Japanese
authourites must have realised they were fighting a losing battle,
America had a bigger gun.
Fighting smart with what you have might help you win the battle, but
having a bigger stick can win you the war. When it comes to a maximal
cushioned trail shoe purpose built for Ultra’s that is what New Balance
have in the new MT910v2
trail shoe. A bigger stick. This shoe has been phenomenal for me. I
have run in many New Balance shoes over the years. With the MT910v2 it
is so blatantly obvious why their RevLite technology has put New Balance
on the map and won many battles for them in the past. So lets get down
to what makes this shoe tick.
The New Balance MT910v2 features a HHR rubber outsole with
aggressively shaped lugs throughout the base of the shoe. As I said
earlier I have run in many a pair of New Balance and these are without a
doubt the best outsole New Balance has ever produced. The grip is
insane, granted you don’t get much feedback as the shoe is highly
cushioned but it is a grip you can trust. The rubber is sticky in the
wet and smooth in the dry. Since the shoe is made for Ultra’s and for
varying terrain the shoe performs best in slightly wet to dry hard pack
conditions. It isn’t an out and out mud shoe with deep lugs but it will
offer stability and a sense of confidence on a wide variety of terrains.
Even on the tar and hard pack it performs brilliantly.
HHR rubber outsole
I mentioned the Revlite tecnology earlier which in this shoe, is
simply outstanding. It has the perfect amount of stiffness for stability
yet at the same time offers a very comfortable ride for those insanely
long runs. Revlite offers a 30% reduction in weight compared to other
New Balance foams without sacrificing on comfortability and stability.
One great feature of the midsole is the addition of an full EVA “strobel
board”. A strobel board is a sheet of EVA that is glued to the midsole
and then the Upper is stiched to the material. It does make the midsole
less flexible but adds a massive amount of stability to the shoe. The
MT910v2 has a relatively low heel-to-toe drop of 8mm which will put less
strain on the calf muscles over the long haul, although to be honest I
would have preferred a 4mm drop it will appeal to a wider market of
runners. Add a Rock Stop® to all this and you have one of the best Ultra
running midsoles on the market.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this shoe is oh
so nice to look at! It is simply stunning. The nuclear orange contrast
with the black midsole is enough to frighten even the hardest of
enemies. The full synthetic mesh upper is breathable and tough. I was
glad to find it standing up against possible scuffs and scratches from
branches or rocks on the trail. The Toe Protect feature in the front of
the shoe is a welcome addition as well, adding to the confidence needed
to go in guns blazing when you need to. The shoe has also been designed
to keep stuff out, the tongue is secured to the edges of the upper
ensuring small stones etc don’t get into the shoe and a thick gusseted
heel arch also keeps dirt out at the back. New Balance really have gone
to town to ensure that this shoe will be the least of your concerns in
an Ultra distance race.
Full Synthetic Mesh Upper
As Ultra running is becoming more and more popular we are seeing
battles raging for the top spot. Runners are looking for well
constructed and practical products that can get them through the
distance. No Ultra runner is looking to bring a knife to a gun fight.
Preparation and a big stick will ensure victory. With the MT910v2 New
Balance haven’t just won the battle, they might have just won the war.
Most people think that speed wins races in running, but I am not so
sure this true. For me it is Endurance that wins races, or gets you to
the finish line. Without a solid base of Endurance that is built up over
hours and hours of training a runner would not be able to realise their
full potential and speed. Even 100m sprinters have need of endurance.
So what are some of the basic principles of endurance training that
one would need to build their training program on? In this article we
will look at some of the basic principles of Endurance and why they are
important. You will only get so good by going out and smashing a hard
run, if you implement some of the principles you will discover hidden
potential in you running that you never knew existed.
Before training our Endurance levels we need to understand the
different energy systems that enable us to use that hard earned
Endurance. Each energy system is different and directly effects a
runner’s endurance. If Endurance is the engine, the energy systems are
the fuel that run the engine. Utilising each energy system effectively
will mean the runner is able to draw the most out of their endurance
training that they possibly can. Even the best Endurance Training
programs will mean little return without even a basic understanding of
what energy is required at what level and how to train those energy
systems in conjunction with the endurance training.
So what are our bodies Energy Systems?
The energy systems, as the name implies is all about the production
of energy in your working muscles. As your muscles fire at various
points through training and racing energy is required to sustain them.
This could be in a 10second sprint or a 24hour endurance run. For the
body generate the energy you require there needs to be a combination of
fuel, a spark and oxygen (the same as a combustion engine). Each energy
system is evaluated according to their fuel and oxygen requirements. A
fast effort will require a higher level of fuel in a shorter time
period. The bodies ability to generate the fuel supply to satisfy the
energy requirements in this system is different to that of a slower but
longer effort, where the fuel is needed over a long period of time at a
consistent supply to fuel the effort.
These are the two major energy systems that have to be addressed
during your training. They are your aerobic and your anaerobic energy
systems. The goal event and desired result in that event will determine
what percentage of your program will be devoted to which. Aerobic energy
systems will give you the fuel for the long haul and your anaerobic
energy system gives you the gas for the shorter, faster efforts.
Regardless of the runners goal event they will require training in both
these systems to fully realise their endurance and speed potential.
Aerobic Energy System
Slow is smooth. Smooth is fst.
This is the foundation of any effort over 30 seconds and refers to
your bodies ability to absorb and use oxygen to produce energy. The key
to this energy system is Oxygen. The better your body is at absorbing
and using oxygen, the higher the intensity will be which you can use
while remaining in the aerobic energy system. A measure of aerobic
fitness is your VO2 Max which refers to the maximum amount of oxygen
that your body can utilise during exercise. Although VO2 Max is
generally a product of your genetics and cannot really be trained a
great deal (so the ability to absorb oxygen is pretty fixed), the
ability to use that oxygen is highly trainable.
When you develop your aerobic system you can get more oxygenated
blood to your working muscles. You also develop the ability for your
body to use that oxygen that has been transported to your working
muscles to generate energy. The more oxygen you get to your muscles the
more your muscles are able to fire for longer at a consistent strength
Typically the way you develop your aerobic capacity is by fairly low
intensity training. This is different for everyone and you need to
determine where the crossover point is between your aerobic and
anaerobic systems. This crossover point, or anaerobic threshold (AT) is
important to know for two reason. Firstly because your aerobic training
needs to be at an intensity lower than this point to get the desired
training effect and secondly because this is the intensity that you
should aim for as your race pace during competition. Any event over a
few hours is best raced at the pace of where you remain at your aerobic
threshold, going into anaerobic for too long will eventually cause you
to ‘hit the wall’. As we will see a little further on the anaerobic
system isn’t as sustainable as your aerobic system. AT is highly
trainable and needs to be evaluated at least once a month during the
training year as it changes as you build your aerobic capacity.
The power behind the aerobic system is the fact that your body can
use stored fat as fuel. This enables the body to run for hours as our
fat stores are massively greater than our carbohydrate stores. Training
and racing at an aerobic level means there is enough oxygen available to
burn fat as fuel, saving the much need carbohydrates for the faster,
more anaerobic efforts during a race or training session. It therefore
also holds true that as you increase your aerobic capacity you should
also be able to use fat as fuel at higher intensities. This is wonderful
news for the endurance athlete because as mentioned earlier our fat
stores far outweigh our carbohydrate stores (which generally only last
around 90mins before needing to be replenished), effectively burning fat
as fuel means the duration of the effort is increased greatly.
Anaerobic Energy System
A hard anaerobic effort is always fun 🙂
This is the all out sprint effort energy system. It does not require
oxygen to generate energy, but lasts for a very short period of time.
Typically it only lasts for all out efforts of 30 seconds or less. It
requires a fuel that is very easy to burn and therefore primarily uses
carbohydrates (Glycogen) stored in muscles and your liver as fuel. As
mentioned earlier it only has a limited supply so if an endurance
athlete goes out too hard early on and depletes their carb stores they
will have to replenish on the go with gels and energy bars. This is very
ineffective because at this point while replenishing energy levels on
the go it is very difficult to keep your energy levels at a stable
level. You will dip low and then rocket high as the simple sugars are
converted to energy, only to be dropped down again as your body uses up
the fuel. This from a mental perspective can be very damaging and make
an already tough event even tougher. At this level of effort your body
isn’t able to convert energy fast enough to maintain the pace of the
effort which only contributes to up-and-down energy loss mentioned
earlier. Training your anaerobic energy system helps you get comfortable
at this level of effort. It will be almost impossible to race an
endurance event at this level for the entire time. There will be times
on the route where you will go anaerobic to get up a sharp but short
climb for example but ultimately you want to remain within your aerobic
threshold for as much of the event as possible.
What this means then is in order to get faster over the long haul a
runner needs to increase the intensity he / she is able to maintain at
an aerobic level. This is the key to running well and running fast,
speed work can only make you fast for so long. Having an aerobic base
that can power a jet engine is the secret to running fast. So now that
we understand a little more about the energy systems how would one look
at structuring their program to train these systems and increase their
Below we look at a broad outline on how a program could be
structured, we don’t go into much depth on individual sessions this is
purely how to structure it for the long term.
The first and most basic principle is that of periodisation, or
splitting your training before an event up into parts or periods. You do
this to allow your body time to adapt to the training load in
preparation for an event. Periodisation allows for a gradual increase in
the load in order to prevent injuries and build an endurance
foundation. Once this has been done you can look to add intensity to
your training regime. High intensity training too early on or ‘too much
mileage too soon’ will ruin the consistency of your training through
injury and over-training. Periodising your program helps you see which
‘blocks’ you are in and keeps you focused on the specific goals for each
The first part of Periodisation is dividing your year into periods or
phases lasting anything from 4-8 weeks. Each of these seasons / phases
have a specific purpose. In coaching we typically like to break the
training year up into:
Adaptation Phase (also known as Pre-Season) – This phase is very
much focused on technique and getting your body used to training after
an off season layoff. Training is not only sports specific and could
include quite general training such as Cycling, Boxing, Stand Up Paddle
Boarding or Crossfit.
Base Phase (or Pre-Competitative Season) – This phase is sometimes
broken into a Base 1 and Base 2 but in essence it is the phase to build
aerobic capacity, to build the capillary system and mitochondria in
muscles and start working on strength (not speed). A note on strength,
this is to strengthen your muscles, tendons and ligaments for increases
in distance and intensity.
Speed Phase (or Competitive Season) – In the speed phase the
intensity of the workouts increase to the your anticipated (or goal)
race pace or greater. As with most things in life when you take on the
one side you have to give on another. So when you increase intensity you
have to decrease duration / distance. Sessions will be mostly interval
based and you can anticipate this being a taxing phase.
Recovery Phase (or Off-season) – Once you have completed your
competition season it is always a good idea to take some time off.
During this time you can still remain active but give your body and mind
a break from a structured training routine. Do activities that are not
related to those which you have spent a whole season training for. You
will start the next season mentally refreshed and physically revived.
The actual duration of each phase and the specific workouts during
each phase will be determined by the actual goal that you have. You
would need to evaluate the requirements of the goal to determine what
you need to do to reach it. If your race is 1 hour long your base phase
is going to look very different (and will be much shorter) than it would
if your race was a 7 hour race.
The start of the training year (Adaptation phase) will be determined
by the date of the event that you are wanting to peak for. Start with
the date (or dates) and work phases back from there.
Micro-cycles (also known as Mesocycles)
Once you have planned the big blocks, you need to split these further
into smaller parts, known as micro-cycles. These cycles are also aimed
at allowing your body adaptation time. You will typically work in 3 or 4
week cycles. Which works best for you should be evaluated based on your
current fitness levels and the event that you are training for. A 3
week cycle generally works best when you require more recovery, such as
when you are in the Speed Phase or if you are just starting training
from a long layoff. Or even in the Adaptation Phase. A 4 week cycle
works best when you require a cumulative training effect such as when
you are in Base Phase and training for a long distance event where
intensity isn’t very high.
A 3 week cycle would look something like this:
Maintenance Week – Maintain load (intensity or distance) at a manageable level.
Overload Week – Increase load (intensity or distance) to stress your body and cause adaptation.
Recovery Week – Decrease load (intensity or distance) to below
manageable level to allow your body to complete the adaptation that was
triggered by the overload week.
A 4 week cycle would just include a second Maintenance Week before
the Overload Week with a slight increase in load (intensity or distance)
but still at a manageable level.
In conclusion, Periodisation is a structured breakdown of your
training year into seasons where specific goals can be set and managed.
The seasons are then broken down further into micro-cycles. This allows
for a controlled increase in load which improves the chances of a
consistent and sustainable training load. It also ensures that all the
required energy systems are effectively trained enabling you to
maximise. Keeping an indepth log of all your training is a great way of
staying motivated as well as seeing where you are at with regards to