So, you have decided to take part in Hobart’s iconic Point to Pinnacle event. What a fabulous decision and one that could be immensely rewarding if you prepare correctly for it.
This preparation should include getting a medical clearance if you are over 35 and/or not used to regular exercise. You will be spending an increasing amount of time on your feet so expert advice on suitable footwear is essential, as will be following the Training Tips, Advice and Program that we will be providing each week for the next 12 through this website.
The Program we have designed can be followed regardless of your starting point or your expected finishing time. One thing is for certain though, there will be times that you will need to not think too hard about things and just get out the door and get on with it.
We are starting with 3 runs per week and 3 cross training sessions (Cycling, swimming, circuit and the like) This will give you sufficient aerobic development without over stressing the body structurally. This evolves to 5 or more runs as the body adapts.
Whether you are following the All Aerobics Point to Pinnacle training programme or your own programme, there are three fundamental training principles to keep in mind to be at your best on November 15th.
Your body will adapt specifically to your training programme. No amount of swimming, cycling or circuit work can prepare you adequately for the challenge ahead. Simply put, if you want to run 23km up a mountain, you will need to build an endurance running base and train on hills once or twice a week.
Training needs to be challenging to improve your fitness while maintaining a balance of high and easy intensity workouts so you don’t over train. Use your maximum heart rate (220 – your age) to gauge your work rate.
Easy runs – 60-70% max HR
Steady paced or long runs – 70-80% max HR
Interval or hill sessions – 80-90% max HR
As you become fitter, your training will need to progress to meet the Overload principle. In the coming weeks, this may mean more running sessions, longer runs and increasingly challenging interval or hill sessions.
But it’s not all hard work. In Week 4 we will consider Recovery and help you make sure you are not over doing things.
Maintaining a Training Diary is a helpful way to monitor your training. Record your sessions and also make a note of how you felt, including any particular body soreness. Reviewing your diary regularly will identify sudden and risky increases in training volume or early signs of injury.
Using a GPS system like a GARMIN is the most accurate way of monitoring training. If you don’t have a Garmin, quantify your training using a Rate of Perceived Excursion scale and the simple formula below.
Training time (minutes) x RPE (out of 10) = Training Volume
Recovery run today 30 mins. Ave HR 130. Training volume 30 x 4 = 120
Felt light and easy. No shin soreness. Looking forward to long run Sunday.
For many runners a Training Diary becomes a great record of their hard work and a good reference for next year’s Point to Pinnacle training!
Hopefully by now you are in the swing of things and training is progressing steadily. You may also find that you are feeling a little tired or that your body is starting to grumble. It’s time to back off for a week.
As much as we might like to think, we are not machines and there are limits to the volume of training we can endure. Recovery is a crucial part of the adaptation cycle and over training is ineffective. A lighter week will help you freshen up and come back ready for more next week.
The following tips will assist your recovery.
- Easy running sessions should be just that – easy – and will actually help you recover. If you are using a Garmin, keep your heart rate between 60 – 70% of your maximum heart rate (220 – your age x 0.6-0.7). You should be able to hold a conversation during these runs.
- Have an easier training week every 4th week. Decrease the volume and intensity of key work outs and consider replacing a run with a cross training session.
- This is an ideal week to have a massage, try an ice bath or go for a walk in the water at the beach.
- Incorporate low intensity exercise into your training week, such as Pilates, Yoga or a stretching session.
Running up Hill
Mt Wellington is 1270m high. Now that you are committed to the Point to Pinnacle it is too late to escape the fact: That’s a big hill to run up!
The good news is that biomechanics research confirms that running up hill places significantly less impact and braking force on your body than running on the flat and a lot less strain than if you run down hill.
The quid pro quo is you have to produce more propulsive force to overcome gravity. That means not only a high demand on your heart and lungs, but also a big challenge for your muscles and tendons.
The following tips might help as you contemplate the summit of Hobart’s iconic mountain.
- Progress your hill training gradually and limit your hill sessions to once or twice a week.
- Consider other forms of circuit or strength training to increase your muscle capacity.
- Don’t over-stride. You may take more smaller steps to get there, but the effort for each stride will be less. It’s like riding a bike in a lower gear.
- Limit down hill running by walking back between hill reps or organising a car shuffle for longer runs.
When you are injured it is tempting to think why bother, yet for most people the benefits to general health and the sense of achievement far out way the risk of a running related injury.
Most running injuries relate to overuse of your tissues so ignore warning signs at your peril.
Things to take note of:
Feeling overly tired or your usual run seeming particularly hard work.
Niggles that don’t warm up as you start running.
Familiar running soreness that lingers once you stop running.
Back off training for a few days before returning gradually. If things don’t improve consult a health professional such as a Sports Doctor or Sports Physiotherapist who is familiar with running injuries.
Things not to ignore:
Pain that occurs suddenly
Pain at night
Pain that gets worse the longer you run
Pain that lasts in to the next day
Be particularly vigilant with foot or shin pain
Stop running and seek a professional opinion quickly. Remember, acting now may save your Point to Pinnacle experience.
Clothing & Footwear
We strongly recommend that you go to a specialist running store to make your purchases. This will save you both time and money. The running store staff are usually runners themselves and experienced in fitting people of all ages, shapes and sizes. They know what to look for and which models may work for you. If you return to them for a second or third pair of shoes they’ll know you even better and can be of even more help in your running future. Here are the three main things to keep in mind when trying on shoes:
The biomechanics of your feet
We all have a natural way of running; our own personal style. You probably weren’t even aware that you had a style, but I guarantee that you do. If you were to go running and had a friend follow you and film you with a video camera, you’d notice that your running style would fall into one of the following categories:
Neutral: You’re a pronator when your foot naturally rolls inward upon landing while running. A small degree of pronation is natural.
Excessive pronation: (known as overpronation or hyperpronation) can happen when the arch flattens out, thus stretching ligaments, tendons and muscles, but in all my years of experience I have seen very few hyperpronators. Be careful of salespeople that want to convince you that you’re a hyperpronator when in reality you just have naturally occurring pronation.
Underpronating: (supination) You’re a supinator when your foot naturally rolls outward upon landing while running.
While you train and race you need to feel comfortable and fabulous. The combination of the two will make you run faster. Plus, there is nothing worse than running with a wardrobe malfunction! What you wear will also depend on the weather conditions and the climate on the mountain. Remember the conditions will be very different from the start to finish, as there is a 1270m-elevation difference. You definitely want to invest in some technical running clothes. Unlike cotton clothing, synthetic fabrics, such as CoolMax or Dri‐Fit, wick moisture away from your skin. Although the technical fabric running clothes may cost a little more, you’ll appreciate the comfort, especially during longer runs. Arm warmers are a great idea for the P2P as you can start with them rolled down and pull them up once it gets cooler.
Fuel and Hydration
It doesn’t matter if you are an elite, recreational or novice runner. What you put in to your body will impact on what you get out of it. As your longer run may now be an hour or more, it is a good time to start managing your fuel intake.
Early morning runs
Long runs – during runs
Sleep (Please refer to week 12 information)
Staying the Distance
The bitter experience of many runners testifies that this is the period of your training when things can go horribly wrong. Your Training Volume is at its greatest and after nearly three months of work your body may be showing signs of wear and tear.
Avoiding final week training traps will help you stay the distance and achieve your goal of completing the Point to Pinnacle.
Don’t be carried away by how well you are training and start to push too hard. Stick with your original goals and be patient.
Cramming or Panic Sessions
While it may have helped you through school exams, you can’t cram additional training sessions to make up for those you may have missed in weeks gone by. Have faith in your training programme and don’t try to catch up by over training.
Be careful of changing your training routine this close to the big day. This means being careful not to run with new training partners who may be faster or stronger. Avoid running trails that are steeper or a different surface to those you are used to. Plan so you don’t need new shoes this close to the event.
In Week 6 we spoke about things to take note of and things not to ignore. This is particularly important now. Backing off training or consulting an appropriate health professional may be the best decision you can make.
You have more to lose than gain this close to the big day.
Tapering to Peak
Now is the time to have faith in the training you have done so far. In fact at this point there is nothing you can do to improve your fitness, but a lot you could do to bring it undone. Many people want to keep increasing their volume and intensity of training, which in many cases has left them sick, injured or just plain worn out by the big day.
Our Training plan for you shows a slight decrease in volume from here on, combined with no increase but a maintenance of the intensity you are now used to. Most sessions actually feel like you want to do a bit more, but resist, save it up. You are only days away from your goal.
This brings you to a peak of fitness as the body begins to store its energy. It is natural to feel a little edgy and even feel some niggles, but rest assured you will be fine and your priority is to go into the event fresh and healthy.
Final Check List
- Eat well and stay hydrated the entire week; 6 – 8 cups of water per day.
- Don’t try any new foods; stick to foods you know.
- Review race goals and focus on what you want to accomplish.
- Stay relaxed in this last week.
- Get adequate sleep each night (8 hours); go to sleep 5-10 minutes earlier each night so the night before race day you are in bed at a reasonable hour.
- Two days before the race get a good night’s rest; the night before you may be nervous and not sleep as well.
- Fine-tune your pre-race routine (i.e. warm-up, leg swings, short jog).
- Review the course map.
- Finalise your nutrition and hydration strategy (how much to drink, what to eat and drink, where you will refill, how you will carry your gear).
- Plan your pacing minutes per or kilometer if you are using a Garmin GPS watch
- If you’ve trained with a heart rate monitor, also use your heart rate in your pacing.
- Write out your paces/heart rates and memorise them. Stick to your race plan; don’t go out too fast – it’s a long hill!!
- Plan your post race package – change of clothes, shoes (Crocs are comfy after long races!), any special dietary needs.
Final Night Checklist
- Prepare your gear the night before (race number pinned to clothes, Timing Chip laced in your shoes that you will be wearing in the event, lay out clothes, water bottle(s), post race package
- Check weather forecast and prepare adequately for the conditions. Remember that the Mountain weather conditions can change very quickly.
- Know your Start Time – Walkers 7:00am Runners 8:00am.
- Get to the start with plenty of time to spare, you don’t want to be panicking to try and find a car park etc..
- Make sure to drink 6 – 8 cups of water during the event.
- Go over your pacing/heart rates again.
- Don’t eat anything you haven’t tried before – eat a meal you really enjoy and that makes you feel physically strong.
- Get to bed at a reasonable hour but don’t stress if you don’t sleep well as long as you’ve gotten good sleep in the day’s prior.
Race Day Checklist
- Breakfast – don’t eat anything you haven’t already tried in training and that you know how your body responds to.
- Eat at least an hour before the race.
- Drink 300 to 500 ml of water in the last hour before the race. Leave enough time to go to the toilet before the starting line.
- Run through the race in your head one more time and stick to YOUR race plan.
- Go through your pre-race warm-up routine as planned.
- Don’t try anything today that you haven’t tried in training. No new clothes, shoes, water bottles, etc.
Good luck from the team at P2P, enjoy the day out and we hope you achieve your goal.