Ultra-Marathon Trail running races are fast becoming more popular, with more trail runners taking on the challenge to push both their physical and mental boundaries. Ryan Sandes, winner of the 2020 MaxiRace Cape Winelands and world renowned ultra-distance trail runner, is sharing some of his ultra marathon trail run training tips.


“Running MaxiRace Cape Winelands last year was such an honour, the Mont Rochelle mountains are insane and such a privilege to play in. I have put together a few training tips to help runners get the most out of their race and hopefully enjoy it as much as I do!”

– Ryan Sandes


Ultra Marathon Trail Run Training Tips

1. Be as consistent as possible with your training throughout the year. Ultra-distances like the 75km and 120km routes need a lot of training, they are not something I would recommend running with only a few weeks training under your belt. Don’t try and cram all of your training in right at the end close to the race, and also don’t push yourself to do too many massive peak weeks as part of your training, keep it consistent.


2. Put together a training program. It doesn’t have to be super detailed like a daily training program would be. A simple plan that can help you to know when to focus on bigger training weeks and how to structure your training around family and work commitments. They also offer a great opportunity to set mini goals in, for example smaller races that you can include in your training or just bigger runs to work towards. This helps with keeping you focused both mentally and physically.


3. Train as race specific as possible closer to the actual race. For example for MaxiRace, about 6 weeks before the race, get out into Mont Rochelle to do race specific training, also important is to try to mimic the amount verts that you will be doing in the race in your training. If the 120km race has 1500m of vertical gain, work that out per km and try to mimic this in your training. Another great option is to do the recce runs for the run, you will get a chance to be on the trail and also get invaluable advice from the guides taking the recce run on how to manage sections.


3. Very importantly and often overlooked – practice your race nutrition and race gear before the event so that you don’t have any additional variables to deal with on race day. Trust me it helps to have one less unknown to worry about on race day!


4. Finally, try to set yourself a race plan that you can use on race day. This will help you through the route and help to give you an idea of how well you are doing on race day.


MaxiRace Cape Winelands is taking place on the 2nd and 3rd of October 2021 – entries for the 2021 MaxiRace Cape Winelands 120km and 75km routes are open. For more info please visit www.maxirace.co.za

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