As a trail runner I am always searching for more suitable ways to train for the trail, living in the suburbs is a problem in the way that I can only get out to the proper trails on the weekend so finding better trail workouts and places to run is a challenge, one I am most of the time successful with.
Two really awesome workouts I now have are the Westcliff Stairs which I will post about soon and the workout I post about today. Yesterday a training bud and I decided to try something different from the regular interval stair, hill or track session, we ducked down to the local MTB Park for an interval session with a difference. The Toyota MTN mountain bike park in Bryanston is the mountain biker’s paradise when it comes to learning and training for technical courses, there are lots of jumps, narrow crossings and steep ups and downs amongst a host of other challenges that would make you a much better mountain biker. Now you are probably wondering, how would this help with running and especially trail and I say this is……. The loops at the bike park vary in distance and layout, from flat zigzag loops to the most technical steep routes. In our workout we added as much left and rights as possible along with a huge amount of steep ups followed by steep downs, these are the kind of ups (+-10m) that you have to sprint at or else you will be clambering up to the top and then to “top” it when you get to the summit you have a huge decline on the other which if you are not focused you will fall down instead of scramble down and I promise at the speed you come down those decents you should rather have your wits about you. Like I said earlier, as part of the workout was lots of zigzags, so sharp you are forced to slow down and speed up. Well it was a really cool workout and very interesting and as usual and as normal we were taken out of our comfort zones. I recommend this workout to all runners and especially trail runners, with the ballistic nature of the workout it teaches your body to work with focus, speed and power while strengthening muscles and joints that are important for the trail. As an example, our workout consisted of 7 Repeats on different loops of between 500 and 800m, these loops were done at high intensity with the only recovery between entering the next loop. So if you have a chance give this workout a try, you won’t be sorry…… OK maybe in the middle the workout you will be sorry ;-) but after you will feel amazing!! Enjoy, and remember, stay on the beaten track!