Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Max King's Running Tip of the Month

The following article was written by Max King and originally printed in The Footzone Bend's May e-mail newsletter.  Reprinted with permission from The Footzone Bend and +Max King

Time to go for a hike, that's right, a power hike. Racing up at 16,000ft this last weekend reminded me that I need to hike more. I know 16,000ft is a little extreme, but if you've got an ultramarathon coming up this summer chances are good that you'll be hiking sections of it and it's a skill that can gain a lot of time if you've practiced it in training.

Max King - winner of the 2008 XTERRA Trail Nationals in Bend, OR

In most ultramarathons, there will be uphill sections that you will need to hike and that's ok. You shouldn't feel like you have to run all of it. Because you'll be hiking you'll also need to practice it to become strong and efficient switching between running and hiking. Hiking will help build strength in your glutes and quads because you're loading the muscles longer than you are during running. Power hiking will also help your running endurance over the long miles during the ultra.  


Here's how to do it: During your next long run make sure you have included some hills on your route, specifically some pretty steep hills. If it's a short steep hill power hike the whole thing at a quick pace that you can maintain. If it's a longer more gradual hill that you suspect you may need to hike part of it during a race, practice switching between running and hiking with 30 seconds hiking to 30 seconds running. Become efficient and switching between the two modes. This will help you gain strength and keep your heart rate from becoming too elevated during uphill portions of you next ultra. hiking you'll also need to practice it to become strong and efficient switching between running and hiking. Hiking will help build strength in your glutes and quads because you're loading the muscles longer than you are during running. Power hiking will also help your running endurance over the long miles during the ultra.