Team La Sportiva runner Sam Burridge won the inaugural Brisbane Trail Ultra 60k in 2019. He is back to defend his title in 2020 and has written some advice for those also preparing to race there this year. This advice also applies to all the distances at BTU as the 4 courses share the same trails.
Brisbane Trail Ultra – Training Advice by Sam Burridge
The Brisbane Trail Ultra is a deceptively tough race. Not being a local I didn’t expect the course to be as hilly as it was. There were no really long climbs that went for kilometre after kilometre (which are generally my favourite part of a race) just constant rolling hills for the whole distance until you reach the city section of the course. In the 60km race alone you climb over 2000m throughout the course !
Here are a few tips to help you plan your training leading into the race:
- Incorporate rolling hills into your long runs
In training start to incorporate hills into your runs especially your weekly long run. This will build the strength and endurance that you will need come race day.
- Do hill sessions to build your strength
Hills are speedwork in disguise. Hill sessions are tough but they make you strong and fit fast. They also provide other benefits such as improving your running economy.
- Practise your trail running at night
Due to the format of race day and the time of year the majority of participants will be finishing in the dark. Some of the single track around Mt Coot-Tha is quite technical so getting used to running through somewhat technical trails by head torch will definitely help on the day.
- Trial your mandatory kit prior to Race day
As the saying goes “Never try anything new on race day” so make sure you’ve tried all your race day kit in training beforehand. Also do a few of your long runs carrying all your mandatory kit, this will help you get used to carrying more gear than you otherwise would in training so it’s not a shock at the race itself.
- Sort your nutrition prior to race day
Similar to the above point make sure you have trialled your nutrition prior to the big dance. Nutrition is a tricky one and has the potential to completely undo all your hard work training on the day. Find what works for you, make a nutrition and hydration plan and stick to it wherever possible.
- Enjoy the training & racing experience
For me this is the most important aspect of training and racing. I run and race because I enjoy it, there will always be days that aren’t as fun but as a whole running and racing should be an enjoyable experience otherwise what’s the point.