Okay, I signed up for the Kinabalu Climbathon again this year. As with last year, the goal is to finish within the stipulated time of 4 hours 30 minutes. Last year, before the race I was in the fittest state that I have ever been but still did not manage to complete the run in time. This year I should be wiser from the failure however I have brought back some fear for the toughness of the race. I tried looking for mountain running plan for Kinabalu but it is dificult to find specific information for a Kinabalu run as the race is not that popular. Anyway, let me give a short review of what I have learned and see if this year I can train better.
1. The steps on Kinabalu are high and steep. Training on a threadmill is good but the feel is rather different. I remember my quads starting to cramp before the 6km mark (the race is 21km). My training should have a lot of double steps to simulate the larger steps on the mountain. The best training will still be actual steep trails but steps will have to do for convenience sake in Singapore.
2. Last year, the furthest I went was 21km for training. This was not enough for Kinabalu. I think I should be training to run 30km comfortably as an equivalent flat distance training.
3. If I am doing threadmill, I should set it at 15 degrees incline from the start. 15 degrees is the maximum incline on the running machine in my gym.The last two months long run should be mainly on hilly terrain or on this treadmill setting.
4. Intervals and tempo runs are a necessity. I will aim to push myself hard during the intervals. For the tempo runs, I should time myself and push myself to improve the timing.
5. One good way to track my progress might be to count my vertical meters per month. I overheard good mountain runners were doing nearly 30000 meters per month. I should look at my runs from that perspective as well.
With those few points in mind, I should start writing out my training plan for myself soon. Without a proper plan, I know I'll just wait around till race time and realize that I am not prepared for the race.