Whatever your individual running ambition is, most of us need a nudge in the right direction and some planning to help stay on track. Nearly everyone on a start line has followed a journey to get there, whether you’re tackling your first trail race, stepping up a distance or want to push yourself to run faster we have you covered.
We’ve all been there. You want to train to run that race you’ve targeted, but you’re not quite sure where to start. You swing from being super strong and confident to not quite knowing how you can tackle it all.
Once upon a time having a 'coach' seemed to be reserved for the likes of elite athletes. Those times have definitely passed and, in our opinion, the best way to consistently improve your running is to work one on one with a dedicated coach. There are so many benefits over following an off the shelf training plan. Having someone there for you, encouraging and motivating you, analysing your data and pinpointing the best times to train and how to make those little changes to get the most from your running. We are all different, hence we all need to train differently. Having the expertise of a running coach behind you means that you can take away all of the guesswork and uncertainty of training by yourself.
We have partnered with Sam Hill at Hill Performance as we think he is ideally suited to help Maverick runners. He has an excellent trail, fell and mountain running credentials, but more importantly, he is an extremely passionate and supportive coach. He has been working with athletes for years, coaching them in the mountains all around the world, and has all of the knowledge and experience to help you achieve your running goals. Also, unlike a lot of running coaches out there, he is fully qualified, not only as a coach but as a sports nutritionist and International Mountain Leader.
Click the link below to find out more about Sam and get started.
For those not ready to commit to needing a coach or just needing a nudge in the right direction, we have 4 downloadable 8 week training plans.
All the plans require a base level of running fitness, just the ability to run/walk for 5k is enough but these are designed to build you through the Maverick race distances so you can get to the start line full of confidence in the training banked. As all Maverick races are on trails, it is encouraged to try to get out and run multi-terrain as much as possible (plus trails are more fun than roads!) but don’t worry if you’re more city-locked, you can still improve and run marvellously out in the wild.
For all the plans, try to do as much running on the terrain similar to the race as you can. If you predominantly run on roads, try to make an effort once a week to get out to some trails. This will strengthen you for race day both physically and mentally as you will know how to tackle difficult ground and tired ankles.
On your longer runs, always take drink and fuel. On warmer days, take electrolytes in your water (such as Precision Hydration) and make sure you drink plenty to keep hydrated. It’s important to keep your sugar levels topped up on longer runs, so carrying energy gels such as GU as well as other snacks that work for you to keep you motivated and alert. I tend to carry a couple of gels, some Soreen, maybe dates, brioche and (if it’s not too warm) chocolate bars like baby Snickers. Whatever works for you is fine though. Just remember that eating will give you the best run you could have on that day and sets you up for the weeks of training ahead.
FIRST TRAIL RACE
Designed to give you enough running fitness and endurance to feel confident that you can take on the shorter Maverick routes. This will give you a structure to get enough easy running during your week to improve your aerobic capacity as well as an introduction to some speed work once a week.
SHORT TO MIDDLE
You feel confident that you can cover the ground on the shorter routes and want that bit extra to push on to the middle route distances. This plan will add some extra miles in and a little more speed and hill work to improve in what youâ€™ve already built.
MIDDLE TO LONG
The long routes can seem daunting but it's just a case of being confident and practised in running for longer. This plan will build up your time on feet as well as making you stronger, making sure you're ready to tackle the distance as well as the extra elevation during the routes - you know Mavericks love hills.
X SERIES OR ULTRA
The big boys of the Maverick series are the most intimidating but conquering them is a great achievement. You will need some good running fitness to start with but this plan will make sure you are equipped to take on those bigger courses. There is plenty of long running, chunky hill work and more focus on practising your nutrition during training on this plan but you can tackle those beasts with the confidence you need.