SQUADRUN is the affiliated training partner for all three Oceania Ultra-Trail races, including Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB, delivering tailored training programs for hundreds of athletes of all abilities. The experienced team are runners first, so committed to helping you achieve your goals. They’ll be there throughout your training journey and on race-day to see you succeed.
As with UTA and TUM, hundreds of SQUADRUN athletes will take to the Kosci trails because the infectious community, relentless enthusiasm and robust coaching method that always makes for fit, happy and successful runners.
You'll be able to purchase a 4-week trial training plan with them at checkout, or you can learn more about them and sign up for a full training package over on their website.
TRAINING ON COURSE
If training on any part of the Kosci courses, please take care and give way to members of the general public. This is especially important if you are planning a run on any sections of walking track near the Kosciuszko summit and surrounding trails due to the significant number of tourists that visit these trails.
Please note you must not take dogs into the National Parks, and it should go without saying that there is no smoking. Please also obey all information signs such as track closures (worth checking on any track closures before you head out).
It is always advisable to check on track closures prior to training on course. For updates on track closures, check the local alerts/track closures section of the Snowy Mountains National Parks website.
SAFETY WHEN TRAINING
Much of the event course is through remote areas which likely provides a very different experience to going on a trail run near your home. For your own safety, when training on the event course, you need to be aware that you could be in great danger if you got lost, especially in difficult weather conditions. You can easily end up a very long way off the course route in areas with no phone reception. You should only train on course if:
- You know how to navigate with a map and compass.
- You are fully prepared with navigation tools like the course maps, course descriptions and a compass. You also need to know how to use these and pay attention to these things as you travel the course route. You may also choose to use the GPX file downloaded onto your GPS watch.
- You are carrying safety equipment similar to that from the race mandatory gear list, plus enough food and water.
- There are no weather warnings (storms, big rainfall events, high winds) or total fire bans in place at the time of your run.
- You have told someone your plans including your intended route and expected return time.
For updates on track closures, check the local alerts/track closures section of the Snowy Mountains National Parks website.
Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB is a physically challenging event and participation in it presents medical risks that all athletes should be aware of.
Although the event has experienced medical personnel at numerous points along the course, the inaccessibility of much of the trail may make it difficult or impossible for medical assistance to reach the runner in a timely fashion. Our medical support team are experts in the field when it comes to trail running and their number one goal is to ensure you finish the event in good health.
Below are some simple tips we highly recommend all athletes read, especially those running the KosciMiler and Kosci100:
- Say no to NSAIDs – Ibuprofen, nurofen, diclofenac, voltaren, naproxen – sure to cause trouble!
- Drink to thirst – Drink varied fluids, take on food during the race, have a varied intake
- Be prepared for the condition - Hot, cold, dry or wet – have a plan for a range of conditions
- The race doesn’t end at the finish line – Pack warm clothes and a range of food for basking in your success at the finish
- Look out for each other
If you are concerned about any runner, please notify the next course marshal, checkpoint staff member, or volunteer with the runner’s race bib number immediately.
Näak is the Official On Course Sports Nutrition and Sports Hydration Supplier of the UTMB World Series and UTMB Mont-Blanc and can be found on course at Ultra Trail Kosciuszko.
Näak Ultra Energy™ science was developed to meet the specific needs of ultra distance Athletes. The idea is simple: the ingestion of a few macronutrients such as carbohydrates and electrolytes is not enough to fuel ultra distances. After a few hours of effort, you need a complete nutrition approach to go farther, longer.
Discover Long-lasting energy to go longer and farther at www.naak.com
Getting your nutrition right can be the difference between an enjoyable Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko and not making it to the finish line. For the longer distances especially, it is important to start training with your planned nutrition and adapting your body to what will fuel it come race day.
The checkpoints at Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB are a feast - but make sure you know what will be at each before race day so you can practice fueling on the same things you'll be consuming on race day.
Checkpoints are stocked with:
- Näak Ultra Energy™ drinks, waffles, and bars
- Bakery Goods
- Hot water, tea, coffee, noodles/soup
Please refer to the Runner Guide for specific checkpoint nutrition offering information.
TRAIL RUNNING TIPS
Some great trail running tips for beginners and everyone else loving the outdoors.
Trail running is all about freedom, adventure, being outdoors and sharing time with friends. Find new trails to explore, new destinations to run in, new mountains to climb and trails to adventure!
Strong feet: Many first-time trail runners are afraid they will roll an ankle or have some other sort of injury on the trails. This may be true if you are a newbie and tackle a gnarly course at top speed. You may wish to start by hiking on the trails to start with. Start by running on slightly easier and less technical trails and take them at a little slower pace. After a few weeks on the trails you will notice that your legs and feet will have become a lot stronger. Tackling more technical terrain at a good running speed requires neuromuscular coordination that comes with time and practice.
Your leg muscles will respond to trail running like nothing else! Running on various types of terrain over rocks, roots, rolling corners, up and down hills makes demands on a wider range of muscles than road running, without the repetition injuries of pounding pavement. Ankles, hips, inner and outer thighs and core muscles are engaged for balance. Trails more fully engage the quads, increasing leg strength.
Strong core muscles are a good thing and they will be engaged while running. But there’s a caveat. Your core muscles should be strong to help you maneuver over rocks and twisting, winding trails. However you should keep the core relaxed while engaged (i.e. not holding tension). Holding tension in your body through your shoulders, back and through your core muscles will wear you down in a long run.
Relaxed, loose, but not ‘hunched forward’ Think of ‘running proud’ with your shoulders in a neutral position (not forward or back). Your arms should swing relaxed beside your body – not crossing over the centre line.
Body position: Find a neutral body position. The “Alexander” neutral position is the body position where your body will naturally fall forward if you lean forward from the ankles. Quick fast light cadence: Maintain a quick cadence. The quicker your cadence, the faster and lighter (i.e. less impact on the ground) you will go. Think quick-light-feet, quick-light-feet. All of the fastest marathon runners in the world have a cadence of around 92 steps per minute. For trail runners on rocky, uneven or soft ground the benefits of a fast cadence are huge, you can move off the surface quickly and maintain forward momentum.
Keep your spine tall and lengthened and head in a neutral position. Do not slump back into your pelvis or dump forward. One of the worst (and most natural) things you can do is slump forward with your nose pointed down towards your feet. This forces your diaphragm up and effectively reduces your lung capacity. Shorten your stride – think like a mountain biker, increase your leg cadence and maintain a slight lean into the hill. Keep your head in the neutral position to prevent slumping forward. Some hills are horrendously long and tough, for example a canyon in Western States may take close to an hour to ascend when you are tired. You do not need to run the entire thing if you begin to feel exhausted. Back off and walk uphill. Make sure you walk those hills with a purpose. It’s not supposed to be a Sunday stroll.
You may think this is a no-brainer but proper downhill running technique can be excruciatingly difficult to master. The most important thing is – do not brake! Easier said than done if you find yourself hurtling downhill at breakneck speed. Braking, by landing on your heels is an inefficient use of your forward momentum and will engage your large quad muscles with each step. The end-result of this sometimes after only a very short run is “dead quads” as they will be fatigued and will feel like wobbly jelly (that’s jello for you North American Trail Runners). Run light and think that you should always be running over your feet rather than having your feet stretched out in front of you.
The best thing is to study widely, read blogs, website’s and ask questions in discussion groups. If you have access to them, ask the opinions of athletes you admire. Here are some recommendations:
- Enjoy the adventure. Your first ultramarathon race will be an incredibly exciting adventure for you. Hopefully, you’ve picked a race that really gets you inspired and fired up. Your training should reflect this adventure, go for training runs in interesting places and push your body to accomplish amazing things.
- Do NOT be intimidated. There is nothing magical about the marathon distance. Be prepared to push one step beyond the marathon and you’ll open up a whole new vista of running adventures. Most first-time ultramarathoners complete a 50-k run and then step it up to a 50-miler (80km).
- Train with friends that have similar goals. Learn from them, they’ll help keep you sane because they are as crazy as you. Draw on your knowledge from previous marathon events, triathlon, adventure racing to help you prepare for the ultra.
- Throw away your watch, GPS unit, heart-rate monitor… OK ok, you can keep all that stuff (and use it – if you must). Ultra-running is pretty simple in its pure essence. It’s just running a long way. Focus more on your time spent on the trails, not on measures of distance or pace. Learn to listen to your body and how your energy, level of exertion, and the rhythm of your running change as your run progresses. Record the time when you hit the trail and the time when you came back and make an assessment of how your body handled that sustained level of effort.