Recent Three Peaks Race winner Victoria Wilkinson offers her top tips for endurance building
1 Do Fartlek
This is the most important one. In a group do an hour’s run of no set session - if someone feels good they go off the front, if someone says sprint to that tree you sprint, but between those efforts keep the speed going without letting your heart rate (HR) drop. This type of session is also known as tempo running - maintaining a fairly high HR, not your max but around 75%, so you’re just under your lactate threshold, so that your body can cope with producing lactate but then stay in lactate without having to get your HR right back down to recover. Increase the session time for longer speed endurance training.
2 Try hills and biking
Hilly runs, reps and biking help you push up your HR for longer too. Especially hilly mountain biking or road cycling.
3 Eat and rest
It’s important to fuel up right as well. You need to take on enough nutrition but not the wrong type of food - so your basic healthy eating guidelines apply here, reducing processed foods and eating plenty of fruit, veg and lean protein. Take rest days and prioritise 7-8 hours sleep too - you’re not going to do a fast 3 hour run if you’re tired.
Racing helps because hopefully it’s above what you would train at, but be wise and don’t put in too many.
See the June-July 2018 edition of Trail Running for the full interview with GB international Victoria Wilkinson