30 May 2023

Conquer the Mountains

Embarking on your first ultra-trail race, or Skyrace can be an exhilarating and transformative experience. Races like the UTMB World Series, Spartan Trail World Championship, Golden Trail Series or Skyrunner World Series offer a challenging terrain with steep climbs and technical descents.

To ensure a successful race, it’s crucial to prepare both physically and mentally. In this article, we will discuss what to expect from an ultra-trail race and provide guidance on training, strength and mobility exercises, race strategy, meal planning, and post-race emotions.

What to Expect

Ultra-trail races present formidable challenges, demanding endurance, mental resilience, and technical skills. You’ll encounter long uphills, steep descents, uneven terrains, and potentially unpredictable weather conditions. The courses often include substantial elevation gain, testing your cardiovascular fitness and leg strength. Be prepared for fatigue, soreness, and moments when you’ll need to push your limits both mentally and physically.

Training plan

Training for an ultra-trail race requires consistent effort and a well-structured training plan. Ideally, you should train five to six days a week, focusing on a combination of running, strength training, and mobility exercises.

For a first time 100 miles runner, a good training plan could for example contain 8-10 workouts per week (totally 8-10 hours), including all the running, strength, mobility and stretch sessions.

A good idea before getting started with your training, is to create a Yearly Plan with different phases of trainings including your races for the season.

Gradually increase your weekly mileage, incorporating hill repeats, long runs, and back-to-back training sessions to simulate race conditions, including a good level of vertical meters per month to build leg strength and endurance.

Tips -Get your pre-prepared training plan
100 miles Trail running training plan – Beginner

Strength and Mobility Training

To tackle the challenging terrains, include exercises like squats, lunges, step-ups, and calf raises to strengthen your lower body. Core exercises, such as planks and Russian twists, will improve stability. Additionally, prioritize mobility exercises to enhance flexibility and prevent injuries, focusing on areas like hips, ankles, and shoulders.

Before getting started with your training, a good idea is to do some tests, to ensure that you are in the right ranges of motion, stability, balance and strength.

In this article you will find info and instructions for doing the Arduua Tests for Trail running, Skyrunning and Ultra-trail.

Tips – Strength training
Strength Training with TRX is particularly beneficial for runners, as it can help reduce the risk of injury in endurance athletes by correcting imbalances in your left and right side, which can lead to in an inefficient stride and injury over time. In this article you can view some different full body TRX training programmes.

Tips – Mobility training

The relationship in the flexibility of the athlete and the risk of injuries is something that you always have to consider. In this article you can view some different Mobility routines for Trail runners.

Training Timeline

This is a difficult question, and of cource it depends on your physical status, where you start and the length of the race.

But in general we would say, begin training at least six months before the race to allow ample time for progression and adaptation. Gradually increase training intensity and duration, incorporating taper periods in the final weeks to allow your body to recover and peak for race day.

Race Strategy and Meal Planning

Develop a race strategy based on course analysis and personal strengths. Break the race into segments, manage your effort levels, and stay fueled and hydrated throughout. Experiment with nutrition during training to determine what works best for you. Aim for a balanced diet with carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. On race day, consume easily digestible foods and maintain hydration to sustain your energy levels.

In this article you will find guideance in how to handle Nutrition before, during and after race.

Post-Race Emotions

Completing an ultra-trail race is an achievement that can evoke a range of emotions. You may experience a mix of exhaustion, elation, and a profound sense of accomplishment. Allow yourself time to recover physically and mentally, embracing rest, relaxation, and gentle exercise before considering your next race.


Preparing for your first ultra-trail race is a remarkable journey of physical and mental growth. With proper training, strength and mobility exercises, race strategy, and meal planning, you can conquer the mountains and emerge victorious. Embrace the challenge, savor the experience, and relish in the emotions that await you after crossing that finish line.

Find your Trail running Training program

Find your Trail running training program to suit your personal needs, your level of fitness, distance, ambition, duration and budget. Arduua provides personal coaching online, individualized training plans, race specific training plans, as well as general training plans (budget), for distances 5k – 170k, written by the experienced trail running coaches of Arduua. Read more in this article how to Find your Trail running Training program.

Good luck with your training, and please contact me for any question.

/Katinka Nyberg, CEO/Founder Arduua


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