Michael Maddess the course designer of the Kazakhstan Action Asia 3 day ultra caught up with Claire Price (a podium finisher and winner of too many events to name) to dig deep on her secrets that she agreed to share!!
Q 1 - For runners who follow a training plan/program, do you believe it really helps for those that are office workers who have a goal in just completing a 60km / 100km Action Asia overseas event? Can participants get thru event without such a serious program?
I don't think you need a formal programme, but some training & preparation will help you enjoy the event and not get injured. Just a simple routine of 3 runs or hikes a week, with one of those being 3-4 hrs & the others being an hour or so will really help. Plus it's fun & good for you! Find a training partner if you can - or not - maybe you have a super busy life & need some time alone. Running or hiking alone can be a form of meditation. Most of all, build up your distances/intensity progressively & keep relaxed about your training.
Q 2 - In the final month before a 3 day event what things are definite no-no’s and should be avoided to be able to make the event more fun and enjoyable?
I think the obvious thing to avoid in the month before a big event like this is not to overtrain, trying to cram all your training into a few weeks. You'll quite possibly get injured & miss the race. So if you haven't managed to train much in the months leading up to the event, don't worry - just do what you can & adjust your expectations. Some people use one race as training & preparation for other races - you can always do that.
Q 3 - What are the top 3 little things that you do to prevent injury?
I've quit racing & my sponsorships, so my running is quite different now - I wouldn't even call it training - but when I was running competitively I learned the hard way not to overtrain and that nutrition is crucial. Especially in hot climates, you sweat a lot you're using up a huge amount of calories if you're training 20+ hrs a week. You can easily drain your body of important minerals & resources if you don't replenish right. Your training can end up making you weaker instead of stronger. I ended up with stress fractures in my back, partly from drinking overly purified water (I had a reverse osmosis filter at home, wanting to avoid plastic bottles - I've switched to a different filter now that leaves the minerals in - it's important to check!), but also just not eating enough super healthy food - I was busy with work, moving flats, had just had a breakup, and was moving up to the next level with my racing - it was the perfect storm. I'm much more aware of nutrition now - nothing complicated - just plenty of good quality, simple, mainly plant-base food. Some strength training is also a good idea - you can just do simple exercises using your body weight - you don't need a gym membership.
Q 4 - How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?
I have a Vizsla -- she gets me out every day & it's always fun. (Her cute dog in photo)
But in general, I'd say even on days when you're feeling completely unmotivated, remember that you'll always feel better if you get out, and will feel worse if you don't. You can just make it an easy, no-pressure outing. Don't question whether you're going or not - make it a routine, almost like brushing your teeth. Keep your kit organised & ready to grab quickly, then you can get out the door & on your trail almost on autopilot. Soon you'll feel much better, enjoying nature, getting your body moving & your lungs working, away from the noise of the city (or if you're in the gym, enjoying the energy there). & always remember, training should be fun & make you feel good, not be a source of pressure.
See you all in Kazakhstan. I can't wait!
(see photo of the dog that gets me out the door!)
Other photos are Claire Price at previous Nepal Action Asia events - where she won overall beating all the boys!!