Do I need to run twice a day to be a good trail runner?

So do you really need to run twice a day to be a good trail runner? Well, speaking from experience you can get really fit by running twice a day and it does have lots of benefits. However, you can also very quickly overdo it and become over-trained and/or injured. There are also other ways you can get fit without running twice a day. I thought I’d share a few of my own experiences, along with some reflections on the research I have done to help you decide whether running twice a day is right for you.

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How easy is it to convert from road to trail running?

I first started running on the roads near my home to keep fit; these were quiet country roads with very little traffic and lots of greenery to see. When I went to university I ran the Great North Run for charity, where I found myself running through the city and suburbs. On moving to Skipton I (eventually) joined the local running club where I was introduced to some off road running, including my first off road half marathon. At this time I was still also doing some road races and working on good 5km and 10km times, but somehow, in training, my legs would always take me onto the trails where I could immerse myself more in nature. It was only when I began working with a coach and he asked me why I was training on trails yet my goals were all road based that I had the epiphany that really, the thing I liked doing was trail running. So what’s the difference between road running and trail running? And what does it take to convert from the road to the trails?

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How to train for a gravel race

Working with endurance cyclists and runners I am increasingly aware of the trends towards off-road events, including many of the people I coach who have taken part in off-road events over recent years. I thought it would be useful to write about how to train for a one day gravel race, which is a great way of getting into off-road cycling.

So, how to train for a gravel race?

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Ten tips to Run Faster Uphill

I am lucky enough to have always been able to climb pretty effectively, perhaps because I love being at the top of mountains. However, I know (and have been told on more than one occasion) that liking climbing is ‘a bit weird.’ The majority of people I run with (but not all) struggle with hills both psychologically and physically finding it difficult to keep a pace or keep running. Now there is no doubt that we cannot run up all parts of a mountain, but thinking about it there are certain things that I do in running and training which help me keep going and get to the top. I thought I’d share a few of these things with you to help you conquer those hills.

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15 Ways Endurance Sport Can Help Your Mental Health

There is increasing evidence to show that physical activity can have a positive effect on mental health. I recently read an article which stated how doctors in some countries are prescribing exercise for patients with low mood and depression. Throughout my career I have worked with a variety of people who have used physical activity to improve their mental well-being. So, how does this relate to endurance sport in particular? And when does ‘physical activity’ become ‘sport’? I’ve been reflecting a lot recently about how my own running career has helped me maintain better mental health.

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Self-Hypnosis and mental skills for cyclists, runners and triathletes

Sports psychology is becoming increasingly popular in the world of sport. This is for good reason, as athletes search for ways to improve and gain the edge on the competition, they realise that a very significant proportion of sporting success is down to having the right mindset. Psychological skills are not just for the elite, as learning to think positively and effectively will help performance at all levels. Reinforcing and enhancing these skills and a success mindset with hypnosis serves to strengthen the power and focus of your mind.

So, how can you use self-hypnosis and mental skills to enhance your performance as a cyclist, runner or triathlete?

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Stop negative thoughts with STOP-CLAP technique

Negative thoughts, known as negative self talk is probably the most common way to mess up your confidence and sabotage your performance. One really effective technique to move to more positive thinking is using what is known as the stop-clap technique. I thought it would be useful to explain how it works and how you can use it.

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From runner to cyclist

There are many reasons that you may want to transfer from running to cycling as a sport. Making the change takes time but there are things you can do that will make the transition more quickly and effectively. I thought it would be useful to write about my experiences.

So, how do you change from running to cycling? The most effective way at first is to train like a runner and not as a cyclist. It takes time to build up the strength and resilience to cycling, so when you start out you may find

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Train slower, race faster

Perhaps one of the hardest things to do as an endurance athlete is to accept that making easier sessions really easy is the best way. I have found this from personal experience and from working with many athletes over the years, so I thought it would be useful to write some thoughts and explanations of why and perhaps how to do slower/easier sessions.

So, why train slower to race faster? Training at a slower pace will be less taxing on your system but will still develop your aerobic fitness, it will allow to train more with less fatigue and have the energy to focus on the faster sessions that combine for optimal race performances. Too much faster training can make you slower.

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Use process goals to avoid anxiety about hard sessions

Many people feel anxious about their training sessions and races, particularly the harder or more important ones. I thought it would be useful to explore this a little more and explain how you can use process goals to reduce or remove this anxiety and stress.

So, how can you use process goals to avoid anxiety about your hard sessions? Process goals are steps that you can control that result in a successful session. Focusing on process goals will shift your focus from the outcome, which isn’t completely in your control, to processes that are within your control, which is far less stressful.

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Learn from your past to get fitter and faster

When I start working with someone new I always spend some time learning about things they have done so that I understand what has worked for them in the past and what hasn’t worked so well. I thought it would be useful to explain how I go about this so that other people can learn from my experiences.

So, how do you learn from your past to get fitter and faster? Look at hard data first, heart rate, power, pace and any associated comments, don’t rely on memory at least initially.

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Do I need a training camp to get fitter?

In my experience, there are pros and cons to going on a training camp. I thought it would be useful to spend some time thinking about these and doing some research to help evaluate the best way forward.

So, do I need a training camp to get fitter? No, you do not need a training camp to get fitter for cycling or running and in some cases, going on a training camp can be worse than staying at home.

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Use a Wattbike to get faster at long distance cycling events

Many of the endurance cyclists I work with have found that incorporating one or two Wattbike sessions into their weekly training has paid dividends and added interest to their training. I thought it would be useful to write an article on the subject and explain how this works.

So, how do you use a Wattbike to get faster at long distance cycling events? The most effective way to use a Wattbike is to work on the higher intensity fitness

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How can I get better at cycling up hills?

I am often asked how cyclists can get better at cycling uphills, so I gave the problem some thought, did a bit of additional research and decided to write an article to explain my findings.

So, how can I get better at cycling up hills? In most cases, the best way to get better at cycling up hills is to improve your cycling fitness using a combination of harder efforts and endurance rides.

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How Do I Train for an Ultra Endurance Mountain Bike Race

I was having a quick scan around the internet at the information available on training for endurance events and thought it would useful to write an article on training for an Ultra-Endurance Mountain Bike Event.

So how do you train for an ultra endurance mountain bike race? The best way is to break your training down into specific areas, here are 5 of the most important:

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My favourite cycling and running books

Over the years I have read many books about training, coaching, nutrition, strength and conditioning, etc. Some of these have been very useful and some less useful. This blog provides a review of the ones I have found to be of most practical use along with a few that are just a good and inspiring read.

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How should I recover from an ultra-endurance event?

I have been increasingly involved with athletes taking part in ultra-endurance events such as the Transatlantic Way, Transcontinental, HT550 and even a successful Round the World Record attempt. These events put huge demands on competitors’, both physically and mentally and I thought it would be useful to write about my findings on how best to recover from these long ultra-endurance events.

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How to train for cyclocross and ultra-endurance cycling

Some of the endurance cyclists I work with like to do cyclocross in the winter to keep fit, add some interest and enjoy a new challenge. One of the athletes I work with wanted to learn more about the background of the training I am setting. I wrote a lengthy explanation by email and thought the ideas might be useful to others, so I have included the details here.

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Font Romeu Nature Trail

Font Romeu Nature Trail former Killian Classik is a great weekend of racing with a bit of something for everyone!

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