Updated: May 28
Humans love challenges and running in hills is much more challenging than running on flat urban roads of India.
We are blessed to have so many mountains in India which provides feeling of gear achievement and at the same time sight of breathtaking landscapes on every mile while running.
How to train for mountain runs?
We train as per the upcoming race in any case. So if you are aiming to conquer mountains you need to do some of your training on inclines; this can be done on flyovers / small ridges in the city. Treadmill also works well to practice inclines only drawback is you can’t practice descents on a treadmill.
Try to do some interval runs like running uphill and jog down for recovery. And a few long runs with multiple flyovers in between that mimics racing in mountains. If it’s hard to find inclines in your area we recommend twice a week strength training for your legs with weights and if possible stairs with weights that builds strength endurance for your legs and strengthens your cardiovascular system for added challenge while running uphill.
It's strongly recommended you pick a structured and progressive training plan from a certified coach in order to stay on track while improving on your fitness levels while training for your goal race.
Is it a good way to experience and explore a beautiful landscape?
Definitely! Travelling to mountains is always joyful. You get a chance spare few days out from your busy schedule and soak yourself in nature. Practising a few short runs pre race gives an added advantage to runners who arrive early at the venue. Local food, markets, religious places and other natural marvels come as a package if travelling to a new place for your runs.
My experience of the Ladakh Marathons...
Ladakh Marathon is emerging as a huge race in high altitude. Running a marathon 11500-12000ft above sea level seems daunting to many people but this race is gaining popularity from past few editions and I have seen many novice runners also landing up in Leh to take part in this yearly extravaganza.
A few pointers one needs to keep in mind before signing up this mammoth race in India.
You should be a good runner with 2-3 years of experience of nailing the distance you are about to attempt in leh.
You need be in leh much prior to race day. For a full marathon 10-15days for a half marathon 5-7days.
Complete rest on day 1 and have a lot of fluids. Don’t push yourself at all for first 2 days gradually let your body adjust to higher altitude and follow a good Acclamation training program making up to race day.
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