Training & Medical
SQUADRUN is the affiliated training partner for Ultra-Trail Australia, delivering tailored training programs for hundreds of athletes of all abilities. The experienced team are runners first, so committed to helping you achieve your goals. They’ll be there throughout your training journey and on race-day to see you succeed.
For just $15 (+gst) per week there is no better value training partner you could choose to get you to the UTA finish line..
In 2021, hundreds of SQUADRUN athletes will once again take to the Blue Mountains trails because the infectious community, relentless enthusiasm and robust coaching method that always makes for fit, happy and successful runners.
Whether you are taking on the 22, 50 or 100, preparing your body and mind to undertake your chosen event can be a daunting prospect! We are here to help and have asked a variety of skilled coaches and ultra-runners to share their knowledge with you on all things training to ensure you are in the best position to achieve your goals come race day!
Below you will find a range of articles written by the coaches and writers that we partner with and trust. These are designed to help you with your training and your race preparation. If there is a topic you want to know more about, let us know!
- Plan Your Checkpoints and Get a UTA PB by Mark Green - The Body Mechanic
- Running 100 Will Change Your Life by Nick Muxlow - The Ultra Journey
- How to Train for Running Downhills by Mark Green - The Body Mechanic
- Recovery - How and why for distance runners by Vlad Shatrov - Run Lab
- Ultra Mind by Stephane Mouiin - Up Coaching
- Trouble Shooting for UTA by Wes Gibson - Up Coaching
- Running Training – How Hard Can You Push It? by Mark Green -Body Mechanic
- Hill Running by Graham Hand - Up Coaching
- Why the 50 Is Not Just the 50 by Darryl Johnson - Up Coaching
- Hydration and the Female Ultrarunner by Lyndal Maloney - Serotonin Running
- Checkpoint and Crewing Tips by Brendan Davies - Up Coaching
- The Benefits of Training on all Surfaces by Brendan Davies - Up Coaching
- Recovering from the UTA – You need to restock your cookie jar! by Mark Green -Body Mechanic
- Overcooked or Undercooked on the start line of the UTA? by Mark Green -Body Mechanic
- What shoe for you by Mark Green -Body Mechanic
- How prepared are your Quads and Calves for the UTA? by Mark Green - Body Mechanic
- How to manage the “big volume” weeks by Mark Green -Body Mechanic
- Hills and Stairs – Technique Tips by Mark Green -Body Mechanic
- Hiking in Ultras by Kellie Emmerson - Up Coaching
- Training for mountains without hills by Hanny Allston -Find Your Feet
- Strength Training For Ultra-Trail Australia by Andy DuBois -Mile 27
- Strength and Stability Program for Ultra-Trail Australia by Majell Backhausen - Find Your Feet
The official UTA Training camps are run by our very enthusiastic and talented SQUADRUN coaches led by Kerry Suter and Ali Pottinger (and always a special guest or two!).
These camps are suitable for all levels of runners and cater for all the different distances. The camps are held at the KCC Conference Centre in Katoomba so you get direct access to the course routes.
The camps include:
- On-course guided running sessions
- Trail skills (how to move on technical terrain, night running, downhill and tackling those climbs)
- Pole skills from qualified instructors
- Information sessions from experts in the areas of nutrition, strength and conditioning as well as recovery
- Access to learn about, test and purchase the latest running gear
- Special sponsor offers
Training on Course
If training on any part of the UTA course please take care and give way to members of the general public. This is especially important if you are planning a run on any sections of walking track near Katoomba, Leura and Wentworth Falls between the hours of 9am and 4pm due to the huge number of tourists you are likely to encounter.
Please note you must not take dogs into the National Parks, and it should go without saying that there is no smoking. Please also obey all information signs such as track closures (worth checking on any track closures before you head out).
For updates on track closures, check the local alerts / track closures section of the Blue Mountains National Parks website.
Out of Bounds Area
Please be aware that there are some areas of private property on the course which you are not allowed to enter except on race day. Two sections of the course in the Megalong Valley travel through private property (cross hatched area on course map). These sections are near Ironpot Ridge to the West of Dunphy's Camp and near The Six Foot Track, on the East side of Megalong Road. We have kindly been given permission from the landholders to use tracks for the event day only. Another section of the course that you can not use is the link track between Coronation Rd and Tableland Rd as this track also passes through private property. (Cross hatched area on course map)
These landholders understandably value their privacy and therefore do not want people trespassing on their properties outside of the event day. Anyone caught on these sections outside of event day may be disqualified from the event without refund.
All other sections of the course are OK to train on however it is always advisable to check on track closures.
Safety when training
Much of the event course is through remote areas which likely provide a very different experience to going on a trail run near your home. For your own safety, when training on the event course, you need to be aware that you could be in great danger if you got lost, especially in difficult weather conditions. You can easily end up a very long way off the course route in areas with no phone reception. You should only train on Leg 5, which is the least remote part of the course, or go onto the remote parts of the course if:
- You know how to navigate with a map and compass.
- You are fully prepared with the navigation tools listed under The Course. The best tool to make sure you don't get lost is the Mapping Phone App. But as a bare minimum you must have the course maps, course descriptions and a compass. You also need to know how to use and pay attention to these things as you travel the course route. You may also choose to use the GPX file downloaded onto your GPS watch.
- You are carrying safety equipment similar to that from the race mandatory gear list, plus enough food and water.
- There are no weather warnings (storms, big rainfall events, high winds) or total fire bans in place at the time of your run.
- You have told someone your plans including your intended route and expected return time.
Ultra-Trail Australia is a physically challenging event and participation in it presents medical risks that all athletes should be aware of.
Although the event has experienced medical personnel at numerous points along the course, the inaccessibility of much of the trail may make it difficult or impossible for medical assistance to reach the runner in a timely fashion. Our medical support team are experts in the field when it comes to trail running and their number one goal is to ensure you finish the event in good health. Below are some simple tips, and a link to some more detailed information. We highly recommend all athletes read this, but especially those running the UTA100.
- Say no to NSAIDs - Ibuprofen, nurofen, diclofenac, voltaren, naproxen – sure to cause trouble!
- Drink to thirst - Drink varied fluids, take on food during the race, have a varied intake.
- Be prepared for the condition - Hot, cold, dry or wet – have a plan for a range of conditions
- The race doesn’t end at the finish line - Pack warm clothes and a range of food for basking in your success at the finish
- Look out for each other
If you are concerned about any runner, please notify the next course marshal or aid station volunteer with the runner’s race bib number immediately.
Getting your nutrition right can be the difference between an enjoyable Ultra Trail Australia and not making it to the finish line. For the longer distances especially, it is important to start training with your planned nutrition and adapting your body to what will fuel it come race day.
The checkpoints at Ultra-Trail Australia are a feast - but make sure you know what will be at each before race day so you can practice fueling on the same things you'll be consuming on race day.
Aid Stations are generously stocked with:
- Bakery goods
- Hot water, tea, coffee, soup
- KODA Nutrition Electrolyte drink (pre-mixed) and gels