Huge cities, temples, hot springs, sushi and a totally different culture from what I am used to. These things attracts me about Japan. But the main attraction for me in Japan right now is Mt. Fuji!
I am very excited about the possibility to run around the perimeter of this majestic mountain. The Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji (UTMF) connects mountain trails, local footpaths and forest road and promises the runners the possibility of enjoying 360 degree views of the mountain. The race starts on September 25th, and I expect to finish in around 24 hours.
UTMF is 168 km. with 9.000 meters of elevation gain/loss. In theory this means that I should prepare for UTMF the same way as I would prepare for UTMB. But I have heard that there is a major difference between these two races. Where the UTMB is mostly mountain trails, UTMF has more road running, but also steep uphill and downhill trail sections.
I have therefore done some small adjustments to my training after UTMB in the end of August. I’m doing a bit more of faster running, and I run mostly on roads and dirt roads/fire roads. I am not forgetting the technical trail stuff, but this type of running is normally my forte.
I took four days completely off after my disappointing UTMB-race, where I had to stop after just 50 km. Then, I started to slowly build up my volume again. I struggled a bit with both my hamstrings at the UTMB, but that has improved a lot and should hopefully not cause me any problems in Japan. Read my race report from UTMB here.
I tested my legs at a short (8 km) uphill race this weekend, and I could not feel any pain from hamstrings. The only pain I felt was the lactic acid in my legs as I ran as fast as I could for the 38 minutes or so that it took me to run 800 metres to the top of our local mountain, Trysilfjellet!
Two km. into the uphill race last Saturday.
The weather here in Norway is getting more challenging when it comes to training. Fall has arrived, and it is quite cold and wet. I do however not mind the weather that much. With apparel from Gore Running Wear I stay dry and warm for all of my runs.
It’s rainy season in Japan now, so I am prepared! I guess the main difference will be the temperature. This is two degrees, I hope UTMF will be a bit warmer 🙂
In addition to the physical training, I spend quite some time preparing for the race on Internet. I watch films from previous versions of the UTMF on Youtube and also read thru the course descriptions. This is important, as I will not have time to see the course before the race.
I will fly to Japan five days before the race. After three nights in Tokyo, I’ll travel to the race area and stay there the night before the race. I really look forward to see Tokyo during my three days there, but it’s also a good way to adjust my body clock to the new time zone.
I feel well prepared and I’m ready for a great adventure in Japan!
Technical running on my local mountain, Trysilfjellet.
Training in the fall here in Trysil is nice.