UTA22 How the new course changes impact your training

The UTA22 course changed in 2021, and the 2022 event will also be on the new course. This course is quite different from the original, and requires slightly different preparation.

The main changes are:

  • There is a big stair case (The Golden Stairs) to get down fairly early in the race.
  • There is some quite technical terrain that you need to scramble over as well as a lot more single track than the old 22 course
  • There is a big stair climb which occurs 16km into the race, rather than the Furber Stairs which were positioned right at the end of the original course.

These changes require different preparation and training for you to have an ideal race.

You need to get comfortable, strong and confident running/hiking down stairs. The Golden stairs are quite "rustic", and despite the fact that you might be going down them in a congo line, they will still put quite a lot of stress on your quad muscles which you use as brakes when you are descending.

To get good at going down stairs you ideally need to train on stairs, so if you have the opportunity to include stairs in any of your weekend long runs then you should take it.

Including strength workouts in your training plan will also make a huge difference to your descending strength.

The climb up the 1200-odd steps of Fern Bower at 16km probably scares most people more than the descent. Once again, this is likely to be in a congo line, so your climbing speed will be determined by the people around you.

The biggest difference between Fern Bower and the Furber Steps is that you still have another 4-5km of relatively runnable road and single track to go once you reach the top.

If you work on your hill climbing and stair climbing strength in training, then you should be able to reach the top of Fern Bower and still run strongly to the finish.

Race Tactics

In terms of race tactics, most people will get the biggest benefits by conserving enough energy to make sure you are capable of running as much of the last 5km as possible.

You could literally pass hundreds of runners from the top of the stairs to the finish if you have paced yourself correctly.

For those who can't get to stairs for training, squat jumps and reaching lunges will be two of the most useful exercises to replicate the stress caused by stairs. Watch the below two videos to see how to do these exercises correctly.  Incorporating these into your training now will definitely help on race day.

Ultra Trail Australia Training Plan

Ultra Trail Australia Training Plan

To find out more about the race-specific UTA training plans visit here
Including daily training volumes, strength workouts, nutrition advice, and members running community, these plans have been followed by thousands of runners and helped them train smart all the way to race day.
Join now and turn up to the UTA start line feeling excited and ready to run.

Jump Squats

Reaching Lunges