The K-Way MaxiRace Cape Winelands

  • South Africa (ZAF)
  • Off-Road Running

Training for an Ultra-Marathon Trail Run - Tips from Ryan Sandes

Press Release / 27.04.2021See All Event Posts Follow Event
Running the K-Way MaxiRace Cape Winelands Ultra
Running the K-Way MaxiRace Cape Winelands Ultra / © Craig Kolesky/ Nikon

Ultra-Marathon Trail running races are fast becoming the accepted norm in South Africa, with trail runners loving the opportunity to push their boundaries both physically and mentally. 2020 MaxiRace Cape Winelands winner and world renowned ultra-distance trail runner, Ryan Sandes, shared a few  of his secret training tips on the best way to train for an ultra-marathon trail run.

“Running MaxiRace Cape Winelands last year was such an honour, the Mont Rochelle mountains are insane and such a privilege to play in,” says Ryan Sandes. “I have put together a few training tips to help runners get the most out of their race and hopefully enjoy it as much as I do!”

1.       Try to be as consistent as possible with your training throughout the year. Ultra-distances like the 75km and 120km routes need a lot of training, they are not something you I would recommend running with only a few weeks training under your belt. Don’t try and cram all of your training in right at the end close to the race, and also don’t push yourself to do too many massive peak weeks as part of your training, keep it consistent!

2.       Put together a training programme. It doesn’t have to be super detailed like a daily training programme would be, but a simple one that can help you to know when to focus on bigger training weeks and how to structure your training around family and work commitments. They also offer a great opportunity to set mini goals in, for example smaller races that you can include in your training or just bigger runs to work towards – keeping you focused both mentally and physically.

3.       Train as race specific as possible closer to the actual race. For example for MaxiRace, about 6 weeks before the race, get out into Mont Rochelle to do race specific training, also important is to try to mimic the amount verts that you will be doing in the race in your training. For example if the 120km race has 1500m of vertical gain, work that out per km and try to mimic this in your training. Another great option is to do the recce runs for the run, you will get a chance to be on the trail and also get invaluable advice from the guides taking the recce run on how to manage sections.

4.       Very importantly and often overlooked - practice your race nutrition and race gear before the event so that you don’t have any additional variables to deal with on race day – trust me it helps to have one less unknown to worry about on race day!

5.       Finally, try to set yourself a race plan that you can use on race day, this will help you through the route and help to give you an idea of how well you are doing on race day. 

MaxiRace Cape Winelands is taking place on the 2nd and 3rd of October 2021 - entries for the 2021 MaxiRace Cape Winelands 120km and 75km routes are open. For more info please visit

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