3 Training Principles from Ultramarathoner Lee Grantham
Lee Grantham’s recent stardom on social media and being a genuine contender at top ultramarathon races is testament to his strength of staying true to himself.
But what stands out about the Mancunian’s training approach?
1. Cross-Trains to Build Mileage
Grantham may be a full-time athlete, but he doesn’t spend all his time running. He instead complements his 60 miles per week (an achievable target for some recreational runners) with substantially more cycling.1
At around 150 miles per week, Grantham is improving and maintaining his aerobic capabilities while reducing his injury risks. This strategy gives him the perfect opportunity to keep mixing up his workouts, whilst maximising his most important energy system.
2. Replicates Tough Running Conditions
Grantham is known to run up mountains for hours in hot conditions, only to have to hitch-hike back home.1 This allows his body to adapt to conditions he will inevitably face in competition.
Mentally, he is further challenging himself to cope with the multitude of ups and downs when running for many hours at a time. Although he may have a relaxed character he continually tests his survival skills by relying on factors outside of his control (namely motorists) to return him to the safety of home.
3. Stays Himself
At 35 years old, Grantham has never been more ambitious, looking to win some of the longest races in the world. Grantham trains his way though, admitting he travels to different parts of the world, such as Thailand and mainland Europe, to both train in picturesque and awe-inspiring landscapes as well as experience new cultures.2
Grantham believes that these unique races can also help runners keep determined throughout the winter months when enthusiasm can easily wane.3
Surprisingly, Grantham has only been focusing on running for eight years, beginning in his late 20s.1 Nevertheless, his experience playing football and rugby in particular, where running was emphasised2 has put him in good stead.
His marathon personal best of 2:21:43 reveals that he is certainly no ordinary athlete. Add to this his vegan diet, eco-friendly lifestyle and interest in strength and conditioning at the gym, and no wonder he is popular in an already extraordinary sport.4