How do you prepare to run a Ultra-Trail run in the Highland in Malaysia, when you live in a country as flat as Denmark?

 In Denmark, the highest point is a hill called Møllehøj, which are 170,86 meters over sea-level, and are together with Ejer Bavnehøj and Yding Skovhøj part of a ridge called Ejer Bjerge. (Ejer Mountains)

Cameron Highland - Malaysia
Cameron Highland - Malaysia

And I’m not even close to those “mountains”, - from my balcony I can see a hill, or should I just call it a burp, I’m not sure… but that are the highest point around where I live, and how am I supposed to make hill training on that one?

Elevation at Cameron Ultra-Trail 50km
Cameron Ultra-Trail - 50km (D+ 2,240m) 

At the same time there’s a big difference in temperature between Malaysia and Denmark. In the last 3 years, the average highest temperature in July has been 20,5°C according to Danish Meteorological Institute, and June, July and August are the warmest months around here. In other words, you can say that we have a green and a white winter…

 So far I have been running some Half and Full Marathons including The Jungle River Marathon in Hulu Langat, Malaysia. Besides that, I have been running The Trail Yonne in France and TMBT (The Most Beautiful Thing) on Borneo, Malaysia. Both The Jungle River, The Trail and TMBT are hill or mountain races, so at least I learned something in those races.

Medal achived in Half and Full Marathons
Some of the medals achived

I haven’t applied for as many races this year as I would usually do, because I want to focus more on my general form. That means that this year I am going to run the DHL relay run in Copenhagen, which are the world’s biggest relay run, and are held over 5 days in the end of August, start of September, because of the large number of participants. On the 18’th of September it is time for Copenhagen Half Marathon and after that, on the 8’th of October, the running event of the year, - Cameron Ultra-Trail in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.

Running an ultra aren’t easy, but I believe that those previous runs have given me a better knowledge about how to train, and what to eat.

When I went to my first trail-run, I had only very little information and knowledge about what I was doing, - not much nutrition knowledge, no idea how to pack my backpack, no idea about how hard hill and mountain running can be, not even any idea about how far 35 km can be under those conditions. I am used to road races, - on flat courses, and somehow those hills and mountains scares me, well… at least a little... :-) 

Since I'm not used to run Ultra-Trail, and don't have the possibility to train on proper hills, I have to train smart. And since this is a bit away from my normal kind of running, my goal is not to be racing it, but to complete it. What i need to do is to think a lot more about nutrition, gear, long runs, hilly runs etc.

To be continued...

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