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Runners & Workouts: Cliff Chiang – Race Specific Workouts (for Vert Races)

In this space, we will share the key or favorite workouts of elites and our running friends and provide all the Runivores out there some training tips. Run with a smile, of course, but be ready to take on some pain!!


江晏慶 -針對賽事屬性訓練
photo credit: Salomon X-Trail


I really don’t have a big terrifying workout…but I definitely design my training cycle based on one important race,” says Cliff Chiang.

For this addition, we invited one of Taiwan’s top trail runners, Cliff Chiang, to share his training philosophy and a workout he used before a local vertical race. Runners in Taiwan, especially trail runners, are no strangers to Cliff’s prowess in the mountains.

  • 2016 China Zhangye International 100km Trail Race 6th overall
  • 2016 and 2017 Beast Trail 50km and 25km Champions
  • 2016 Taipei 101 Climbathon Champion
  • 2016 IAU Yilan Dong Shan He 100km Ultramarathon Champion
  • 2016 Action Asia Maokong Champion
  • 2017 Catholic Church Mountain vertical run Champion
  • 2017 Yilan Ultramarathon 50km Champion


Pre-Vertical Race Preparation by Cliff Chiang

Before a race I will usually design a workout that is specific to the type of race, including its environment and terrain. Although I had never been to the course of this year’s Catholic Church Mountain vertical run, I knew it started with a section of flat road, then road uphill and finally stairs. It takes time for your cardiovascular system and muscles to adjust when quickly switching from the road to stairs, and therefore this workout aimed to simulate the terrain transition. Once a week, I did the following intervals, which included hills plus stairs.

-15min warm up run

-350m of road up hill followed immediately with a stairs section (about 60 steps)

-Recovery jog back to the start

-Repeat for 5 sets at 90% intensity

-15min cool down run

Above is a very typical way for me to train specifically for a race. For most of my training cycle, I follow these periods: preparation, foundation, strengthening, peak, adjustment, race.

江晏慶 -針對賽事屬性訓練
photo credit: Salomon X-Trail















Got a big race coming up? A worthy goal and a smart fueling plan go together like peanut butter and jelly. Here are some helpful articles to help you train and fuel smart.


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