Training and Nutrition


Landie & Christiaan Greyling will help you with your preparation for the 2019 OTTER African Trail Run.

The training plans are  available for download from April  2019.  TRAINING PLAN 

A training program to run the Otter should consist of three aspects all of which will help to make the Trail easier, more enjoyable and (should you be that way inclined) faster:

  1. Base level Endurance – this is your distance running. The Otter trail is a  marathon distance trail run so at the very least you should be able to run a marathon. Specific to this event a lot of your base training should be done on the trails and not on the road.
  2. Stairs – there is a great number of stairs and step-ups on the Otter so being strong in this discipline will help you a LOT!
  3. Interval training – This, for some, is the most difficult part of training but, if done correctly, can offer the most benefits.

  • You have the option of following the RUN or CHALLENGE training plan, each follows the same format but differs in training consistency & load.
  • The given Otter training plans will include 6 x 4 week build cycles toward the event date
  • Each plan is set on a 4 week cycle, where loads build to week 3 to include an active recovery 4th week.
  • Every 4 week cycle will build progressively until the 5th cycle, to include a taper (decrease in training load) in cycle 6 in preparation for the event
  • Training loads given are designed to start off lightly, assuming fitness level is low and to then progressively build as the weeks go by the first 2 x 4 week build cycles will be immediately available, where the progressive 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th – 4 week build cycles will be updated accordingly
  • Each training plan is designed to provide Otter specific guidelines to trail run training
  • These plans are structured for the novice to intermediate trail runner with a low to moderate fitness level
  • The structure of the Intermediate RUN plan may be used as a training guideline to the more elite
  • The training plans are specific to running training, but do provide sessions for alternative sports ie. etc. MTB / swimming / paddling
  • The training plans can be used as a structured guideline for your training where your own discretion is required on training plan selection and training load

Primary differences between the training plans:

The two training plans are similar in format and layout however; taking a closer look you’ll notice they have a few key differences.

The RUN plan includes longer weekly durations, +/- 30min – 1 hour more each training day, mounting up to between 3 – 5hrs more each week as apposed to the CHALLENGE plan. The longer durations will take their toll if you are not used to spending that amount of time on foot.

The CHALLENGE plan caters more to the need of an individual who hasn’t got the time in the day and who enjoys other activities at his/her own discretion, to make up for the duration indicated. It also caters better to the road runner crossing over to trail, as more of the sessions are on the road.

Thus, the RUN plan is a little more specific to the trail runner looking to compete and or set a personal best along the route. The sessions within the RUN plan also include a few more bouts on the trail. It is focused more specifically to the seasoned trail runner.

The RUN plan also includes a day or sometimes 2 days extra a week, especially through the heavier loading weeks. More provision is made for x-training in the form of core / body weight exercises within the RUN plan, as well as a few extra and more intense interval sessions here and there. These interval sessions aren’t as important as getting consistency and duration on the feet for the individual looking to only complete the otter.


Good nutrition plays a vital role on race day. The longer the race the more important for your body to recover.

In order to understand the products from our product partner and how to best use them, Gu provided us with some very important information. Make sure you read this and make full use of this great product.
All athletes have come to understand the importance good nutrition plays on race day! The longer the race the more important. Multi –day race and recovery also starts to play a critical part.

As a sponsor of the OTTER we’d like to help you as best we can in the lead up to the race to understand our products and how best to use them.

By way of a start, a bit about us! From 1991 until today, athletes the world over have come to the same conclusion: GU works. Our Berkeley-based sports nutrition company started with our original GU Energy Gel, a revolutionary and more effective method to keep athletes fueled during exercise. Since then, GU has continued to improve the recipe, incorporating the latest scientific research into its products. In 2001, GU Electrolyte Brew (formerly Gu2o) was launched as the perfect hydration companion to GU Energy Gel. 2008 saw the introduction of Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel, followed by Chomps Energy Chews and GU Recovery Brew in 2009. Every product is formulated to further GU’s mission: to help athletes go faster and longer than ever before.

To help each of you through the OTTER, we have put together an Athlete Performance Energy Sampler.
We will also be out there at the GU Munchie Point on race day with GU Brew mixed up & cold for you when you run through and with GU Brew & GU recovery available at the end of the race.

GU Brew

Here are some details on the recently re-formulated new & improved GU Brew: GU Electrolyte Brew is water’s new best friend. The fact is, when you work out you sweat more than just water. So when you drink you gotta have a special Brew with the right amounts of sodium, potassium and carbohydrates to bring your system back into balance. Used consistently, GU Brew will help you perform better and go longer. When it comes to GU Brew there are no gimmicky additives here. GU Brew is as simple as they come – with just a handful of key ingredients. Complex and simple carbs in optimal balance, vital electrolytes at the proper levels for intense exercise, and all-natural flavors. Simple. This means the product is easy on your stomach and will keep you focused on reaching your goals in training and racing. In regards flavour, GU Brew is specially formulated to NOT be too sweet! If you are looking for a sugar bomb, look elsewhere. Loyal GU athletes rave about the lightly sweet taste of our Electrolyte Brew.

GU at The Otter

Each Otter athlete will receive our Performance Energy Pack at registration – enabling athletes to use the full range of GU products throughout the event. In addition, GU Staff will be at the water point for you with GU Brew ready mixed at the finish line with sachets of GU Recovery drink. For your own research on whats best for you go to

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