Hardrock training

I took some time to look at the calendar this week and there really isn’t a lot of time left between now and Hardrock. So instead of resting or tapering or tuning up for next week’s Moab race, I decided I’d better get started on some more hill work.

Yesterday I went out and trudged up and down some of my usual routes in Horsetooth but only managed to squeeze out an average 260 feet of vertical gain per mile. Usually I’d consider this a pretty good workout but for Hardrock, I’ll need to run an average of 340 feet per mile. For 100 milers, I usually aim to run the same or slightly more vertical feet within a 100 mile training week. Since I don’t live at the base of Green or Bear mountain in Boulder and can only squeeze about 180 feet per mile out of my backyard trails here in Fort Collins, this is going to be a real challenge.

So today I went out to give Greyrock a try. I was expecting to run through some nasty snow but was pleasantly surprised to find the trail almost 100% clear and dry.

Not bad for February!

It’s still much lower elevation than Hardrock but it at least has the 340-350 feet per mile of vertical that I need. So until the snow melts and I can get higher up into the mountains, I’ll be spending a lot of time on Greyrock. By April or early May, I plan to tackle the full Greyrock 6-Pack. I still need to redeem myself after failing to complete the full Greyrock Quad with Eric and Terry in 2008. After a nasty fall, I skipped one final summit so I only managed to finish 3.75 laps. A full 6 laps should be enough to put that day behind me for good:-)

I’m still trying to figure out the rest of my plan for Hardrock. I’m sure it’ll include several trips down to Boulder for some inSanitas laps, Bear bagging, and repeats on Green. Pikes Peak might be a good option later in the spring if the weather cooperates. And until I can get up in elevation and find enough vertical feet to run, I’ll continue to supplement my trail running with speed work, hill intervals and tempo/time trials, and weight training. But preparing for Hardrock is uncharted territory for me so I’m open to any suggestions.

  • Rob

    February 14th, 2011

    Yeah, 250 feet per mile is around the best you will get in Horsetooth and Lory even trying to hit every climb. Still pretty impressive, but not Hardrock. The Signal Mountain/Donner Pass loop from Glen Haven will get you up in the 350 range and could be runnable by May (weather dependent). I still gotta do Greyrock some day, but I’m not ready for a 6-pack.

  • Pete

    February 14th, 2011

    We still have a lot of scouting work to do up around Donner. Unfortunately that entire area is usually snowed in until very late in the spring. I’m debating whether or not it’s worth investing in some good snow shoes. Even if I can break trail in snow shoes, finding the trail may be nearly impossible up there. I’m sure I’ll be running plenty of normal days on Greyrock and will let you know when I head up there next.

  • Rob

    February 14th, 2011

    Can’t forget the Crosier Mountain Triple as a spring option. My GPS gave it 25 miles and 7870 feet (315 feet per mile). Based on your report and the forecast for this week, I’m all but there for a Greyrock 2-pack on Sunday morning. Shoot me an email if interested.

  • Rob

    February 14th, 2011

    Just remembered Moab right when I sent that. Best of luck out there.

  • pittbrownie

    February 21st, 2011

    Good training spot for Hardrock is Kite Lake in Alma. You can spend lots of time above 12000 feet.

  • Pete

    February 21st, 2011

    Thanks! I’ll put that one on my list. Hopefully the snow will clear early enough to get up there before Hardrock.

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