Training Tips from the Leadville Podium - Page 3
What’s the most challenging part of the race, and how do you recommend preparing for it?
Dylan: The toughest part for me was the climb up Powerline to Sugarloaf Pass around mile 77. Mile 77 of 100 is always a brutal place, but the climb up Powerline makes it especially nasty. It's not even that steep but there are several false summits and it seems like the top will never come. When it finally does, you can see the next aid station, Mayqueen, down below but it takes FOREVER to get there. It's really important to have a pacer with a good attitude on this section, because, otherwise, it can really be a drag.
Ashley A: For me, Powerline was the hardest. I was getting really sleepy at that point the last time I ran it, and I had to really force myself to move. It’s important to just keep going. Slow walking is faster than stopping.
Neal: For me, it has to be the section from Twins Lakes inbound to Fish Hatchery. Your long training runs should include some elevation gain and loss, for sure, but do not discount the value of flat, long training runs. Even on roads.
Liza: It was tough coming down off Hope Pass, being able to see the [Winfield] aid station, then running for a good while in the opposite direction before circling around to Winfield from behind. It really struck me how challenging "uncertainty" can be in an ultra. "Why are we still heading away from the aid station?!" Knowing Hagerman Pass, Hope Pass and the hills and road in and out of the Fish Hatchery and Twin lakes was really helpful mentally.
Duncan: I believe the most difficult section that’s often “overlooked” is the climb from Twin Lakes at mile 60 back up to the Colorado Trail. You’re feeling pretty good about yourself because you are now over halfway to the finish and you’ve just completed the infamous double-crossing of Hope Pass, but then you’re faced with a climb that seems to go on forever. The tendency is to have a mental letdown. Keep on it. I always suggest that people pick up the effort ever-so-slightly on this climb, because there is a long stretch of flat terrain following it that you’ll be able to cruise.
Nick: Climbing up the steep side of Hope Pass feels like you’re barely moving; it’s during the heat of the day and you’ve still got a ton of ground to cover. I’d recommend running big climbs at the end of your long runs during the heat of the day: specificity!
Zeke: The crux of my races has always been the climb up Powerline inbound. The race that I felt strong there, I ran a great time. The next most challenging section is Hope on the outbound. Since both are high-altitude climbs, my best advice is to run high-altitude climbs of similar vertical gain. If that's not possible in your training location, run sustained hill workouts, even if it means doing many repeats on a shorter steep hill. Also, during the race, don't stop on those climbs. Walk, slog, shuffle, saunter, but just keep moving forward.
Read on to learn what shoes everyone recommends ...