It’s very important that your training is geared toward your races. If you run the 100 meters, you aren’t going to do 20-milers, and if your goal is a trail race, you probably don’t want all your training on the roads.
With that being said, most of my trail races are quite hilly. The first 50-miler I did this year was +/- 10,000 feet and the second 50-miler was even worse than that! My last race of the year, the Mendon Trail 50k, is +/- 5,000 feet. Not only that, race reports from years past suggest the hills are pretty relentless.
I’ve tried to modify my training accordingly, but it’s not easy. Yesterday, I went out for a one-hour run with the goal of getting in 1,000 feet. Basically, this means getting out of downtown as quickly as possible and then running up every hill I come across. I finished my run, uploaded the data and *drumroll* 1,003 feet!!
It wasn’t pretty but I got it done. On that note, check out CityTrail (by Salomon). It might help you find new trails in your city – or in a city you are visiting. Current U.S. cities include: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chattanooga, Denver/Boulder, Detroit, LA, Minneapolis, NYC, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco and DC.
What do you do in order to keep your training specific to a goal race?