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?

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5 Responses to Improvising.

  1. Jane Likes to Run says:

    I’ve been having the same problem trying to train for a 50K. Thankfully, I live 20 minutes from the course, so I will be able to run on it a few times before the race. Living in Saint Paul, it’s pretty difficult to find hills. So I’ve been doing hill repeats with up to 10% grade on the treadmills. Even though that’s a special sort of hell.

  2. The Salomon trail run was in SF the other week, pretty cool opportunity. With a bunch of trail races this year, we try to run on the trail as much as possible.

  3. Laurel says:

    Wow – that’s a lot a hills! I definitely try to keep my training specific to my goal race. My upcoming race is Baystate Marathon (paved and flat). I was in Boston this summer and even though I didn’t like the training as much as being in Vermont, it was pretty specific to my race. No hills and pavement.

  4. piratebobcat says:

    I don’t get people who train for races on a treadmill. That can’t end well.

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