Peak training involves increasing your training load and preparing very specifically for the conditions of your race. For multi-day, self-supported stage races, the preparation becomes more complex.
Having spent the past two weeks developing several long-range training plans for clients, which span 16 to 24 weeks in preparation for a top-goal ultra, I thought I’d share the process and use my own training horizon for the Mauna to Mauna Ultra as an example.
The story of my client Jami Sutter shows how careful, steady training and mental determination can lead to a highly respectable mid-pack finish in a grueling stage race. Jami answers questions about the highs, the lows and the lessons learned.
Would our tent hold in the storm? Probably. I wasn’t worried. I actually felt calm, cozy and secure. I had developed a mindset of taking anything and everything in stride. Whatever happened, happened.
Whereas Stages 1 and 2 were like an appetizer and salad course, Stage 3 would be the Grand to Grand Ultra’s Supersized Full Meal Deal. It would dish up hot, hard roads; steep, rocky climbs; debilitating deep-sand tracks; gnarly, in-your-face vegetation; slippery slickrock, monotonous highway shoulders, and beautiful, baffling fine-sand dunes—relentless, towering, engulfing sand dunes.
I was completely unplugged, off the grid and rocking out. I was going native, kicking ass and feeling half my age. And it just kept getting better. Inevitably—hilariously—something had to harsh my buzz.
Want to know how to get or make full-cover gaiters for running through sand? This is how I did it for the upcoming Grand to Grand Ultra.
Very soon I’ll start the week-long Grand to Grand Ultra 170-mile self-supported stage race that goes from the north rim of the Grand Canyon to the pink cliffs of Southern Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Here’s what I plan to bring to get through an event that’s been listed with the world’s toughest ultramarathons.
At a 50K race, which I used as a pack training run for the Grand to Grand Ultra, one runner wondered if I was a Marine and another asked, in all seriousness, if I eat dog food.
An annotated itemized list of all the things I’ll bring along for the seven-day 2012 Grand to Grand Ultra.