Leadville

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  • #56581
    AshRick
    Participant

    I started following the principles of uphill and AeT training from here late last year. Goals for 2021 were Grand Canyon R2R2R the the Leadville 100. Did the canyon in April, and it was tough. I totally cratered the last hour; bad muscle cramps of calves and hamstrings. Would have bailed if that was an option. It’s not…once you descend into the Canyon, you have to climb out. If I was blown at 15 hours…how was I ever going to go for 30 at Leadville?

    By training hard, that’s how. Got it done. 29:11 with no real drama. Just kept moving and chasing cutoffs at checkpoints. No foot issues, no digestion issues, no muscle cramps at all.

    The difference-maker for me was that I went into it with the attitude: I’m an Uphill Athlete. This is what I do best. I put up great splits on all the climbs. Almost nobody passed me on any climbs — among the group going my overall pace, I was the strongest climber. I did the final Powerline climb just 11 minutes slower than I had done it the week prior, fully rested.

    I finished as the second-oldest <30 hour person.

    I trained hard on the climbing. I use poles, and got adept at leaning hard on them. I also spent a lot of time doing that “shuffle” that people do in ultras. It’s called “grounded running” and it’s what we do when our legs are too blown to run, but we try anyway. I actually went out and trained for it. Hundreds of miles of shuffling and fast walking. I fast-walked the entire second half of Leadville, and moved up about 150 places in the final standings. It’s no way to get the big buckle (<25 hours) but that was out of reach for me anyway.

    In sum, the principles that the folks here advocate truly work. Do the proper aerobic training, do the hill work, do the strength work.

  • Keymaster
    Shashi on #56584

    Thanks for sharing another great race experience and your progression as an Uphill Athlete. It is always inspiring to read these stories.

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