Training for the long road ahead: Tips and places to train for long ascent races

Training for the long road ahead: Tips and places to train for long ascent races

Back in 2010 I decided to run my first marathon. Unlike most people who pick an “easy”,  flat road course, I decided to go the opposite direction and chose one of the toughest ones in the country: The Leadville Trail marathon.
With the starting line at over 10,000 feet, course elevation gain total over 7500 feet (including a 13er summit) and loose, rocky terrain I had my work cut out for me.
When race day arrived I thought I was prepared. I had been trail running for over 10 years at that point, fit in all my long runs and did several 14ers for high altitude training.
However, I distinctly remember my greatest weaknesses on the course: my power hiking skills and ability to run long, sustained climbs.  I had done a ton of trail running to train but very little power hiking.  “Why hike when I could run?”,  I wrongly assessed.

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Sprint through the finish: 3 fun track workouts you can do with your kids (or sandbag)

This is an oldie but goodie. We are reposting this as it is timely: April and May are “mud” season months for us here in Colorado and that means we might not always be able to get out and hit our favorite trails.
Check out this fun workout you can do anywhere really (although a track is ideal) and the best part is you can bring your kids along too!  Don’t have kids?  Bring along a heavy weight or sandbag to keep you company….


When is the last time you sprinted?  Or ran as fast as you could?  (chasing after your kids doesn’t count)
Doing laps around the track may seem like torture to most people however, speed work is an important part of any training regime and is the key to getting fitter, faster.

Here are 3 fun track workouts you can do WITH your kids (or a sandbag) that will help you get through that finish line a little bit faster: 

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1.  400 meter repeats:

Okay, we lied.  This one isn’t fun, in fact, it kind of sucks.  But once it is over with you will have this amazing feeling of accomplishment that you haven’t felt since you finished ALL the laundry in one day.
In order to see results, you first need to know where you stand.   So let’s start off with a little fitness test:

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OCR workout: Hanging out

With mud run and obstacle course race season well underway warm temperatures here to stay it’s time to take your training to the the great outdoors.   Here is another workout featured from our partner site Daily Outdoor Workouts.  

This is a buddy workout.  You need at least one other person to complete this workout or else plan on doing a TON of reps!If you have kids, no excuses!  They can ride in the stroller, bike or run with you!  Plan on 60-90 minutes for this one…

NEEDED:

  •  A running route that passes at least 2 playgrounds or parks.  The further away the parks you choose, the longer/harder your workout!
  • A bar or tree with a branch you can hang from
  • Park bench

Warm-up and then……….
Run to the first park and complete the following with your partner (split the reps however you choose):

100 Tree donkey kicks* 
75 Dips
50 Hanging knees to elbows
25
Lunge hops

Run to park #2 and complete the following (split the reps with your partner):

100 meter alligator crawl (do this one together)*
75 park bench box jumps (or step-ups for level 1)
50 Tree hugger situps*
25 burpee pop-ups or pullups

OPTION 1:  Run home- great job!
OPTION 2:  Run 1 mile away from the last park and back THEN repeat the entire workout in reverse (starting with the 25 burpee pop-ups and going up from there) before heading home. You are a rock star!

“Tree hugger” sit-ups:

Grip strength workout for Obstacle course race training!

This is a workout I put together for our sister site.  It’s a perfect workout to build upper body and grip strength needed to conquer the monkey bars, rigs, rope/wall climbs and cargo nets for your obstacle course race.  Plus, working out on the playground is fun!!

grip

Needed:

Set of monkey bars

Warm-up:
Walk/jog 1 minute
20 arm circles each direction
20 straight leg lifts each leg
10 pushups
repeat 1 time

Monkey bar set (1 of each):
Forwards
Side-ways
Backwards
Hand over hand
Skipping a bar
Crawl using feet (video demonstration below)

Hanging set:
40 Pop-ups
30 hanging bicycles (video demonstration below)
20 knees to elbows
10 burpee pullups

REPEAT BOTH SETS 2 MORE TIMES!

VIDEOS:

Monkey bar “crawl”:

Hanging bicycles: