Saturday, February 23, 2013

Two Videos - Dolomites Vertical Kilometer and Cavalls del Vent

Two Videos

Here are two videos that might provide some inspiration for your training.

The first was originally posted by GZ and is on the Dolomites Vertical Kilometer Skyrace. As the race title suggests, it is a 3,280 vertical gain race (over 1.3 miles) going straight up in the Dolomites of Italy. However, in case anyone thought Killian was invincible, he is not. In this race he placed 3rd with a time of :34.03. First place went to Nejc Kuhar of La Sportive with a time of :33.33 and second to Saul Rodriquez Padua with a time of :33.52.You can find the results to the race here.

The second video is a very nice complete race recap of the 2012 Cavalls del Vent. You can see that here Killian was in the lead the entire race, while Tony made an incredible comeback to pull off second. Full results are here.

Ultra Cavalls del Vent 2012 full race from Essentia Foto Disseny on Vimeo.

Both provide great inspiration to keep the hammer down during these snowy months. They also show the European style of racing versus the American style. I don't know which one I would prefer more, as I've never been to Europe, but you can see how crowds, cutting switchbacks, having crew members along the course, and FULLY stocked aid stations really changes things. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Vert Summary

Vert Summary

Working on getting 50,000' of gain in 30 days here in the valley is quite a challenge, especially in winter. This past week was OK, with 12,000' of gain in 7 days, but since February is only 28 days, I might have to count 30 consecutive days and not calendar months. Either way, the challenge is fun.

Saturday: 2,000' gain skinning up Sleeper.
Sunday:  1,200' gain running the WP hill loop.
Monday: 2,200' gain skinning up Sleeper (plus another several thousand teleing after)
Tuesday: 2,300' gain running up Green Mountain in Boulder. This was the first time I've run up Green in a number of years, and the first time going up Gregory/Ranger. It took me 44:43 for the up at a medium pace. We came down for the day and just decided to see how this run would go. I certainly can improve my time, as there are parts where you can push hard on the flats, and knowing the trail can help for when to push on the hills. I think if I did this run a couple more times to get the trail wired and gave it a solid effort I could get this under :40 and into the :30s somewhere. It only took me another 21 minutes to go down and back to the car.
Wednesday: Nothing.
Thursday: 2,000' gain skinning up Sleeper (plus another several thousand teleing after).
Friday: 500' gain running roads.
Saturday: 2,000' gain skinning up Jane (a cat driver freaked out on us and made us leave even though the mountain is on forest service land and we are legally allowed to be up there - he had some serious pent up rage and we didn't want to push any sort of confrontation).

Overall, a decent week. The legs feel fine, and so far the vertical doesn't seem to be hurting too much. We will see after another 3 weeks of this. Need to find some more alternatives that have good gain to spice it up however.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Night Skinning

Night Skinning

Training has been going well, and things are progressing nicely. Been switching it up between running, XC skiing, and skinning. Here in the valley, if you are running it is hard to get in anything greater then 1,200' of gain. You can do laps, but the two courses with the biggest vert are both 9 miles and 1,200' of gain - not really into doing two of those for a regular run. One is a hilly course that takes me 1:17ish (PR is 1:14) and the other is a standard gentile climb with 1,200' gain over 4.5 miles (the out-and-back takes roughly 1:04). However, to really simulate some good hill climbing, on Saturday nights we have been hitting Sleeper for some solid vert. Last night during the storm I got in 2,200' of gain in just 1.5 miles and :45 minutes of effort. Coming back down in the dark is really fun, with only a headlamp providing light as you ski down. I really find it interesting how much the steepness of a slope can change the time: 9 miles of rolling hills and 1,200' gain takes 1:17 while one long climb and then all down (9 miles, 1,200') takes only 1:04 and can go under an hour easily. I think the variety is key, mixing in long climbs, rolling hills, lung-busting hill climbs, etc. I'm working to get in the 50,000' vert in a month like GZ tried. Seems like a good goal to try for in winter, although it is harder then one thinks. In the summer, this is no problem, but in winter when the big vert runs are all shut down, trying to accumulate 50,000' vert in 30 days can be a challenge. Well, challenge accepted.