By Trasie Phan
The vistas you will see in Colorado during your 6 days of running will be worth every climb you make, every heavy breath you take and every sweat you break. And after you take in the view at the top of each climb, you are rewarded with an exhilarating downhill surge that makes you feel as though you are an eagle that has taken flight. There is something magical about being above 9,000 feet where the air is thinner and the experience is bolder. Before and after each day’s journey, you will experience adventure hospitality like you never thought possible. This is called TransRockies Run.
When you think about the challenge of 6 days, 120 miles, 20,000 feet of elevation gain, don’t focus on what you can’t do to prepare. Work with the tools you have. In a perfect world, we would have all the training tools in the right conditions and all the time to run.
The key component to the formula is YOU. What you are going to experience in this time is something you get to decide. There’s no doubt you are fretting over the training no matter where your training grounds are because it will be a major test of physical ability. Whether you have done this race 6 times or this is your first, you want to perform to the best of your ability. You will endure and do it, as many have. With a teammate, without a teammate, it’s all the same. You won’t be disappointed as long as you give it your best and that is a great attitude. The question is, “Will you make this the experience of a lifetime with the best attitude possible?”
Train with what you have. Consider what you have access to as you prepare to be in thin air at 9,000 feet elevation. Find a long hill (1/4 to ½ mile long) and do hill repeats. Do your repeats with effort uphill on one workout and with effort downhill on another workout. We forget that our bodies need to be familiar with running downhill as well. Remember all the uphill climbs also means downhill fun.
Do the work. The more prepared you are, the more fun you are going to have. 6 days, 120 miles, 20,000 feet elevation gain will be difficult. This is an authentic case of, the more prepared you are, the more fun you will have. By this I mean, get fit so you won’t be so wiped out after the run that you are unable to enjoy the afternoon of hanging out with friends or having a beer around the campfire. The last thing you want to do is be anti-social because you are too tired. The camaraderie aspect of TRR is a major part of the experience. You will spend time with people who you will know the rest of your life. Don’t miss out on this opportunity because you didn’t train.
And all the facts to your pending adventure in the Colorado Rocky Mountains are LOCATED HERE
Jenny Hadfield discusses the “How to Train at Sea Level and Race at Altitude.” The key is to train and race by effort, not pace. READ MORE
Elevation profiles for Transrockies Run can be FOUND HERE
When I decided to run Transrockies in 2011, I trained up at the highest peaks I could find in Southern California, San Gorgonio, San Jacinto, and San Bernardino. Every weekend for months, my teammate and I spent hours on the trails. As soon as I got to Buena Vista it became clear that I would be suffering from altitude related fatigue the whole week. Interesting thing is 3 days into the race, I had my best run of the 6 days. My body got use to being uncomfortable and figured it was time to start having fun. We all overcome physical barriers in your own way. The bottom line is, prepare yourself as best you can, focus on the training you can do to be fit, do the work and get ready to have a week of running, adventure and the time of your life. Seriously!
Trasie Phan is founder of ULTRA University. She participated and completed the Team RUN6 Transrockies Run in 2011 and 2012. She is an ultra marathoner who inspires everyday people to live a fit and healthy lifestyle.