So, you're gonna do the marathon, huh? Good luck, it's a great race, I've done it a few times.As for the training tips, I can offer the advice that worked for me.
One, you don't run up Pikes Peak. Honestly, you don't. I've placed in my age group every year, and I don't run up. It's a mixture of race walking and power hiking, and the old adage of run til it gets to hard, and walk til it gets to easy really applies. If you hold back from running and get into a nice rhythm power hiking, then that'll get you to the top.
Train on the hills. I've from Colorado Springs, so when ever I want, I can just take a little stroll on the mountain. If that's not the case, then unfortuantly, the treadmill is the best alternative. Crank the incline up and take the speed as fast as you can tolerate. That will work the quads and simulate the up hill.
It's really not the ascent that's the problem. The ascent is the easy part, you just keep hiking. Make sure you stay well hydrated; they use Gatorade for the PPM. When you start getting above treeline, the best thing is to just keep going. Once you sit down, getting up can be hard, but don't be afraid to slow down. I can not stress enough that this is a hiking race. I finished in the ascent in 3:47 one year and I hiked almost the whole way. Also, watch for the runners coming down. They hove the right of way.
The key for me for the downhill is to stay in control, don't go getting all crazy with the chance to run. Don't use your legs to break as that will realy trash your quads. Take smaller steps with a fast turnover and use your arms to slow down if needed. If you hold your arms out and don't swing them, that will slow you down. When going around the curves, slowing down will help save your knees. Back off as you enter the curve, and accelerate out of it.
Check out the website, Pikespeakmarathon.org to see if they have any other tips. And have fun! I'll see you 1.3 miles from the top, I help out with that waterstation.
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