I have a few races under my belt now, including two unsuccessful 12hr races (clearing about half the course only) and one successful 5th place finish in an 8hr. Yes, we are crazy and want step up to the Atomic 30hr.
I have a pretty decent foundation when it comes to the 3 disciplines at the moment, but by no means do I have a marathon or triathlon background. With 3 weeks left until the race, one of the weeks will be a tapering week, which leaves two weeks left to train smartly. I have a question with regards to the foot portion of the race. How much jogging vs trekking should I expect for a 30hr mountainous event (percentage-wise). I wanna get an idea of how to mold my training.
Great! You are going to have a blast. Robert and I did the 72 hour Sea to Sea in February having only done a pair of 12 hour races before hand. You're in over your head... but that's ok. Enjoy the experience, learn a lot, have fun.
Training for the trek: Our longest trek day was a 30 miler that we did about 6-8 weeks out. We started with a plan to alternate jogging 20 minutes then walking 20 minutes, which worked out for about the first 15 miles at which point we started to fatigue. We wound up walking most of the 2nd half of the day but learned A LOT in the process. Most notable:
1) we learned that we couldn't feel the way we felt @ the end of that session 8 hours into our long race: our legs were toast. So we decided that we were trekking instead of running in the race, even early on.
2) we learned where our feet were going to blister. More so than the short races, foot care (and, more generally, skin care) becomes a big deal in the longer ones. @ Nocatee, we actually duct taped our usual blister "hot spots" before the race even started. It's only a few weeks out, so be I'd be careful about grinding through something too long now. If you blister yourself up now and don't have time to heal, you're asking for trouble on race day, IMHO.
Thanks for the quick response, BillD, you're full of good information.
When you say you fatigued during your 30mile training session, do you refer more to cardio fatigue or body break-down (joints, muscles, etc)?
How did you guys strategize the intensity of your walk/jog during the actual 72hr race? How often did you do any significant jogging (6mph or higher)? My thinking is that for a 30hr race, about 10hrs will be on foot, which is a ridiculous amount of time to jog, even for a fraction of that time.
Muscle fatigue in the last hour or two of that session was the main eye-opener. I guess you may put that into the "cardio fatigue" bucket. Robert did grow some pretty good patellar tendinitis in the lead up to the race but I attribute that more an aggressive increase in training load and it wasn't a factor for trekking, just the bike.
We decided after that day that we were going to embrace our beginner status and not run at all on the trek legs. And, aside from about 20 or 30 manic minutes on the orienteering course just before nightfall on the 3rd evening, we did not run at all in the race. We were very much in survive-to-the-end mode from early on. We just decided we were going to trek as fast as we could but spare our legs the impact of running. We were also able to get out for another long trekking session a few weeks later and test our revised strategies out which helped to ease some of the doubts the first session created
I do not know anything about how you have been training, so I am hesitant to suggest anything specific in terms of which discipline to train when/how. Two weeks out though, I would caution against doing anything radically different from what you normally do. If you want to try a longer day, just make sure you crank the intensity down and pay attention to any nagging injuries that might start creeping in. Now is not the time to "push through" a sore knee or a growing blister because you don't have time to recover/heal (if you're old and creeky like me, anyway).
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