Training for Leadville in a flat town

Stairs at Ren CenOnce again I’m out in Colorado just days away from the Leadville Trail 100-mileĀ  running race.

This is my fourth time in this race. The first was in 2002 when I had my best finish and broke the 25 hour mark to earn a gold belt buckle. I notoriously undertrained for the race and averaged only 15 miles of running prior to race day.

I returned in 2007 with more training mile but finished much slower. That didn’t make too much sense. 2008 was slower still, but at least I could blame that on the seemingly endless rain and snow storms.

But one thing I did notice is I was much better at hiking up steep hills in 2002. I didn’t do any hill training but my home office was in the basement. I climbed my basement stairs everyday. Did that help?

When I moved my home office out of the basement, I wasn’t doing nearly as many stairs.

So this year I tried something new. Once or twice a week I went to the RenCen and climbed stairs. There are roughly 70 flights of 16 steps — or about 700 feet. I’d take the elevator back down. I climbed 2-3 times from bottom to top.

I really couldn’t climb more than that due to the heat. The stairwells are very warm and get warmer the higher you climb.

There’s a nice ice cream shop in the Wintergarden that provided my motivation.

Will this special training help this year? We’ll know in less than a week.

I did climb about 1,300 feet today to Mount Royal and it felt pretty darn good.



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