For the most part in trail running, and especially in ultras, you’re one type of runner, or the other. Either you’re a ‘climber’ or a ‘downhiller’. I’m totally serious about this. Either you prefer to go up, or you prefer to go down. I have yet to meet anyone who really enjoys (and excels) at both.
So, for me, I am a downhiller. I hate long climbs. And given the choice, I will always choose the route that has less climbing, and the climbs I prefer are the shorter/steeper/more technical climbs while I despise the fire service road climbs, or anything that’s a long slow trudge. For example, locally, I would always choose the Grouse Grind over running up Mountain Highway. And really, when I have the choice, I’m likely to choose neither during a run, and do shorter climbs. But alas, this isn’t always the smartest technique of training.
To be honest, a lot of my trail running “training” has been quite loosey-goosey, and determined more by which way I feel like turning when I hit an intersection, or the overall time on feet. I do like to do more race specific runs, like before KneeKnacker I did lots of BP runs, and before Baker Lake, I did lots of Buntzen runs, but I’ve never really focused on the elevation gain, and the climbing specifics.
Shea & Melissa, mostly Melissa, have been bugging me about running Yakima 50K for the past 6 months, and Melissa threatened to register me so many times that I found myself in a FOMO position, and online when registration opened. A weekend away with our good friends, running a 50K that looks stunning, no big deal right?
Wrong. Somebody neglected to check the race course, and didn’t see the 10,000 feet elevation gain. Eff.