Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Vermont Long Trail - Time to Build up the Quads!

The good news: My recovery from Mohican was insanely fast. Most likely as a result of the super-hydration plan I executed during the race, I awoke the morning after with almost no muscle soreness. Definitely a first for me after a 100 miler, and definitely a good sign that I'm carrying a nice level of fitness into my training for the Long Trail over the next 7 weeks.  It's good that I have that base fitness too, because yesterday I started looking at the Long Trail maps to figure out the pace I'll need to follow to break the speed record. The phrase "Oh, man!" was uttered each time I added up the elevation gain for each day:

Day 1:  70 miles, 21,000 ft. of climbing

Day 2:  60 miles, 16,350 ft. of climbing

Day 3:  70 miles, 15,225 ft. of climbing

Day 4:  73 miles, 14,000 ft. of climbing

Total: 273 miles, 66,575 ft. of climbing

Of course, the weather and trail conditions (which are always rugged) will probably slow that pace up a bit ( for example, I also already know about a bridge detour which adds 3 miles to the normal trail route this summer), but the reality is I still have to do all that climbing regardless of my speed. In order to keep my legs from completely falling apart along the way, I'm including more climbing than ever before in my training over the next 7 weeks. Blasting the downhills to build up my quads is maybe even more important than working on my climbing muscles too, especially when you consider I'll need to run the downhills hard in order to keep pace with the stout record pace set by Jonathan Basham last year (4 Days, 12 Hours, 46 minutes)....and for that matter the similar pace of former record holders Ted Keizer (4d, 13h, 15m in 2004), Ed Kostak (4d, 15, 18m in 2000), and David Horton (4d, 22h, 54m in 1999), all of whom I have the utmost respect for.

That said, I'm really looking forward to focusing on building up these gangly old legs to put forth the best effort I can over those mountains. It might not be in the cards for me to break the record, but I certainly won't go down without a fight!


nmp said...

That is some serious elevation!

7 weeks should be plenty of time to build up the climbing August you will be flying up and down the hills

Dan Rose said...

..and speaking of flying up and down some serious elevation, I wish you the best of luck at Hardrock, Nick! Just over a week away now...Good Luck out there in the San Juans!!

Anonymous said...

Best of luck!

TonyP said...

Wow! Go get it!

Amelia said...

Somehow, all the stats you cited in this blog make me feel compelled to share that the highest point in New Jersey is 1803 feet. Joel and I did that hike ("hike") and were seriously underwhelmed. But your Vermont adventure sounds awesome!!! What is your story with crew/support? I may be able to pitch in a day or two depending on timing.

Dan Rose said...

My parents will be braving the wilderness the whole time to provide support. I'm planning on minimal crew stops (really just once a day for food re-supply in my pack), and won't run with any pacers at all. If I'm going to get this record, I want to earn it!!

nmp said...

Thanks Dan...hopefully I can run a decent time.

There is certainly plenty of elevation but I think it is easier out here since you can do 3-4k in one climb and get into a nice rhythm. With that kind of elevation on the long trail it has to be constant up and down for shorter periods which makes it a lot harder!

Chris Roman said...

Awesome Dan, I would lend you a little quad help but mine are still hanging out in the "canyons" somwehere...... Don't worry Tony P, I feel great and will see u in the desert soon enough :)

Greg said...

Hi Dan -

How cool is that???? I'm from New England but now live in Salt Lake City. I lived in VT for several years in the 1980's and have thought of running the LT. I just picked up the GMC LT guidebook and pieced together a route which I hope to complete in 2011. Though I plan on doing it in 2X the number of days you are gunning for. I'll follow your progress. Best of luck!

Greg Gagne SLC UT

Ric Munoz said...

What great parents you have Dan -- they definitely deserve, at the very least, a nomination as Parents of the Year. The incredible support they provided in France and now the VLT adventure -- you really lucked out in the Mom & Dad department!