May 8, 2012

Ultra Trail Mont Blanc - Finding Vertical


For every 1,000 feet I climbed at my first 100 mile race, Western States, I will climb 1,700 feet at UTMB. Compared to my last 100 mile event, Angeles Crest, where I climbed 19,000 feet, I will have to climb an additional 11,700 feet at UTMB.  


There is a total of 30,839 feet of ascent at UTMB. Over 60,000 total elevation change. To put that in perspective, that is 300 feet per mile of climbing. I’ve been measuring my training runs in the last few months, trying to come close to this. What I’ve learned is that it’s not only difficult to train in this much vertical, it’s hard to find it! I live in a pretty hilly area. I don’t have to go far to string together a long run with what I thought was a lot of elevation change. What I’ve found, however, is to achieve 300 feet per mile of climbing, I have to be running (and hiking) steep hills, up and down, all the time. No flat sections in between.

Looks like I’ll be spending a lot more time in the Santa Ana and San Bernardino Mountains in the next couple months...finding vertical.  




13 comments:

it's all about pace said...

that's alot of "up" Will

Rachel said...

yikes! at least the scenery at utmb makes up for some of that climbing!

Colleen ONeil said...

Ohhh my, UTMB! Quite ambitious, my friend. I'm jealous and scared for you all at once :)

What do the flags on the elevation chart stand for?

Will said...

Thanks for all the condolences folks. Colleen, the flags represent the countries that we will be passing through on the course. France, Switzerland, Italy and back through France. I think I will need my passport.

EricG said...

Do you have 1 long hill you can do repeats on? I have a hill I have been using here for BW. Its 4 miles long and 1200 feet. So up and down, over and over and over it is. Boring but effective. By the way I think UTMB is nearly the equivalent of climbing up and down Everest. Have fun and good luck Peace E

Anonymous said...

Gee Will , that sounds like so much fun . Now I totally get it . This whole jogging thing is just for "shits n giggles". You're SICK!!!! P.S. Don't discount the downhill !!! call me.....i'm good for harding....twice !!!

Real Food Runner said...

Wow.

http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com/

Trail Plodder said...

Actually the latest official course measurements, which were announced a couple of weeks ago, make UTMB a bit longer and steeper: 104.4 miles (168 km) and 31,496 ft (9,600 m) of climbing (301.7 ft/mile). Bon courage!

Will said...

Eric, I have several hills I do repeats on. I'm constantly looking for new oneS. My current is near my house, a mile long and 525 feet up, so a good steep climb. Bino, Harding sounds good. I want to keep going to riverside then turn around and come back over. Trail P, thanks for the encouraging facts. What's a few more thousand feet?

Cruiser said...

Nice stuff! I'm enjoying reading your blog here!

Leslie said...

It will be Awesome! My advice is to get out your poles, and Get Your Hike On. It's a new and different skill set and a different set of muscles. Practice that and you will be Golden. :) G'luck and happy training.

Will said...

Leslie - thanks so much for the words of wisdom. I have taken to the "poles" as of late, and have many more vertical miles to go to "Get My Hike On".

Mary (aka Gydle) said...

Hi Will -
I just found your blog, and saw this post on the UTMB. I hiked it with my family several years ago - in nine days! (we could have gone faster, but...) It's amazingly beautiful, and I'd recommend coming back sometime so you can see the whole thing in the daylight. I dream of running part of it someday. There are a lot of great trail runs in Switzerland, but this one takes the cake. Best of luck!