In search of a Hill:

Apologies for this self-indulgent post. My mind is so pre-occupied with the Ultra du Mont Blanc that I think of it constantly. I am trying to find ways to prepare as best I can for this big unknown.

I have been immersed in a spreadsheet over the last little while comparing altitude gain/distance covered for various runs. All my training ideas this year have been guided by UTMB. Let me explain. 166km with 9400 m of altitude gain and drop= 57m/km of gain.

I did this little sum a few months ago and it still boggles me on a weekly basis.

Let’s look at local road races we consider hilly (ascent values unconfirmed):

distance ascent ratio

Red Hill Classic 36 km 590 m: 16 m/km

Two Ocean’s 56 km 1000 m: 18 m/km

Kloof Nek Classic 21 km 560 m: 27 m/km

Ok some ultra trail examples:

Addo 160 km 3950 m: 25 m/km

Puffer 75 km 2375 m: 32 m/km

And now some shorter races:

Otter 42 km 2200 m: 52 m/km

Three Peaks 50 km 2700 m; 54 m/km

Garies Trail run 20 km 1200 m: 60 m/km

HBTC 35 km 2175 m: 62 m/km

So guess what I will be doing over the next few months. I need to get good at the ups and downs. Especially running the down hills and being able to run after hammering my legs on a steep down. For me this will be the crux. Running The Mast yesterday felt good and will become staple. Oh that is a decent 780m/21.5= 36.

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