2013 H.U.R.T. 100

2013 H.U.R.T. 100

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Sansom Park in Fort Worth - a view from the top of my hill
  In my opinion, no matter the distance, surface, or terrain of the race you're training for, hill work is essential.  Some people believe in speed intervals, some swear by the track, but for me its hills. 

Sansom Park - the trails that cut straight from the lake up to the parking lot are called the "fisherman trails"
 Hill training should be started easy and increased slowly.  It places quite a bit of stress on the joints and muscles, but thats what causes your body to adapt and make them stronger for next time.

Sansom Park - toward the top of the climb

 Every other weekend I drive 40 minutes to Sansom Park on Lake Worth.  Not only is it a beautiful place with rugged trails, its boast these super rocky and rugged climbs that you just can't find anywhere else in DFW.  Im sure there are some out there but these are in the same park as 9 other miles of great trails.

Sansom Park - from the bottom looking up (this is way steeper then this picture shows)
  I do a long run / hill work on those days.  I usually do 3 sets of hills sandwiched between 4 one hour sets of actual running on the other trails.  After about a 6 mile warm-up i head to this hill.  Its right at 1/8 of a mile long.  I'll do 4 up and downs to equal exactly one mile.  It climbs 150 ft in only 1/8 of a mile, so my 1 mile set will feature 600 ft elevation gain and of course 600 ft elevation loss.  This one mile usually takes me between 12 - 14 minutes.  The down hills are what I can take aggressively if I'm feeling fresh that will improve my time.  My uphill speed doesn't fluctuate nearly as much.

Sansom Park - another spot on my hill
  The footing is what makes it so hard.  The entire thing is lose rock that causes your feet to slide quite a bit.  Going down is the scary part.  I love it because it builds coordination and confidence on this type of terrain. 

Sansom Park - looking down the first section of the climb.  With all the loose rock, its best to take it carefully. i've wiped out many times!
  This one mile set will max your heart rate out and will push you mentally just to keep running period without walking.  This type of hill during a race would obviously be power hiked, but im out here to push my body.  During training runs I try to find the toughest route up any hill and never ever walk it.  If you take training runs easy, where is the stimulant for you body to improve? 

Sansom Park - another view looking down my hill
  Hill sprints will raise your heart rate up and keep you gasping for air the whole time.  I consider it a strength and VO2 workout.  Hills, especially on this terrain, will build muscles and strengthen your joints.  That will leave you less injury prone and able to power up hills during races.  It also helps you mentally finding a hill thats so steep that every other hill you encounter will seem pretty insignificant.

Sansom Park - at the bottom is my start / finish / turnaround point

Below is a picture going up Lucky Peak at Bandera.  See a resemblance?  These hills I train on, are as close to Bandera terrain as it gets.  My goal is to feel so comfortable on this terrain that this little race in October they call the Cactus Rose 100 is a breeze.  Well, maybe not a breeze, because if it doesn't hurt like hell then you're doing something wrong. I started doing this hill workout just two weeks after last Cactus Rose back in November.

Bandera 100k / Cactus Rose 100 - a view going up lucky peak

Bandera 100k / Cactus Rose 100 - same spot on lucky peak but looking down