Misadventures with wine, weights, and running shoes.

Training for Mountains: Putting SAID to Work

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Theresa’s love of hills combined with her blogger /social medial talent got her the opportunity to be an official blogger for the Foot Leveler’s Blue Ridge Marathon (BRM).  As her partner in crime, I of course signed on as a new victim participant in the race.

“America’s Toughest Road Marathon” is definitely worthy of its title. The elevation profile is enough to cause even a seasoned marathoner to question their sanity.
Courtesy of Blue Ridge Marathon

Following the SAID principle, we should train on mountains but we didn’t have mountains readily available.

Instead, we ran hills.

Over and over and OVER AGAIN we ran hills.  

We ran little hills and big hills, bridges and overpasses. You name it, if it had an incline we ran it; the steeper the incline the better. We began to even see hills as we drove and thought, OHHH we need to run that hill!  

Training during bad weather? No problem! We hit the treadmill and cranked up the incline. 

Over time, I have definitely gone from loathing hills to actually (shhhh, Don’t tell anyone) loving them. The change in terrain was something this Florida girl never knew she was missing.

Last year, Theresa used the stair monster and said it made a huge difference in tolerating the steady climbs of BRM.  By pure luck (if you want to call it that) we stumbled across something even better; treadmills with a 30% incline.

We had just finished treadmill interval sprints when she noticed the treadmill had a 30% option.  She of course goes to try it out and comments that it felt more like the hills at Blue Ridge than the stair monster did and suggested I try it. So I did.

My pace slowed to a crawl and I hung on for dear life; afraid I’d fall off.

All the while my feet, shins, ankles and calves screamed out in a wave of expletives that would make a sailor blush.  I am sure the look of disdain came across my face as I turned to her and simply stated, “I really don’t like you right now.”

We tried to add the 30% incline training in as often as possible.  Since terrain doesn’t go higher than 13% we hoped that training on a steeper incline would make 11% at mile 18.5 slightly more tolerable. Even our weight and core training was focused on strengthening our hill ascending and descending abilities.

For an extra treat, our taper began with the Marine Corps 17.75K race. It has challenging hills on the course and served as a great 11 mile training run. We each ran our own pace but the Blue Ridge Marathon came to mind with each hill.


This weekend when we reach each mountain top, I will be confident we did everything we could to prepare for the race we are running.

Wish us luck!
Love, Cindy



1 comment on "Training for Mountains: Putting SAID to Work"
  1. You two are going to rock it!!! You put in the training, you went through the pain - you are ready!!!!!

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