Yesterday I received another question from another reader in regards to pacing and energy management. This article, Leadville 100 Trail Run Coaching Basics / Energy Management, will focus on answering just that question.
Leadville 100 Trail Run Coaching Basics / Energy Management
The topic of “race execution” as it applies to the Leadville 100 Trail Run has many differing facets, theories, approaches, and what not. For most the strategy is go out fast, die, and do whatever it takes to get back after reaching Winfield. Of course this is probably not the best way to go either…
But the reader included this in his message:
“My biggest challenge was knowing how much energy to expend and still have enough left in the tank to get back to Leadville – I came into Winfield 10-minutes late and feeling relatively fresh.”
Coaching runners, I tend to fall back on what I know that works – what works that I have proven myself, and what works based on results. And the best way to answer the reader’s question goes back to what I insist that every runner that I work with uses… Three simple words…
Heart Rate Monitor
Agree or disagree, like heart rate monitors or not… since first utilizing it myself in 2012-2013 for my first Leadman Challenge… in both training, and racing I am a fanatical supporter of that device and until they come up with something better… it is what I will stick with for both myself and again, insist that my runners employ also.
Here it is… when it comes to the Leadville 100 Trail Run Coaching Basics / Energy Management concept or idea the HRM works because it keeps you at a consistent level of effort throughout the entire race.
If you train with it and know your aerobic heart rate zone, and run that in Leadville, and only that, if your pace and speed match up with the appropriate energy expenditure, chances are you are going to have a great race.
In 2013, using a HRM in Leadville, I ran a 23:18 and to be honest, that was my “easiest” run ever, even a week after pedaling 100 miles in the 100 MTB. I never felt like I ever went too fast that or ever “sprinted” and like I said, it felt easy.
In 2014, again, using the HRM, I had the most horrid first 42 miles of the race… courtesy of the bike the week before, but by utilizing the HRM and finally waking up on the first Hope Pass climb, I was able to rally hard the second half and run a 24:51.
2016 was different, and I will admit that I ran HOT the first half with my HR above where it should have been but in the end and after taking that risk, it still kept me in check throughout the race to finish with a 22:43.
The HRM will help if you train with it and understand how to best use it but it will certainly keep you from going too fast and will also tell you when you are not working hard enough as well.
The biggest thing is to understand is, yes, using a HRM, especially in Leadville, might cause you to go out a bit slower, but in the end by using it and paying attention to it, you will slow down a lot less over time and have a better run and experience overall.
To close this topic… Leadville 100 Trail Run Coaching Basics / Energy Management… I will just say this… Before using the HRM I never got a big buckle… after taking the time to learn it, and really leverage that technology towards success… Big Buckle EVERY run…
That’s something to think about.
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Photo by Andy Wooten – August 2013