Author Topic: FFF – Flatlander, First timer, Finisher of PPA, thoughts  (Read 68 times)


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FFF – Flatlander, First timer, Finisher of PPA, thoughts
« on: November 25, 2019, 09:17:25 AM »
I thought I’d make a post (my first), to share my experiences as a FFF, since I gained so much good advise on these forums to train and prepare.

My situation: I live in a flat state, where my running routes typically was between 200 – 900ft elevation, a far cry from the 7000 – 14,000ft of the event.  I only ran two half marathons in my life, one in CO (was flat but at 6500ft) at 2:27 in 2017, so didn’t qualify, then another in my home state at 2:09 in 2018.  I have a chronic knee injury that prevents me from training too hard/long, so mileage was minimal (for the halfs usually 10- 15 a week).

My training: I took advise from these forums and youtube videos to train on treadmills at high % gradients to help replicate the near constant uphill nature of this race.  I started training in January specifically for this race, and on average only twice a week.  Each training session was 40 – 100 minutes, between 10-15% grade, always at 3mph (20min/mile).  Rarely, I did a third day, between 20 -40 minutes on a stair climbing (the escalator type).

Nutrition: Day before was normal, no carb loading, just my typical 3 meals.  I woke up at 4:45am, and between then and race start, had two bananas, two yogurts, some electrolyte beverage, and 2 Excedrin.  During race, I drank water and electrolyte beverages, and only at Cliff Blocks energy chews (one chew basically every mile, so two packs of 6), and another Excedrin.

Gear: I wore shorts/tshirt, hat, belt pack with two water containers.  I’m from an extremely cold state, so did not worry/care about the peak being cold and windy, and had no issues being up there two hours after the race outside (cheering on other runners, and talking with runners).

The race: The first mile I ran, and was about a 12 minute pace, then got the trail and fast hiked the rest.  I never “pushed” myself hard until the last 2 miles, which I picked up the pace to finish on time.  I did finish with a time right under 6:20.  I greatly enjoyed the race since I didn’t go too hard early, and actually finished with a smile and energy in the tank.

Final thoughts: I definitely will be doing the PPA again, possibly the PPM but not sure if it would trash my knee for good.  Going up is fine on my knee, down is a different story.  I’m training the exact same way for next years event.  Literally not going to change a thing.  Going for finish, rather than PR made the race actually fun, which I haven’t experienced in the last 25 years of running, so that I loved.  Training on incline is a MUST.  I was around some CO natives, one a multiple time PPA finisher, another a two time Leadville 100 finisher, but neither finished.  Both had ankle/calf cramping from not training going up hill constantly. 

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to address them!  Lastly, have fun, you can do it!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 09:21:45 AM by epictetus »