Team EverymanTri 2010 Gore-tex TransRockies run get serious with high altitude training
Posted Jun 20 2010 5:30am
Starting a run at 10,000ft is always a challenge. For the first mile or
so the rarefied air saps energy levels as your body craves the oxygen
it's being so cruelly denied. I typically find that after the first 10
minutes or so my heart rate settles down and I start to find my rhythm
and my heart and lungs stop whining and settle down too.
Today I decided to tackle the Indian Peaks Wilderness area, some 20
miles due west of Boulder for my weekly altitude run. This is one of my
favorite playgrounds in both summer and winter, with spectacular 180
degree vistas of the Continental Divide. The area offers incredible
hiking, snow shoeing, running and MTB trails.
My goal was to test a few new products on a run up as high as the snow
would permit me to go. I was wearing GoLite
Mesa Trail shorts and their Wildwood
Trail Run Top. Strapped to my feet were a new pair of Nike
Zoom Structure Triax GTX trail shoes, neatly wrapped in a GoreTex
layer. I carried a GoLite Dakota
Wind Vest in my Camelback - just in case the wind picked up or the
weather changed. At these altitudes a a balmy summer day can change to
rain and hail in an instant.
I had hardly got down the trail when the snow drifts appeared. The dense
forest canopy in the Brainard Lake region of the wilderness area means a
slow snow melt every spring, and it can take till mid-July for this
trail to be somewhat free of snow and ice. This was however perfect for
putting the Gore Tex Nike's to the test. I ran through drifts,
post-holed into four-feet thick piles of melting snow, and sloshed
through muddy bog for mile after mile as the trail threw up obstacle
The first three miles were mixed, but as soon as I climbed out of the
forest up to Lake Isabelle at 11,000 ft, the mud gave way to hard packed
snow and huge drifts. The going got tough and I attempted to slither up
a few inclines but without crampons I ended up 'skiing' back down in a
hurry. All this time the Nike Gore Tex combo kept my feet nice and dry.
Impressive to say the least.
The GoLite gear was awesome too. I have been using some of their
products for years, and have to admit to being a fan of the run shorts.
The run top, was also very comfy, and its moisture- wicking ability was
second to none, even with a Camelback strapped on my back, I never
felt too sweaty.
So, another successful training run and a great opportunity to test some
of the best gear for the Trans Rockies!
Editor's Note: The Gore-tex TransRockies run is just 113 miles, over
six days and (BTW) over a few biggish mountains. Team EverymanTri will
take on the challenge this August with our man Paul Shippey (picture above) and his crazy friend Paul Mandel. This is Paul's second blog entry as he starts the journey to get ready to run across
the Rockies. You keep up with Paul on his most new Trans Rockies blog HERE .