Team EverymanTri 2010 Gore-tex TransRockies: The right gear for the right run
Posted Aug 05 2010 4:03pm
Everyman Tri team member Paul Mandel reports on his TransRockies race training from the trail.
As teammate Paul Shippey and I continue preparations for the 115 mile 6-day GORE-TEX TransRockies Run, we are feeling great and very optimistic about the upcoming event. The training has had interesting effects as I have felt better and better while climbing hills at high altitude over the course of the summer.
I've run plenty of road races and road workouts, but the trail running is fairly new to me. I did run on the high school cross-country team thirty years ago, but the courses were pretty flat compared to what we're doing here, and they were at sea level in Long Island, New York.
The photo above is from a recent training run up the hill behind my Boulder neighborhood. I used to be out of breath just walking this trail, but now I am challenging myself a couple times a week to run the "Hogback Loop" at shorter and shorter overall times. The view from the top is fantastic.
I can't wait to see the scenery on the TransRockies stages. I believe my ankles and feet are getting stronger and more nimble as I get more practice dodging around and over the rocky trails. Quadriceps and calf muscles are developing as well, but I have to watch out for tightness that can lead to bursitis in my knee. To that end, I am religiously using a Trigger Point foam covered plastic pipe roller to stretch out my illiotibial bands.
The gear we are using is different from when I started out running. Where all I used to need was a cotton T-shirt, gym shorts and sneakers, things have gotten more technically advanced these days. I never used to wear sunglasses at all when running, but here in Colorado the sun is so strong you could actually damage your eyes, not to mention injure yourself by tripping over a rock or something, if you didn't have adequate eyewear and a cap.
Team EverymanTri uses Ryders eyewear, and I have been very pleased with the Ryders Sprint glasses (pictured below) I have been using since spring. They have very lightweight frames with rubberized earpieces that stay put. The nose piece is metal with rubber pads. The best thing I can say is that I don't notice that I am wearing them unless sweat drips over the lenses. The medium dark lenses work well in varied conditions (mostly bright) encountered on Colorado trail runs, and there is plenty of contrast for making out terrain ahead.
On longer runs I am using an Osprey Manta 25 hydration backpack with a built-in three liter Nalgene water bladder. This pack has a thin wire frame and a mesh panel that keeps the pack off your back. I love the hydration tube that is held by a strong magnet to the chest strap - it's always in reach for constant hydration.
The pack has room for rain gear, first aid kit, emergency blanket, and GU energy gels and GU Chomps to keep me going. Fueling is something I have learned about over the last year with all the endurance events I have done. It is certainly possible to complete medium to long distance runs on water alone, but not a great idea.
Whereas I used to have toast and tea as my pre-race ritual breakfast, I now have a energy bar or something like that before a longer run, supplemented with energy gels or chews at one hour intervals during the run. The small amount of caffeine in some of the energy gels is a welcome addition, as it boosts respiration and energy and helps with concentration.
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 and his crazy friend Paul Mandel. This is Paul's blog
entry (written by Paul Mandel) as they complete the journey to get ready to run across
the Rockies. You keep up with the Paul's on the Trans Rockies blog HERE .