I previously discussed competitive race strategy. If you aren’t that concerned with fast times and your goal for the race is to finish and have an enjoyable experience doing so, here is what I advise.
Consistent, Managed Uphill Pace
On the uphills, go at a pace that does not put yourself in oxygen debt. This means go at a pace where you are breathing hard but not getting dizzy or experiencing burn in your legs. The goal is to keep moving at a consistent pace.
Gentle Downhill Pace
On the downhills, be gentle on your quadriceps. The goal is to preserve your legs and to stay on your feet – no falls. Take quick short strides with a rolling motion using your whole foot. Avoid pounding downhill, hammering your legs. If you use leg strength to break your speed on the downhills, you will trash them. Bad downhill form requires lots of quad strength, wearing you out and leading to sore legs the next day.
Enjoy the People
Stop at aid stations to refuel and socialize for a minute or two. If you enjoy company, find someone moving at your pace and chat along the way.
Enjoy the Scenery
Keep smiling. Occasionally take your eyes off your feet and the ground. Look up and around at the view. Turn around once in a while and look way back to where you came from.
Mind the Cutoff Times
Keep in mind the cutoff times so you don’t get yanked off the course:
- Sacagawea 1:15 (8:15 AM)
- Ross Pass 3:00 (10:00 AM)
- Bridger Bowl 4:15 (11:15 AM)