This article was provided by American Trail Running Association race member Taos Ski Valley Chamber of Commerce. Their Taos Ski Valley Up & Over Trail Run takes place this year on Saturday, August 3.
You’ve signed up for a trail race this summer and you are now in search of a training plan to get you in prime condition to perform your best on race day. However, when you search for a training plan, you become overwhelmed with the multitude of options and don’t know where to begin. It seems as if there are as many recipes for training as there are for baking a cake. Like baking, your outcome in training should be focused on the same result – sweet satisfaction.
That satisfaction may include racing under goal time, setting a PR for the distance, or just getting across the finish line with a smile. Whatever your goals, select a training program that fits your lifestyle, personality, and has some built in motivation to keep you on track (or trail).
A great way to stay focused through your training schedule is to set incremental goals and milestones along the way. If you are training for a longer distance race, consider adding a shorter distance event a few weeks, or a month prior to your “big” race. Look for a race that offers a course with similar terrain and difficulty. This gives you an opportunity to see how your training is going, and to make tweaks as necessary. You may need to focus more on your uphill cadence, or your downhill form. A race environment also gets you ready to tackle the pre-race jitters and dial in your nutrition, and allows you to compare your pace and stamina while surrounded by other runners. There’s no question that on race day the anticipation and adrenaline of those around you will put a little extra spring in your step, pushing you along the route a little faster and with a little more agility than when doing a training run alone.
Whatever your training and racing goals may be, a great event to include this summer is one that offers a trifecta of challenges. The 14th annual Taos Ski Valley Up & Over 10K Trail Run offers a lung-busting ascent, an amazing view from the halfway high point, and a descent with both technical footing and rolling terrain to the finish line. This year’s race is set for Saturday, August, 3, 2019 in the amazing setting provided by the Taos Ski Valley, an area highlighted last year as an ATRA Trail Town.
Those who have their sights set on a marathon or ultra-distance trail race might overlook this race as it may seem “too short,” and thus not fit into their training plans. However, the course at the Taos Ski Valley is not your typical 10K. The start line sits at 9,200 feet and the route climbs through the summer slopes of Taos Ski Valley Resort topping out at 11,819 feet before heading back down again. That’s over 2,600 feet of elevation gain in just three miles boasting an average grade of 9.3 percent, a great way to test your stamina both mentally and physically. Not only that, there are some great perks that come with this race including a great swag bag, a custom race T-shirt, handmade finishers medal from a famed local Taos potter, an after party with live music, awards for top finishers, and beautiful scenery.
For more information and to register for the Taos Ski Valley Up & Over 10k, visit https://www.taosskivalley.com/trailrun. Enjoy a great race and a beautiful weekend in New Mexico’s secluded mountains this August-Embrace the ascent!