Scarpa North America Blog

Trail Running: How to Train for Big Days

Jul. 12th 2016

This Friday, July 15, SCARPA athlete Joe Grant will toe the start line of one of the toughest trail running races on the planet, the Hardrock 100. Traversing 100 miles with over 33,000 feet of ascent, the Hardrock challenges runners in the rugged and beautiful peaks of Southwest Colorado. Because many of you might get the bug to take on your first big race or mountain objective this summer, we asked Joe to give some insight into the training required to push your limits on the trail. And if a big day is on the agenda, we’ve got the award winning alpine running shoes to get it done.

Joe Grant snaps a spring selfie while running in the Indian Peaks of Colorado.

Joe Grant snaps a spring selfie while running in the Indian Peaks of Colorado.


1- Pick a reasonable challenge

The first step in training for big days is to pick a good challenge-something that is reasonably difficult, that inspires you, that will get you out of your comfort zone, yet that won’t be so hard that you have no chance of succeeding. Picking the right challenge for yourself is the foundation to laying out a good training plan and ensure that you do not burn out in the process. With each new challenge, I always try to seek out some new element to focus on whether it is tackling a new distance, going for a faster time, approaching the mountain in a different way or trying a more complex route that requires a higher level of skill.

Rock and Relief in the Crestone Group.

The San Juan Mountains

2- Be honest with yourself
Be honest with yourself and assess your strengths and weaknesses so you know you what you need to work on to prepare for your challenge. Train specifically and organize and refine all the gear you will need so when you are out there you can focus on the task at hand. Do not underestimate how much experience you have from other areas of life that may be applicable to your challenge, but do not be too bold either as you may risk getting yourself in a tricky situation.

3- Always keep perspective

Dream big and let your goal occupy your mind, but also keep room for other commitments in your life that bring you balance. Keeping perspective will help you savor your achievements, and not get too upset by your failures.
Being able to take a step back and have a healthy perspective of a big goal regardless of how important it may seem in the moment is crucial to maintaining a good balance in your life.

Big objectives take a lot of dedication and commitment to prepare for, but you might be shut down on the day by a number of factors out of your control such as injuries, weather or the likes.
If you enjoy the process, you will be content with the result regardless of the outcome.

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