Here is some advice Andy Jones-Wilkins gave on the ultra list about training for Western States. He obviously knows what you need to do as he finished 4th last year!
With just two weeks before the lottery, I know that everyone that entered is anxiously awaiting for December 1st when maybe, just maybe, our name will be selected. Don't get too excited as there are 1352 entrants and a mere 16% chance of getting selected. Wow, isn't that a total bummer? Oh well, 16% of us will get selected!
1. Get on the course as many times as you can. I know everybody says
this but it is absolutely true. The main reason to do this is that it
eliminates variables. For example if you have run from Dusty Corners
Foresthill 6 times in training and you have done it in a somewhat
predictable time frame you should be able to do that on race day as
Quite honestly, I have eight intermediate splits between Last Chance
Devil's Thumb (that's a split every 1/2 mile). Breaking the course
into manageable, familiar chunks is critically important physically and
2. Train for the pain you will feel late in the race. If you can do
speedwork, hill repeats and back to back long runs you will mimic the
of those last 20 miles. Certainly, you need to build up to this stuff
it sounds like you are suitably obsessed enough to do this.
3. Have a nutrition plan and stick to it. I can almost guarantee you
that you will not want to eat solid food at Green Gate, perhaps not
Foresthill. However, you need a plan that you know works. Carbs,
electrolytes and fluids. Get that figured out and stick to it no
what. Again, it removes a variable. When my crew meets me they simply
hand me the food I am supposed to eat, no questions, discussion, or
debate. And, I eat it.
4. Trash your feet and quads in training. Start a run by dunking your
feet in cold water and running through a dusty portion of trail. Then
your 25 miler. In fact, why not practice at the Quad later this month?
It will help. Also, find a longish downhill, preferably paved or
yet even concrete, and do downhill repeats once a week for four months
before the race. Sounds brutal but it works.
Thanks, Andy for the great training advice!! Now get out there and start training!