Besides the 102.6 miles of the Superior Sawtooth course, there's 20200 feet of climb. It's a little hard to imagine. Since half the course is downhill, half of it is like a treadmill set at a 7.5% gradient - if treadmills were strewn with rocks and tree roots. The Mounds hill is exactly 100 feet of climb in exactly one quarter of a mile, which is very convenient for record keeping; it also happens to be exactly the same pitch as the average of the Superior Trail.
|It doesn't look like much in this picture.|
Once I get comfortable running this for an hour and a half - when I stop improving in pace (not counting winter-related slowing) - then I plan on doing some fast repeats. I want to know I'm able to run hard at the end of this workout, to know I haven't just prepared myself to run 90 minutes and quit.
Many training for Sawtooth do very long very hard hill workouts compared to this, to strengthen the quads for several hours of steep downhills. I have other workouts planned to cover that. Several hours on a ski hill always requires walking uphill and I want to know I can run uphill.