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R2R2R: Questions for runners
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Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
R2R2R: Questions for runners on 04/25/2012 07:42:57 MDT Print View

I've really enjoyed reading all of the personal accounts of the recent BPL R2R2R. I was curious about some of the technical details related to running this route.

1. What was your run/walk strategy (if you had one)? Would you do it differently next time? For those that ran the initial downhill, did this compromise your ability to finish the route? Did you do anything specific with regards to training for downhills prior to the run?

2. Did anyone use trekking poles while running? If so, what did you do with them on the downhills and flats?

3. What was your nutritional strategy?

Awesome job on completing the run!

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: R2R2R: Questions for runners on 04/25/2012 07:58:31 MDT Print View

1. RRR strategy was simple - run the downhills, jog the flats, power walk the uphills. This stratgey is no different than other long ultra type "runs" I've done.
If you plan to run the downhills, you definitley need to do a lot of downhill running in your training. downhill is much harder on the legs than uphill.
For your training for an RRR you should do a lot of hills, up and down. I do hills, both long and short, as a regular part of my training.

1b. a note about running downhill - John V. and I did the Bright Angel version of the RRR. Bright Angel trail had a mind numbing (leg numbing) amount of steps. can't remember from the past if South Kaibab has as many steps. the steps make both the uphill and downhill "interesting", but running down the steps is even more difficult, and harder on the legs than downhill running in general. its also difficult to get a nice fast downhill pace going for any length of time. the North Kaibab trail seemed to have fewer steps.

2. did not use trekking poles but they could come in handy on the uphills if you know how to properly use them.

3. I took 4,400 calories on the run. 3,500 calories perpetuem, 900 calories cookies.
perpetuem was mixed in a water bottle, so it basically was a liguid diet. one big mouthful every 15 minutes, about 60-70 calories. for me, constant nutrition works best. I used all my perpetuem but had about 400 calories of cookies left over.

Edited by asandh on 04/25/2012 09:52:22 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: R2R2R: Questions for runners on 04/25/2012 08:36:56 MDT Print View

1) I ran the initial downhill, likely a bit too fast. It did impact what should have been a great running section on the trail between Phantom Rach and Roaring Springs. I exclusively walked the uphills, my hiking pace is probably faster than my uphill running pace and much easier. As far as downhill training, I had two training runs with higher elevation gain than the R2R2R prior to the run, (11 and 13k) While this undoubtable helped me it still didn't fully prepare me for the miles long ascents and descents. I'm not sure much could.

2) I believe I was the only one that took trekking poles. They were a huge help in many ways for me. First, it allowed me to increase pace in the snow and it certainly increased my hiking pace on the uphills. (I aggressively use poles on uphills.) I would take them again unless I was an significantly better training at running a greater percentage. I eneded up using my poles for most of the downhills. It was either fairly steep, snow covered or mucky. I also did most of my training with poles and just hiked 2600 miles with them so they are very natural extensions of my arms.

3) I ended up intaking 300 calories per hour over the 12.5 hours, about 3600-3800 cal. I had much more of my Malto mix than normal, 2700 calories and that was by far my calories of preferance. In addition I had my normal junk food, chips, cookies, candy that was mixed in as well. This worked very well and I was never out of energy. I was limited by spent legs vs energy, something I'm not used to. If I were to do it over I would take a full 3600 calories of Malto and some extra food as my insurance in case of longer duration. I had no idea how long this was going to take and I planned food for 16-17 hours. Needless to say I had extra food.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: R2R2R: Questions for runners on 04/25/2012 08:48:29 MDT Print View

1. Run everything but the uphills. That strategy failed at about 10 miles due to ITB pain, so I ended up having to hike more of the flats/downhill than I would have liked to. C'est la Vie. I think running ~7 miles of downhill without warming up first might have helped provoke the ITB issue (which I hadn't had trouble with in training). So did running the first downhill compromise me? Maybe. But I ran it totally easy and well within my comfort range. Why ITB flared up on this one I can only guess.

2. No trekking poles.

3. I actually ate very little, relatively speaking, but it was enough for me. Total for the day: 3 bottles of Perpetuem (810 Cal), 6 gels (600 cal), 1 snickers (270 cal), 1 Balance bar (200 cal), and ~2 oz. Fritos (~350 cal), 2 small flour tortillas (? cal). Total ~2500 calories.
Every single person on this run will likely tell you that it's way too little food (many carried/ate 2-3 X this amount), at least theoretically. But I regularly do long runs without much food. I fully believe you can train yourself to function on fewer calories (I can show many running related links studying this if you'd like). I did begin a slight bonk at the North Rim, but recovered quickly with a bottle of Perpetuem. Overall, my energy was great; knee pain was the only thing slowing me down.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: R2R2R: Questions for runners on 04/26/2012 22:56:36 MDT Print View

1. I listened to my body and ran when appropriate and power hiked when necessary, so in my case all the downhills (S.Kaibab and N.Kaibab) were run at a moderate pace as well as all the rolling sections from Phantom to Roaring Springs, with the exception of a mile or two of debilitating cramps heading into Cottonwood/Roaring Springs which slowed me to what felt like a crawl early on before releasing.

I shared with my father in law this evening over dinner that I WILL do several things differently for R2R2R #2, which are as follows:

- Stop less for photographs. *I tacked on quite a bit of time doing so.
- Earlier start time (4:00am)
- Pound my legs training on the downhills in the weeks leading up to the run.

2. No poles.

3. ~200-250 cal/hr in the form of Perpetuem (main fueling source) and various maltodextrin sources (x2 CLIF Blocks, x10 GU Gels, x1 Snickers, x1 M&M package, Stinger Honey waffles) . I mixed the Perpetuem into a thick consistency inside a bottle and nipped at this continuously throughout the day along with plain water with great success and no spikes in energy. I set my alarm at 30 minute intervals as a reminder to ingest calories irregardless of how I felt at the moment as well as pop an electrolyte tablet (Succeed caps).

* Ike, are you saying you want to join us when we get together for the next one?

Edited by Eugeneius on 04/26/2012 22:57:54 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: R2R2R: Questions for runners on 04/27/2012 11:18:19 MDT Print View

I jogged only a little bit of it - I'm a hiker, not a runner. For me:

1) I jogged some of the downhills, I should have literally "hiked" my own hike and I would have finished looser and probably sooner.

2) No poles. IMO, people with their leg in a cast benefit from crutches. I try to avoid that situation. Poles are for X-C skiing and picking up liter along the highway.

3) I eat normal food and a lot of water. I had three steak wraps, two thai chicken wraps, and 8 ounces of cashews over 12 hours, 28 miles. About 4,000 calories. I had 8,000 along. Post-run was pizza and a large beer -grin-.

To do it again, I'd have (a) found someway, somehow to mile up more despite the 3 feet of snow on the ground all winter, (b) not run the downhills, personally, (c) brought less food - some reserves, but not double what I needed (Phantom Ranch was an option to resupply with power bars, etc) (d) put some of the calories into my water bottles - something I did back when I did 100k's when I was half my age, but haven't found a need for IF I'm miled up prior to a 40- or 50-mile day hike.

Things that went well: The 5 am start was good for me, earlier would have just made for more dark miles. (In June or July, I'd go earlier to avoid the heat, but was the LAST of our problems that day). My clothing was great and my puffy layer (Patagonia Nano Puff) was always in reserve - a comforting thought on that day. The group was a great bunch of guys (and a gal) who looked out for each. I didn't need that as a low-mileage (28 miles) hiker, but it was heartening to see.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
R2R2R on 04/27/2012 11:38:05 MDT Print View

Its inspiring to hear the stories from this trip. Glad to hear some did more hiking and less running. It makes me think I could join one of these. I love to run, but have never run that far or that much down hill. Impressive trip.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: R2R2R on 05/28/2012 09:35:54 MDT Print View

sorry missed this thread :)

1.- I ran the down SK and the Phantom <->Roaring Springs sections, walked the uphill SK- I really don't see how much of this uphill stretch could be run (save maybe a mile or so total). There were a couple of steeper stretches on the Phantom-> Roaring Springs that I powered walked, on the way back out I ran the entire stretch. I tried to incorporate as many hills as I could training, but I don't believe there is any way (short of living at the Grand Canyon like Torrey :)) that you can fully prepared for the sustained down/uphill of the GC- it was impressive to say the least.

2.- I didn't bring trekking poles, but have recently acquired a set of z-poles that might be worth packing ((.5 oz for the pair) if I were to do it again

3.- I was using a combination of perpetuem (in a hand held)- 2 scoops in a 22 oz bottle, drank a 22 oz bottle every two hours so roughly 150 cal/hour, I ate a Clif Block every 20 minutes, roughly an additional 100 cal/hour and then when filling up water at Phantom and Cottonwood I'd eat a Clif bar or the like adding ~ 1000 cal, roughly 100/hour- so about 350 cal/hour

things I'd do different- clothing, footwear and gear I was very pleased w/ so no changes there (unless the forecast was warmer :)) I'll probably be giving a little lighter shoe a try and see how it feels. I had terrible nausea the entire way up SK, after a lot of reading I think it may have been a lack of Sodium- I was taking an Endurolyte capsule every hour and I don't think that was adequate (for me anyways)- I'm going to try S!caps that are higher in Sodium next time

training- I just didn't have enough time/miles under me to complete the entire route, the best decision I've made in a long time was turning around at Roaring Springs- next time I'll have the miles/time and get the entire route!