Ultrarunning Edge Blog
Preparing for the 2009 Bear 100 Print E-mail
Written by Bruce R. Copeland   
Monday, 31 August 2009 11:25

With four weeks remaining until the 2009 Bear 100, it's time to map out a race strategy. I want to try something a little different for this race because I always seem to have big problems with stomach distress and hypoglycemia between miles 20 to 35 in races. I plan to start slow and go easy. This way I can hopefully avoid trashing my muscles during the period when my energy maintenance is poor. Then at about 40 miles, I plan to speed up and hopefully keep a faster pace for the remainder of the race.

Since mid July I've been working to maintain much of the conditioning base I had built (but didn't really get to use) for Hardrock. Because that was mainly steep up-canyon/down-canyon conditioning, I have lately been doing more speed work on relatively flat hopelessterrain. Much of my long distance training for the Bear 100 has been and will be pacing. A week ago I paced one of my running partners for the last half of the Leadville 100, (congratulations Milada, you did really well), and I'll be pacing for a little under 40 miles at the Wasatch 100 in two weeks. Pacing long distances as a form of training fits well with my new race strategy, since the typical average speed while pacing is about what I want to shoot for in the first third of a 100-mile race. 

I'm pretty familiar with the Bear 100 course. Yesterday, I took one of my sled dogs for a quick run up Blind Hollow to Tony Grove and back. This is the only portion of the course I had never been over. The grade and terrain is reminiscent of Richards Hollow. I alternated running and power hiking on the way up, and then blasted down it on the return trip. The route is fairly easy to follow, except in the vicinity of Tony Grove, where there is a maze of trails. Fortunately this will be well-marked on race day for Bear 100 runners.