Downhill Running Tips
Because downhill courses are unique, we do have a few general tips to offer up to help ensure that you are prepared and ready to take advantage of our incredibly fast courses.
Incorporate downhill training. Whatever training plan you use, remember that downhill courses are unique and that you will need to adjust your training accordingly. Check out this Runner's World article for information on how to prepare for a downhill course. Our advice is to pick one workout roughly every one to two weeks to replace with a downhill training session. We also recommend making this your long run whenever possible. If you live somewhere with minimal or no hills, you can incorporate downhill running by setting a decline on a treadmill. If you are not yet accustomed to downhill running your legs may be extremely sore after these early sessions, but you should feel more and more accustomed to the downhill each time you return for your next downhill session.
Do not sweat the altitude. The cardiovascular requirements for downhill running are significantly reduced over flat and uphill running. Additionally, atmospheric oxygen levels will increase as you descend, allowing you to benefit from increased oxygen intake as you progress. Based on the feedback from runners coming from lower elevations in previous events, the positives of downhill running far out weight the negatives of higher elevations. They report altitude has not been a factor and many have been able to achieve personal records by significant amounts.
Go out easy. Anyone who has "bonked" in a race before will likely tell you that they went out too hard in the beginning. The beauty of downhill races is that you do not need to risk going out too hard to run a PR. Your mile splits will likely be faster than you are accustomed to, but make sure that you do not push it too hard too early. Let the downhill do the work. We have pacers at various paces to keep you in check and on the right pace for your PR.
Take advantage of the downhill opportunity. REVEL races offer amazing opportunities to run a significant PR on a beautiful course. We are confident that you can set a personal record (PR) regardless of where you are coming from, where you have raced before, or how many races you have run.
Consult Our Medical Lectures & Medical Team
Each REVEL race has a medical team that will be available to provide additional information regarding marathon training and specific training for downhill courses. Each race will publish information about classes, lectures, and other opportunities to consult directly with our medical teams.
You can also refer to this presentation on downhill running given by Dr. Leslie Rassner, who was the 2013 Medical Director for the REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon & Half.
The REVEL team consists of long-time runners who are also uniquely qualified to comment on training with regards to this specific course. Between us we have countless races under our belts, avid downhill runners, and former elite collegiate and professional runners. Please feel free to contact us with any training-related questions you may have.
Online Training Plans
There are a number of online resources available to help you determine a training plan that is right for you. Most of these are customizable based on your previous experience and goals. A list of our favorite resources are included here: