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July 27, 2022
The Run Down - REVEL Race Series Newsletter

Big Cottonwood Participant Medal

Here they are, in all their glory. Ten unforgettable years of REVEL's flagship race down beautiful Big Cottonwood Canyon culminates in 2022 with a race medal that makes the rest of your collection feel insecure. Join us for our 10-Year Anniversary on Sept 10, 2022 and leave with 250 grams of zinc-alloy royalty around your neck (along with an incomparable sense of life accomplishment!).

Big Cottonwood + Big Bear Price Increase

REVEL Big Cottonwood and REVEL Big Bear both have a price increase coming up on August 10, 2022. Complete your fall race schedule by registering for both of these beautifully fast races.

Don't miss your chance to save $10 on registration! Plus, register with a team and receive an additional $5 off!

Join us in Salt Lake City, Utah on September 10th, 2022 for REVEL Big Cottonwood and in Redlands, California on November 12th, 2022 for REVEL Big Bear!

 

 

Big Cottonwood 10th anniversary jacket

Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of REVEL Big Cottonwood with us! Even better, celebrate it in style with the REVEL Big Cottonwood Jacket from Brooks Running©.

These lightweight, ultra-portable, wind-blocking, and rain-resistant jackets are flying off the shelves. Order yours now!

 

the 2022 triple reveler Medal

In other race medal news, are you on track to earn the 2022 Triple REVELer medal? You may be asking yourself, "how on earth do I get my hands on this prestigious piece of REVEL race bling?!"

The answer is easy... the path, however, is not. You must run three of the four 2022 REVEL events to earn one of these bad boys. Two are already behind us (Mt Charleston & Rockies) with two more forthcoming (Big Cottonwood & Big Bear). Let's GO!

 

BIG COTTONWOOD COURSE REVIEW

Supplement your physical training for REVEL Big Cottonwood with some mental training. 28-time REVEL finisher Coach Paul is here to preview the beautifully challenging Big Cottonwood course in the latest REVEL blog post.

Whether you're running the full or the half marathon, there's no doubt that Coach Paul has the knowledge you need to slay your race.

 

July 21, 2022

A course strategy – and overall race strategy – is a must for optimal performance on race day. Whether this is your first REVEL Big Cottonwood race and your goal is simply to finish, or you are Big Cottonwood veteran aiming for a PR or BQ, you should have a well-planned strategy for how you intend to manage the course!

The head coach of REVEL’s Online Coaching Program, who has run a Boston Qualifier in all of the REVEL marathons, has prepared a detailed description of the Big Cottonwood Marathon and Half-Marathon courses.

Managing the Course Based On Segments

A critical component of your strategy is the course profile itself. Where are the sharp descents? Where are the climbs? Where does the course “flatten” a bit?

You want to plan your race with course segments in mind, and with an overall strategy for varying paces throughout. Your varied paces will be dictated by the elevation losses and gains, and you want to know before the race where those variations will occur.

Generally, the Big Cottonwood Marathon course can be divided into five sections:

Miles 1-3: The Fast Start

Mile 4: The Loop

Miles 5-18: The Canyon Drop

Miles 19-23: The Out and Back

Miles 24-26.2: The Straightaway Finish

Similarly, the Big Cottonwood Half-Marathon course can be divided into four sections:

Miles 1-3: Gently Fast Start

Miles 4-9: PR Territory

Miles 10-11: The Canyon Exit

Miles 12-13.1: The Gradual Downhill, Straightaway Finish

You can study the courses yourself on the REVEL website. You can zoom in, use the interactive elevation chart, and get a feel for what lays ahead of you on race day.

If possible, you should drive the course before race day to get a feel for what the segments look and feel like. Knowing what to expect, and when, is helpful when preparing your course strategy.

The marathon and half-marathon courses are summarized below based on the segments described above.

 

The Marathon Course

Miles 1-3: The Fast Start

Starting at over 9,600’ elevation, the first 3 miles of the course are on Guardsman Pass Road and include several turns and switchbacks. Overall, this first 3-mile segment loses more than 900’ of elevation. That is a significant elevation loss, and you will want to manage the drops by easing into your pace, settling in for the long haul, and letting gravity pull you along at a comfortably fast pace.

Resist the urge to chase people as they pass you. While you want to take advantage of gravity, you should not feel as if you are running “too hard” or “too fast.” If you do, then you should ease back a bit and aim for a “comfortably hard” pace.

Mile 4: The Loop

You will leave Guardsman Pass Road where it intersects with Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, turn left, and start climbing towards the Brighton Resort where you will loop around the resort area, and then head back towards the point where you began the loop.

Over the course of The Loop, you will climb slightly more 116’ to the highest point of the loop. This is a segment where you do not want to get caught up with the pace of other runners if they are passing you. You still have many, many miles to go, and you want to conserve your energy for the miles ahead.  If you feel yourself working too hard, then simply slow down.

Miles 5-18: The Canyon Drop

From mile 4 to mile 18, just before you exit Big Cottonwood Canyon, you will experience the fastest part of the marathon course, with an elevation loss of more than 3,700’.  There are a few small, short climbs here and there in this segment, but they are minor in comparison to the overall elevation loss.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself running well ahead of your goal pace. This segment is where the downhill profile of the marathon course will benefit you significantly. At the same time, be wary of a sensation of “running too fast.” If you feel out of control, or if you feel yourself working “too hard” while running downhill, then slow down. 

Miles 19-23: The Out and Back

Just past mile 18, you will leave Big Cottonwood Canyon Road and turn onto S. Wasatch Boulevard for an out-and-back segment. For the next 2.26 miles, the course flattens out a bit and loses less elevation that the previous miles coming down the canyon. All totaled, you will lose 100’ of elevation on the “out” portion of the out-and-back, with some climbs along the way.

After the turnaround, you will run back to the entrance of Big Cottonwood Canyon and head towards Fort Union Boulevard. Over this 2.28-mile stretch, you will be climbing back to where you started the out-and-back.

During this segment, don’t panic or become discouraged if you find yourself slowing down, or if it suddenly feels harder to maintain your pace. After the significant drop of the early miles, along with the typical late-stage fatigue that is common in marathons, your legs might feel heavy and you might feel as if you are working very hard to keep going. But the key will be to keep going. Once you get past this segment, the closing miles will be downhill again.

Miles 24-26.2: The Straightaway Finish

The finish line is on Fort Union Boulevard. After the right-hand turn from the out-and-back onto Fort Union, the closing 3.2-mile segment drops approximately 430’ total, making it a gradual, straightaway downhill finish. You will encounter terrific crowds who will cheer you towards the finish line of the fast and beautiful Big Cottonwood Marathon!

Summary of the Marathon Course

The Big Cottonwood Marathon course loses almost a mile of elevation from start to finish. Over the 26.2-mile course, you likely will surprise yourself with your speed on the downhill segments. Although it is generally true that you never want to "go out too fast" in the opening miles of a marathon, remember that gravity is your friend, and you want to take advantage of the benefits of downhill running.

The Half-Marathon Course

Miles 1-3: Gently Fast Start

Starting at almost 7,300’ elevation, the half-marathon course drops more than 400’ total from the start to mile 3. That is an average of about 135' per mile, which is a significant but manageable descent each mile. You will want to manage the early downhill drops by easing into your pace, settling in for the long haul, and letting gravity pull you along at a comfortably fast pace. You should not feel as if you are running “too hard” or “too fast.” If you do, then you should ease back a bit and aim for a “comfortably hard” pace.

Miles 4-9: PR Territory

This is where your half-marathon personal record (PR) will be made. Miles 4-9 all totaled lose 1,863’ of elevation, which is an average of 311’ per mile. If you are keeping tabs on your pace, don’t be surprised to see that you have picked up significant speed and are running well ahead of your goal pace. At the same time, be wary of a sensation of “running too fast.” If you feel out of control, or if you feel yourself working “too hard” while running downhill, then slow down. But be mindful that it is expected for you to be well ahead of goal pace during this long, downhill segment of the race.

Miles 10-11: The Canyon Exit

At mile 9, just before you exit Big Cottonwood Canyon, you will notice that the course starts to flatten a bit. After losing an average of more than 300’ per mile in the previous “PR Territory” section, this 2-mile stretch loses an average of half that per mile: 313’ total, or just over 150’ per mile.

You can expect a short slowdown here due to the lesser elevation loss. You will need to “switch gears” to a slower pace based on even effort and should be prepared to run much slower than the first 9 miles of the race. Likewise, you really do not want to concern yourself with runners passing you, if that happens. It is easy in a race to get caught up with the pace of other runners. You still have a few miles to go, and you want to conserve your energy for the closing downhill miles ahead. Pay attention to your breathing and heart rate. If you feel yourself working too hard here, then simply slow down.

Miles 12-13.1: The Gradual Downhill, Straightaway Finish

Just past mile 11, you can say to yourself "now downhill to the finish!" Mile 12 loses 196’ of elevation, making it a speedy pick-up where, if you are feeling good and aiming for a PR, you can turn on the speed again and feel yourself flying toward the finish. Finally, the last 1.1 miles have a gradual loss of just over 80'. You should feel comfortable locking in right at goal pace, if not slightly faster, for the finish.

In this final stretch, the crowds of spectators will grow larger as you make your way towards the finish line of the fast and beautiful Big Cottonwood Half-Marathon!

Summary of the Half-Marathon Course

The Big Cottonwood Half-Marathon course loses 2,857' of elevation from start to finish. That's an average of more than 220' per mile, making this one of the fastest half-marathon courses you will ever run. Over the 13.1-mile course, you likely will surprise yourself with your speed on the downhill segments.

 

Paul Carmona is the Online REVEL Coach who has designed training plans specifically for REVEL downhill courses, and who has run the Big Cottonwood Marathon five times. He is a 28-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course that he has run, with his current streak at 24 BQs in a row at REVEL marathons!

April 27, 2022

Rockies course review

By Paul Carmona, REVEL Online Coach

A course strategy – and overall race strategy – is a must for optimal performance on race day. Whether this is your first REVEL Rockies race, and your goal is simply to finish, or you are veteran aiming for a PR or BQ, you should have a well-planned strategy for how you intend to manage the course!

The head coach of REVEL’s Online Coaching Program, who has run a Boston Qualifying time in all the REVEL marathons, including four times at the REVEL Rockies Marathon, has prepared a detailed description of the 2022 Rockies Marathon and Half-Marathon courses.

 

Managing the Course Based on Segments

A critical component of your strategy is the course profile itself. Where are the sharp descents? Where are the climbs? Where does the course “flatten” a bit?

You want to plan your race with course segments in mind, and with an overall strategy for varying paces throughout. Your varied paces will be dictated by the elevation losses and gains, and you want to know before the race where those variations will occur.

 

Generally, the Revel Rockies Marathon course can be divided into five sections:

 

Miles 1-13:  Fast Half (with 4 subsections)

Miles 14-16: Evergreen Rollers

Miles 17-20: Steady Drop

Miles 21-22: Flatten Out

Miles 23-26.2: Fast Finish

 

Similarly, the Revel Rockies Half-Marathon course can be divided into four similar sections:

 

Miles 1-3: Evergreen Rollers

Miles 4-7: Steady Drop

Miles 8-9: Flatten Out

Miles 10-13.1: Fast Finish

 

You can study the courses yourself on the REVEL website. You can zoom in, use the interactive elevation chart, and get a feel for what lays ahead of you on race day.

If possible, you should drive the course before race day to get a feel for what the segments look and feel like. Knowing what to expect, and when, is helpful when preparing your course strategy.

The marathon and half-marathon courses are summarized below based on the segments described above.

 

THE MARATHON COURSE

Miles 1-13:  Fast Half

 

Starting at over 10,500' elevation, the first half of the marathon loses nearly 3,000' of elevation, with minimal climbing over that entire first half. The average loss per mile is more than 228' per mile, which is a 4.3% downhill grade. Be wary of a sensation of “running too fast” in this entire stretch of the race. If you feel out of control, or if you feel yourself working “too hard” while running downhill, then slow down.

Generally, it is never a good idea to divide a marathon into "first half/second half" for strategy purposes. The best way to break down the first half of the course is to think of it in 4 subsections:

 

Miles 1-5, which lose over 1,300' and gain less than 10' overall. In this section, the downhills are sharp at times, and you will want to take advantage of gravity by letting yourself move comfortably fast. Each of these first five miles drops well over 200' per mile, and the only climb - which is minor - is in the first mile. After you pass mile 1, the next 4 miles each drop 250' or more and gain zero.

 

Mile 6, which flattens out slightly, with a net loss of only 150' while gaining about 10' along the way. After the early miles of higher elevation, you will find it slightly easier to breathe, but you can expect a mild slowdown due to the lesser amount of elevation loss.

 

Miles 7-11, where the elevation loss is similar to the first 5 miles but have almost no gain at all. The course drops over 1,100' over these 5 miles, and gains zero. Like the opening 5 miles, this section is where you will want to take advantage of gravity and let your pace accelerate to the "comfortably fast" edge of your ability.

 

Miles 12-13, where you will have turned off Squaw Pass Road onto Evergreen Parkway. Here, you will encounter short, gradual climbs. You will climb a little more than 30' here, which is more in these two miles than you had in the entire first 11 miles of the course. Although you will still be running downhill, the elevation loss of approximately 370' in this 2-mile section, paired with the short bit of climbing, will feel slower than the opening 11 miles. It won't be your imagination: the course will feel slower here.

 

Miles 14-16: Evergreen Rollers

Just past the start of the half-marathon, the course continues on Evergreen Parkway and gradually rolls through miles 14 and 15, then turns onto Douglas Park Road and Meadow Drive as you approach mile 16. Over this 3-mile segment, the course drops approximately 500'. The challenge is the climbing, which will be visible as you run on Evergreen Parkway. Remind yourself that overall you are still running downhill. The net elevation loss over these 3 miles is about 500 feet!

 

Miles 17-20: Steady Drop

Not long after you pass mile 16, you will make a hard left turn onto Bear Creek Road. Here, miles 17 to 20 each drop between 71' and 108' per mile. These are much more gradual drops that what you encountered in the first 13 miles and are also less than the elevation loss on Evergreen Parkway in miles 14-16. This is where you want your pace to be steady and even, mimicking the steady, gradual downhill.

 

Miles 21-22: Flatten Out

Make no mistake: this is where it gets tough for a short bit. Miles 21 and 22 together lose a total of just over 120' of elevation. Compared to the early miles of steady downhill at more than 4% elevation loss, you will notice how in miles 21-22, with a 1% downhill grade, it is harder to hold your pace.  Moreover, the climbs that do appear in miles 21 and 22 might slow your pace noticeably. But don’t panic if you find your pace slowing in this segment. You don’t want to “push” yourself to try matching the fast pace that you held in the more downhill miles preceding miles 21-22.

 

Miles 23-26.2: Fast Finish

Once you reach mile 22, you can say to yourself "now downhill to the finish!" Even better, the downhill in the closing 4.2 miles is roughly 750’. That is over 180' per mile, or approximately a 3.4% elevation loss. You should find yourself able to resume some of the faster paces that you were able to run in the first half of the race.

One word of warning: there is a short 20-foot climb at the very end of the course as you turn onto Bear Creek Avenue and Union Avenue. It is literally within the last .10 mile, but hopefully at that point you will be glad to see the finish line ahead of you and won’t notice the short climb as the crowds cheer you on.

 

Summary of the Marathon Course

The Revel Rockies Marathon course loses over 4,700’ of elevation from start to finish. Over the 26.2-mile course, you likely will surprise yourself with your speed on the downhill segments. Although it is true that you never want to "go out too fast" in the opening miles of a marathon, remember that gravity is your friend, and you want to take advantage of the benefits of downhill running.

 

THE HALF-MARATHON COURSE

 

Miles 1-3: Evergreen Rollers

Starting at 7,500’ of elevation, the course drops almost 500’ total from the start to mile 3. You will encounter a few gradual climbs in these opening miles, but nothing too severe. What you want to do at this early stage of the race is take advantage of the downhills, take it easy on the uphills. The downhill is noticeable but comfortable – not too steep, but just enough to let your legs turn over quickly. At the same time, be wary of a sensation of “running too fast.” If you feel out of control, or if you feel yourself working “too hard” while running downhill, then slow down. But be mindful that it is expected for you to be ahead of goal pace at times during the downhill segments. Meanwhile, don’t push your pace on the gradual climbs. Remind yourself that overall you are still running downhill, and that the net elevation loss over these 3 miles is about 500 feet!

 

Miles 4-7: Steady Drop

Not long after you pass mile 3, you will make a hard left turn onto Bear Creek Road. Here, miles 4 to 7 each drop between about 50' and 105' per mile. These are more gradual drops than what you encountered on Evergreen Parkway in miles 1-3. There are no steep, fast drops, but also no hard climbs.  As the course gradually drops, you want to maintain a steady level of effort to hold your pace.

 

Miles 8-9: Flatten Out

Make no mistake: this is where it gets tough for a short bit. Miles 8 and 9 together lose a total of just over 160' of elevation. Moreover, the climbs that do appear in miles 8 and 9 might slow your pace noticeably. But don’t panic if you find your pace slowing in this segment. You don’t want to “push” yourself to try matching the fast pace that you held in the more downhill miles preceding miles 8-9.

 

Miles 10-13.1: Fast Finish

Once you reach mile 9, you can say to yourself "now downhill to the finish!" Even better, the downhill in the closing 4.1 miles is steady and gradual, dropping over 700’. That is more than 170' per mile, or approximately a 3.4% elevation loss. You should find yourself able to resume or exceed some of the faster paces that you were able to run in the earlier miles of the race.

One word of warning: there is a short 20-foot climb at the very end of the course as you turn onto Bear Creek Avenue and Union Avenue. It is literally within the last .10 mile, but hopefully at that point you will be glad to see the finish line ahead of you and won’t notice the short climb as the crowds cheer you on.

 

Summary of the Half-Marathon Course

The Revel Rockies Half-Marathon course loses over 1,700' of elevation from start to finish. With an average loss of around 130' per mile, this one of the fastest half-marathon courses you will ever run.  Over the 13.1-mile course, you likely will surprise yourself with your speed on the downhill segments.

Paul Carmona is the Online REVEL Coach who has designed training plans specifically for REVEL downhill courses. He is a 28-time REVEL marathon finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course. His streak stands at 24 successful BQ efforts in a row at REVEL marathons.

 

March 2, 2022

Mt charleston course review

By Paul Carmona, REVEL Online Coach

A course strategy – and overall race strategy – is a must for optimal performance on race day. Whether this is your first REVEL Mt Charleston race, and your goal is simply to finish, or you are veteran aiming for a PR or BQ, you should have a well-planned strategy for how you intend to manage the course.

The head coach of REVEL’s Online Coaching Program, who has run a Boston Qualifying time in all the REVEL marathons, including five times at the REVEL Mt Charleston Marathon, has prepared a detailed description of the 2022 Mt Charleston Marathon and Half-Marathon courses.

 

Managing the Course Based on Segments

A critical component of your strategy is the course profile itself. Where are the sharp descents? Where are the climbs? Where does the course “flatten” a bit?

You want to plan your race with course segments in mind, and with an overall strategy for varying paces throughout. Your varied paces will be dictated by the elevation losses and gains, and you want to know before the race where those variations will occur.

The Mt Charleston Marathon course can be divided into seven sections:

Mile 1:  Warmup

Miles 2-4: Swift Downhill

Mile 5: Tiny Loop (with two short climbs)

Miles 6-21: Steady and Fast

Miles 22-23: Flatten Out

Mile 24: Get Past This Short Climb

Miles 25-26.2: Pick It Up for the Finish

 

The Mt Charleston Half-Marathon course can be divided into four similar sections:

Miles 1-8:  Swift Downhill

Miles 9-10: Flatten Out

Mile 11: Get Past This Short Climb

Miles 12-13.1: Pick It Up for the Finish

 

You can study the courses yourself on the REVEL website. You can zoom in, use the interactive elevation chart, and get a feel for what lays ahead of you on race day.

If possible, you should drive the course before race day to get a feel for what the segments look and feel like. Knowing what to expect, and when, is helpful when preparing your course strategy.

The marathon and half-marathon courses are summarized below based on the segments described above.

 

THE MARATHON COURSE

Mile 1:  Warmup

Starting at almost 7,600’ elevation, the start of the marathon is near the Mt Charleston Lodge on Kyle Canyon Road. The first 1/10 mile is around a small hook shape on the road adjacent to the Lodge, and it is extremely narrow with a short climb. Once you make the turn on that loop, you will be heading back toward the staging area. Then, after you pass the Lodge, the next 1/4-mile climbs almost 60’ as you exit the starting area. This should be just a nice easy warmup for you. Start out nice and slow and conserve your energy. After you get past this first half-mile, the rest of mile 1 descends about 100' with zero climbing.

 

Miles 2-4: Swift Downhill

After the mile 1 marker, the next 3 miles drop well over 770’ total, with an average of 4.6% downhill grade and no climbing until the last 1/10 mile before the 4-mile marker. This is a segment where you do not want to get caught up with the pace of other runners if they are passing you. You still have many miles to go, and you want to conserve your energy for the miles ahead. If you feel yourself working too hard, then simply slow down.

 

Mile 5: Tiny Loop (with two short climbs)

As you approach mile 4, there is a climb of about 40’ as you approach The Mt Charleston Resort on your right. Once you pass the Resort, this short climb is over. Not long after that, just before mile 5, you will reach a roundabout (traffic circle) at the entrance to the United States Forest Service’s Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway. At this point, the course diverts from the main road – Kyle Canyon Road – into the visitor center parking lot. You will make a counterclockwise loop around the parking lot before re-entering the main road again.

The loop around the visitor center begins at mile 4.85 of the marathon. It ends at mile 5.2, so the total distance around the parking area is only about 1/3 mile. However, you will climb about 35’ for the first half of that loop, and then descend the same elevation as you exit the parking lot.

 

Miles 6-21: Steady and Fast

When you exit the visitor center parking area, you will be at roughly 6,600’ of elevation. For the next 16 miles, you will lose more than 3,700’ of elevation. That’s an average of about 4.4% elevation loss per mile, which is what makes this course so extremely fast. More importantly, there is only one climb in that entire stretch, and it happens about mile 12.5. That one is a short but very visible climb that is over quickly: the entire climb is only about 1/8 of a mile long. Be wary of a sensation of “running too fast” in this entire stretch of the race. If you feel out of control, or if you feel yourself working “too hard” while running downhill, then slow down.

 

Miles 22-23: Flatten Out

Just past mile 21, you will make a right turn onto the frontage road along U.S. 95. After the previous 16 miles of steady downhill, you will certainly feel how the 4% downhill grade quickly becomes a 2% downhill grade. Keep in mind that you will still lose about 226’ of elevation in this stretch of the race, with no elevation gain. However, the flatter terrain will make it feel like climbing.

 

Mile 24: Get Past This Short Climb

As you approach mile 23.2, with only three miles to go, you will make a right turn onto Grand Teton Drive. The elevation at that turn is 2,659’. Then you will run a short - but steep - climb to Fort Apache Road, where you will turn left. From that turn onto Fort Apache, it is just over a half-mile to “top out” a slow climb to mile 23.95, where the elevation is 2,690’. After that, the course begins the gradual descent to the finish.

 

Miles 25-26.2: Pick It Up for the Finish

Once you reach mile 24, you can say to yourself "now downhill to the finish!" The elevation loss from mile 24 to the finish is over 170’ – a nice downhill for your final 2.2 miles! Better yet, you will encounter terrific crowds who will cheer you towards the finish line of the fast and beautiful Mt Charleston Marathon!

 

Summary of the Marathon Course

The Mt Charleston Marathon course loses roughly 5,100’ of elevation from start to finish. Over the 26.2-mile course, you likely will surprise yourself with your speed on the downhill segments. Although it is true that you never want to "go out too fast" in the opening miles of a marathon, remember that gravity is your friend, and you want to take advantage of the benefits of downhill running.

 

THE HALF-MARATHON COURSE

 

Miles 1-8:  Swift Downhill

Starting at over 4,500’ of elevation, the course drops 1,660’ from the start to mile 8, with zero elevation gain in that stretch. That is an average of more than 200' per mile, which is a significant but manageable descent each mile. You will want to manage the early part of this downhill segment by easing into your pace, settling in for the long haul, and letting gravity pull you along at a comfortably fast pace. You should not feel as if you are running “too hard” or “too fast.” If you do, then you should ease back a bit and aim for a “comfortably hard” pace.

 

Miles 9-10: Flatten Out

Just past mile 8, you will make a right turn onto the frontage road along U.S. 95. After more than 8 miles of steady downhill, you will certainly feel how the 4% downhill grade quickly becomes a 2% downhill grade. Keep in mind that you will still lose about 200’ of elevation in this stretch of the race, with no elevation gain. However, the flatter terrain will make it feel like climbing.

 

Mile 11: Get Past This Short Climb

Just past mile 10, with about 3 miles to go, you will make a right turn onto Grand Teton Drive. The elevation at that turn is 2,659’. Then you will run a short - but steep - climb to Fort Apache Road, where you will turn left. From that turn onto Fort Apache, it is just over a half-mile to “top out” a slow climb to mile 10.8, where the elevation is 2,690’. After that, the course begins the gradual descent to the finish.

 

Miles 12-13.1: Pick It Up for the Finish

Once you reach mile 11, you can say to yourself "now downhill to the finish!" The elevation loss from mile 11 to the finish is over 170’ – a nice downhill for your final 2.1 miles! Better yet, you will encounter terrific crowds who will cheer you towards the finish line of the fast and beautiful Mt Charleston Half-Marathon!

 

Summary of the Half-Marathon Course

The Mt Charleston Half-Marathon course loses more than 2,000’ of elevation from start to finish. With an average loss of more than 150’ per mile, this one of the fastest half-marathon courses you will ever run. Over the 13.1-mile course, you likely will surprise yourself with your speed on the downhill segments.

 

Paul Carmona is the Online REVEL Coach who has designed training plans specifically for REVEL downhill courses. He is a 27-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course. His current streak is 24 successful BQ efforts in a row at REVEL marathons! You can contact Coach Paul at coach@runrevel.com.

 

Feb. 2, 2022

Measure your progress with this simple 4-mile workout

Training plans help keep you focused on a long-term goal, whether that goal is to “just finish” or to run a personal record, a Boston qualifier, or a specific time. A well-designed training program will have a variety of workouts that test your ability to sustain a specific pace. Whether these workouts are “speed work” intervals, hill workouts, or pace runs, they are effective ways to measure your progress over the weeks from program start to race day.

Meanwhile, much of your training program will consist of runs that are completed at lower intensity. Long runs, recovery runs, and “easy” runs make up most of the mileage in a typical training week. These are designed to develop your aerobic capacity, or your ability to simply sustain your running effort over increasingly longer distances. Because many of your workouts will not include intensity, you might get bored with the workouts that seemingly go on and on at “easy” pace. At the same time, you might be looking for ways to measure your training progress during these easier runs.

One simple workout, which I call the “building quarters” session, is something that I use to assess my training progress. I add this to my easy runs once every other week to measure my progress without feeling the pressure to hit a specific pace.

Here is how it works:

First, warm up with your typical “easy” pace. Do this for a half-mile, mile, or whatever distance you choose.

After your warmup, run a mile where you increase your effort for .25 miles. Just a simple quarter mile at slightly harder effort. There is no time goal. In fact, it is better to avoid trying to hit a specific pace or time for the quarter mile. Run by feel, and just increase your effort.

After that quarter mile, go back to your easy pace for the next .75 miles. At the end of that first mile, you will repeat the same effort as before, but will increase your effort for .50 miles. Again, there is no specific pace or time goal for this half mile. Run by feel, and just focus on increased effort. Then recover a half-mile back at your easy pace.

Next, increase your effort for .75 miles, then ease back for the last quarter mile.

Finally, run a mile at the same “increased effort” that you ran in the first 3 miles for .25, .50, and .75.

 

A snapshot of the workout mileage is below (after warmup):

.25 increased effort + .75 easy effort

.50 increased effort + .50 easy effort

.75 increased effort + .25 easy effort

1.0 increased effort

 

If you use Km instead of miles for training, the distances for this workout are 400-meter intervals (400+1200, 800+800, 1200+400, and 1600).

Over time, the regular speed work, hill work, and pace work in your training program will help you develop speed and stamina. Those typically have very specific time goals. By comparison, this “building quarters” session is one where you merely use “level of effort” to guide your workout. Over time, what you hope to see is that your pace per mile (or per Km) is gradually increasing over the 4-mile distance. If you maintain the same level of effort, i.e., how it “feels” when you do these sessions, the result is that your speed is improving week to week. In other words, you are not working harder, but your time is getting faster. That is the positive result you are seeking!

You can do the same workout with a lower distance. Half-marathoners, for example, often do not have many 4-mile “easy runs” on the calendar. In that case, simply reduce the number of miles in the session. Do .25+.75 and .50+.50 for a total of two miles. Or maybe .50+.50 and .75+.25. Whatever the combination, remember to run by feel and to increase the distance of “increased effort” by a quarter mile.

For more advanced runners, you might see a lot of easy runs that range from 7 to 10 miles on your calendar. One way to break up the monotony of these longer runs is to add this “building quarters” regimen in the middle of your workout. I often run 10-milers where I warm up for 6 miles and finish with the 4-mile “building quarters” session.

Whatever distance you run for this workout, remember to track your progress over time, note in your log or journal that this was a “building quarters” session, and see how it goes.

 

Paul Carmona is the Online REVEL Coach who has designed training plans specifically for REVEL downhill courses. He is a 27-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course. His current streak is 24 successful BQ efforts in a row at REVEL marathons! You can contact Coach Paul at coach@runrevel.com.

 

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