Race day for the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon draws nye. Racers have a week and a half of easy work-outs and resting (and hopefully some altitude work) before the big weekend August 18 and 19.
But how fast should you run? For those who haven't found it yet, Matt Carpenter put together a really cool pace calculator that will tell runners what their times should be at 10 spots along the trail if they want to reach the summit at a certain time. Just put in your goal time and the calc will do the rest.
The only thing left for most people to do is try to aclimate. Here's a chart showing that usable oxygen on top of Pikes is only about half what it is at sea level.
How do they do you acclimate. The best plan is to drive up Pikes Peak and do short, (20-30 minute) easy workouts (walking or jogging on the Peak) to stimulate hypoxia. The low oxygen levels will prod your body to make more blood.
According to the training Website Higherpeak.com, "Intermittent Hypoxic Training" (IHT) has been touted as a quicker method of reaping some of the benefits of altitude training. In IHT, you do short intervals breathing low oxygen air, so your blood oxygen saturation dips below 90%. Again, the aim is to trigger the natural systems that produce new red blood cells."
So go up the peak, hang out, jog a little.
I would add, don't do it during the two days before the race. It's better just to rest. I always feel crappy after a day at 14,000 feet and notice my performance is down considerably.
By the way: post your goal times. Mine is 2:47.