What's the best way to prepare for the grueling run up Pikes Peak?
In the five years I've run the Pikes Peak Ascent or Marathon the one thing I've consistently done to prepare is run on Thursdays with the Incline Club. This free, local club is a great way to stay motivated. Plus, Matt Carpenter graciously donates his time to making sure runners of all abilities are training smart. To learn more about the club click here.
Here's what else I do on a weekly schedule
Sunday: A long run. This generally means running/walking up Barr Trail. As soon as snow melt allows doing the whole thing, I head to the summit, then hitch hike down. I find this is much easier on my body than running back down. In July and August, I'll start alternating this run with a 3-2-1 run (a series of laps down from the summit designed by Carpenter.)
Monday: mountain bike - my true love and a nice break from running, especially after Sunday
Tuesday: fast 5k - this can easily be done at the Jack Quinns Running Club, because there are always folks there who want to race a bit.
Wednesday: the Incline, illegal but a great workout
Thursday: Incline Club, 30 minute "fast" run up Barr Trail, short hill repeats.
Friday: short run with my dogs, basically a rest day.
Saturday: Ditto. Rest up for Sunday.
This works for me, everyone is different. Matt Carpenter and Jim Freim have a great book about training for the Ascent and Marathon that will give you more info.