Tips for the Trail – Set Your Sights on Nationals — XTERRA — 7-19-2013

By Rachel Cieslewicz

published on XTERRA July 19, 2013

Although summer is in full force with heat and sunshine highlighting many amazing adventures, fall will soon be on its way.  Now is the time to start looking ahead to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, which will once again be held at the breathtaking Snowbasin Resort in northern Utah on September 22.

Rachel C SnowbasinXTERRA’s major events are not to be missed, especially a National Championship!  Snowbasin Resort is a prize jewel of Utah.  Winters at Snowbasin boast some of the best skiing in the country. Remarkably when the snow is gone, unveiled is an incredible vast network of trails that will keep you happily dancing on trails for days.  The resort itself is a Sun Valley masterpiece complete with spectacular lodges nestled amongst inspirationally gorgeous mountain terrain. A gifted bonus to racers coming out to enjoy the National scene is the fall colors should be just setting in right in time for your race!

Success in the XTERRA trail running world is a lot about getting out there and running your favorite trails in order to bring your best race to the finish line when it counts.  Preparation for Nationals takes a bit more.  Goal setting and day-to-day progression will make the process a much more enjoyable journey.

I created a list of tips that when executed will bring you to the start line confident, healthy and ready to run your best race ever.

” Commit The best way to ensure you do all possible to prepare for your 5K, 10K, or 21K championship event is to sign up now.  Your name on the start list ensures that you will do all possible to “Live More” while preparing for your 2013 XTERRA Trail Run Nationals scene.

” Travel Arrangements Set your travel schedule now. The Salt Lake City airport is only 40 minutes away from the race start.  If you are driving, it is a fantastic time of year to take a few days to travel and enjoy the fall scenery en-route to Snowbasin.  Please note that Snowbasin has no lodging. The best place to stay with a wonderful downtown scene is Ogden. From there it is less than 20 minutes to Snowbasin by car.  In Ogden you will find great restaurants and discover full strength beer is easily available—no need to pack your own!

” Know the course Check out my course preview from 2012 (http://www.xterraplanet.com/training/dsp_content.cfm?id=3386) An excerpt from one of my previous articles describes it in a nut shell, “The course for the XTERRA Trail Run Nationals is a true championship masterpiece.  There is nothing amiss in this perfectly designed thriller, highlighting everything Snowbasin Resort’s terrain has to offer.  If you enjoy gut-wrenching climbs leading to breathtaking views, twisted single track dotted with rock gardens, fast flat sections, and of course, flying effortlessly down rewarding descents, you are in for the race of your life! It hosts the perfect symphony of challenging components to favor the all-around runner.  For those curious about the elevation, the low point hits in at 6,133 feet. High point is just shy of 7,300 feet.  Expect 2,200 feet of climbing.” If possible come out to Utah for an early trip in late July or August to experience the terrain. If you cannot make it before Nationals, know that this a perfect course for everybody. It favors everyone and no one!

” Train for the Terrain Keep consistent with your daily program.  Each week add in 5-10 30-60 second hill repeats.  Seek out longer climbs and work on pacing so you still have energy to continue running strong once you reach the top.  If you don’t have big climbs available, use the treadmill set at progressively steeper grades (max 15%) for up to 15 minutes.  The descents are semi technical to non-technical. In training practice staying over your center of mass with smooth quick steps.

” Positive Mind Everyone has fabulous and not so fabulous days.  Take each day in stride. Know that staying focused on your goals no matter what happens is key. You will show up to XTERRA Trail Run Nationals ready to “Live More” while you fly.

Rachel Cieslewicz is an elite runner and triathlete based in St. George, Utah. She is a past winner of several XTERRA Trail Run events, including the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run, and placed ninth overall in the women’s field at the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii. She is a talented sports massage therapist, Pilates and yoga instructor, and is a certified running form and endurance coach. She can be reached atrcanyon1@gmail.com  or visit her website atwww.newageathlete.comor follow her onwww.twitter.com/newageathlete.