Training & Racing

How to Train for a Multi-Day Stage Race

How to Train for a Multi-Day Stage Race

By Vanessa Runs

This year my partner and I had the privilege of experiencing the GORE-TEX Transrockies 6-Day Race. It was our first multi-day stage race and our highest mileage week at 120 miles, with 20,000 feet of climbing through Colorado’s beautiful rocky mountains.

Many participants experienced their highest summits or the toughest terrain of their racing careers. It is a huge accomplishment just to finish this challenging race.

If you’re thinking of running Transrockies, or any other multi-day stage race, here are some things to consider in training:

1. Hills

If you can’t get any elevation where you train, climbing shorter hills will still help condition you for this race. The steeper the better. Also practice hiking as fast as you can uphill, since it’s likely you’ll be doing some walking as well. Hiking fast will drastically improve your finish times.

2. Elevation

If you live at sea level, try to take a weekend to travel somewhere with a little elevation and spend a couple of days running. This will go a long way to help you troubleshoot potential altitude sickness, and nail down your nutrition. You may want to try products like Acli-mate to give you an edge over stomach issues.

3. Trails

If you’re not experienced at running trails, definitely go out and find some. Trail running presents different challenges than running on roads. The more time you can spend on trials, the better. It will help you set realistic goals as far as speed, and improve your endurance. It will also tweak your running form and help you pick up your feet to avoid injury.

4. High Mileage Weeks

Consecutive high mileage weeks can be difficult to sustain, so try and slowly ease into higher mileage. Your weekly number will depend on your experience, skill level, and time. Be careful not to fill up on empty, easy miles just to hit a mileage goal. A lower mileage of tougher trail runs, or more climbing will be far more beneficial to you than extra miles on flat roads.

5. Partners

If you’re running with a partner, put some thought into picking someone you will enjoy the experience with. Here is a great guide on how to pick the perfect multi-day race partner.

Whatever your running goals are this year, remember to aim high and have fun!

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This post was written by:

- who has written 8 posts on Trail Running Club.

Vanessa is an ultra endurance trail runner, freelance writer, and Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She writes for Ultra Running Magazine, Trail Running Magazine, and, among other publications.

Vanessa loves the challenge of racing 100-milers and exploring new trails with her dog Ginger. From May 2011 through May of 2012 Vanessa completed 14 ultra distance races as well as a Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim crossing of the Grand Canyon.

Read Vanessa's full bio and follow her ultra adventures at

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