In my mind, the best way to train for the H.U.R.T. 100 is to get out on the course and put in the miles. Of course, living here in Hawaii makes that easy, the course is 20 minutes from my house.
This past Saturday I ran two loops or 40 miles. It wasn't fast (or at least I am not fast) as the course was very wet and muddy, however the sun was out and as Ed says, "it's all good training." I needed to put in the miles and 12 hours later I felt good about what I had done!
Though I had company on the first loop, (Carl, a new Hawaii resident--thanks to the USAF and Marion for one of the legs), I was pretty much on my own for loop two. Three other runners were out on the course and also got 40 miles in (Ed, Gordon, and Marion), and it was nice to see them at various times throughout the day.
At last year's H.U.R.T. 100 according to Big John, I was one of the few runners who didn't complain about the condition of the course. In my mind, it is never going to be perfect. Besides, we can't change it anyway so why complain! If we want perfect, we should not be running on trails and should stick to road marathons or running on a track. Yes, I like the roots, rocks, and mud--that's what makes it fun!
Training in all kinds of conditions is important for any Ultra, especially those where the weather can change quickly. I know last year the trails were pretty wet during the Fall and surprisingly had dried out some by January. Here in Hawaii, we can have beautiful sunny weather and we can also have extremely wet, windy, and yes,--even very chilly (by tropical standards) weather.
Some are predicting a wet winter this year so I suggest getting used to the idea we might have a wet course come race day in January. I think training in conditions like we had this past Saturday prepares me both mentally and physically to be ready for whatever the course might serve up come January.
See you on the trails and good training!