Road To Elbrus Lambert Fall Hike

Road To Elbrus Lambert Fall Hike

In case you haven’t been in the loop, here’s a brief update while hiking with the mountain bike team at Lambert Park in Alpine Utah. Most of my work on outdoor training has been to get the new and improved up to speed for the new wave of trainees. If you want to focus on Elbrus Race join me at

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Message From Moab 18 August

Sadly, it looks like Elbrus Race 2018 is out of the picture. Not enough time to get trained and peak, and get a visa, and get the High School Mountain Bike team I coach ready for the impending racing season.

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Road To Elbrus – Morgan in the Dark – 13 August

When I first began this whole idea of returning to Elbrus Race, like I did in 2010 and 2013, I hadn’t been running at all. I’d even quit running on the treadmill. Training to be a mountain biking coach, in spite of my limited technical skills. I even get to ride with some really super fast kids, so it’s tough work for me. I’ve been so injured this past year that it’s been hard to recover and keep up a lot of the time.

For those of you who don’t normally follow me, or my adventures, I entered Elbrus Race 2010, but was unable to continue after a lazy cook gave me untreated water. In 2013 I took 5th place in a slightly modified race up to 17,000′ in near whiteout conditions. I have written numerous books about my Seven Summits Quest, and my training for climbing, including instruction manuals. Check out my author profile FOR MORE INFO.

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Running Morgan in the Dark

Running Morgan in the Dark

If you can call it running, sure.

It’s at least getting in some vertical and testing out my ability to pull it off.

I woke at 3:30 AM, while the world slept, and prepared to head out to do a not very popular Strava segment loosely called Morgan Blvd. Over the years it’s changed a bit, since there is a lot of overpriced, overlarge, overhyped housing development going on here on the far east side of north Utah County. On the one hand it’s nice because they added a little park and a paved rec path set down just a little bit further from the houses than before. On the other hand it’s cut out some of the trails and changed them somewhat. This has deprecated some of the old classic Strava segments and made them obsolete. Basically there’s no way to do them without running through someone’s garage. Alas …

I enjoyed the sounds of crickets or frogs or whatever they were, and the twinkling city lights far below as I climbed the road. I was careful, nursing my twisted ankle since it was so very dark, and the light from the headlamp so very flat. I did roll off a few stones, but was able to stabilize with minimal pain. I didn’t go all that fast, but it was satisfying to get up there in  the dark. It helped a lot that I had already been up this trail a dozen or so times in the past.

At the bottom I paused at the underpass tunnel on the rec path to share a few thoughts on training in spite of my heavy load right now.

Check out the video below:


Road to Elbrus – Car Chat – 15 August 2018

It’s all coming together too quickly. The High School Mountain Bike Races and my position as a Coach for my team. My training to ride with the fastest of my group. Training to run has been put aside for the summer in previous years. What about this year? What about the Red Fox Elbrus Race in May 2019?

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Elbrus Car Chat 15 August

Elbrus Car Chat 15 August

Sitting in my car at work thinking out loud about Elbrus Race. 

I found the original impetus for this Elbrus Race insanity – the Red Fox Elbrus Race.  The website is somewhat klunky. More than somewhat, actually. I might have to keep my eyes open on it for when they announce the opening of registration for next May. The first week of May, surrounded by Russian Holidays. That might be interesting to check into.

Red Fox Elbrus Race - May of 2019
Red Fox Elbrus Race – May of 2019

In case you missed the story, I was at the Barrels Huts coming down from an unsuccessful climb of Elbrus when we had to work around a few dozen super fit fast dudes getting off the lifts hauling crates and duffels of gear. They were all sporting logos from Red Fox and stating Elbrus Race. I dug around and found the next Elbrus Race, the next August and that began the “Rocky” phase of my training. Super vertical training mode.

This began the fitness plan that eventually became “Summit Success: Training for Hiking, Mountaineering, and Peak Bagging” and has now evolved into “Rucking Simple Treadmill Training” and the now FREE online training program “Hikercize” which for the past four years has been $50 or more per year. Great deal, if you ask me.

The rest is history.

In the video below, I discuss that briefly, mention my current state of majorly tired, riding with the Team. Pre-riding race courses for the late summer race series, some of my duties as a high school mountain biking coach and maybe another thing or two.


Road To Elbrus – Skyrunning Training – 10 Aug 2018

It’s like one big game of “what-if” and you know the odds are against you. Elbrus Race 2018? In only six weeks? With enough time to get a Russian Visa? By Mail? Dang I’m a glutton for punishment.

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The Road to Elbrus Starts Here

The Road to Elbrus Starts Here

Running in Elbrus Race Yet Again?

Elbrus Race 2018? Skyrunning? For Real?

Well I just had a really dumb idea.

I received a Facebook Notice from the logistics company behind Elbrus Race. I hadn’t even considered it. Wowsers. If I train hard for only 6 weeks, can I get back to what I had achieved in 2013 [fifth place] and exceed it, even by a small margin? [Elbrus Race 2013 – my journal on Amazon]

I haven’t run in months.

Alpine Days Mountain Bike Race - 2nd Place in category
Alpine Days Mountain Bike Race – 2nd Place in category

My duties as a NICA Certified Level Three High School Mountain Bike Coach have taken quite a leap up from last year. I’ve had to train hard to keep up with my more advanced racing group, which is much much faster than last year by a large margin. I’ve been riding 60+ mile weeks, a mix of indoor trainer rides, with outdoor MTB rides. Much of that is faster and more technical than I am really up for, so I’m injured a lot. Like right now most of the scabs and bruises on my legs and elbows are pretty much healed. I twisted my ankle pretty badly in a race last Saturday, Aug 4th. Enough I couldn’t bear weight or push off with my toes for several days.

[more skyrunning tagged articles here]

I decided to do this little test. Could I go up Giddy-Up and Green Monster and descend in one go?

If the answer is no, then good enough. I would have no real chance to get in enough serious training to make it happen. I would let it go for next year. I still might have to if it turns out I can’t work, and coach, and train and stay fit and unbroken enough.

Then again, there are also several major logistics hoops to jump through:

  • Can I pull off a Russian Visa in the time given?
  • Can I make it work even though they’ve closed the Seattle Visa Center, where I usually go?
  • If I have to use the Mail-In service?
  • Can I get flights that line up with the start and finish times of the Elbrus Package associated with the race?
  • Can I skip one High School Race this year?
  • Or do I need to figure a way to fly around it?

Winter End Musings – Where do we go from here?

It’s been a long few years since I ended up returning to work as a “mere employee” and having to waste a lot of time commuting and then sitting at at desk in an office with 26 male employoees and one toilet between us. Since most of them are typical fast-food survivors and need to spend a good deal of time squeezing out toxic waste byproducts while playing on their phones, it’s somewhat difficult to stay properly hydrated.

If you can’t figure out what the connection is, let me know in a message and I’ll spell it out for you.

Fighting the results of my own toxic byproducts of training hard has become a real challenge. Enough so that my training is seriously impacted. Gone are the days of 10 days on and 1 day off.

Learning how to ride a mountain bike while overcoming the delusions of my youth that plague me has been a super difficult challenge as well. My memories of 30 years ago cruising along at 28 MPH on an 18 lb bike with 700 x 20 slicks confound me as I struggle to stay over 15 MPH on my 30 pound full suspension bike. Add in the inverted gravity response to cornering on loose gravel. It’s tough. But it’s part of the game when you’re a certified mountain bike coach for a local high school team.

I also get to spend a lot of time on a trainer, with the bad weather, or should I say typical Utah late winter weather?

I’ve been on the treadmill a lot, with various levels of incline, and overall it’s been okay, though not sustainable at heavy loads right now. I was using an Adidas Footpod and just recently changed to a Wahoo Tickr Run which provides the same data from a chest strap. So far I’ve liked it and it’s a bit more accurate than the pod, which is a mystery to me.

And on top of it all, I’ve been dreaming about Quandary. Remember my favorite Colorado Fourteener that I’ve ascended in every month of the year? I kind of do. I was thinking all winter of going out there to do it, but it’s been a bad weather and wind magnet all winter long. This shot is just an example. I saw days with > 60 MPH winds and way below 0 F.

Suddenly we get this:

Quandary Summit
Quandary Treeline

What is a sort-of retired, but not willing to give it up Skyrunner to do?

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VK on the Stairmaster Stepmill

Tuesday January 17, 2017

After doing long hill repeat workouts two days in a row, I decided to mix it up with non-running. That pretty much leaves the Stairmaster Stepmill. An hour VK on the stepmill requires that I go at 85 steps per minute for an hour.

From my calculator HERE

Time: 60:00
Steps/Minute: 85
Vertical Feet: 3400.00
Miles: 0.72
Average MPH: 0.724
Average Pace: 82:49
Vertical/Hour: 3400.00′
Vertical/Minute: 56.67′
VAM: 1036.3

Anything over 1000 VAM is better than an hour VK (by definition, meaning that 1000 meters is a kilometer, and an hour is 60 minutes – DOH!)

Oh, don’t forget I was wearing a 12 lb vest too

Just let me tell you. It’s dang tough. I don’t recommend this to anyone of reasonably normal sanity. That being said, and hour VK is a totally admirable goal. [ Heart rate on STRAVA ]

Shots of the console readout after the workout

BTW: I was wearing a 12 lb weighted vest. Just sayin’

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