Sometimes you don’t know what you need and the same is true for music… During a recent 34-hour push in the mountains, I used a playlist complied by a number of friends to help me stay upbeat in the middle of the night while navigating some obnoxious terrain. My playlist ended up including a lot of music that I would have never selected, such as “Fast all the Time” by Nylithia. When it started playing, I literally started laughing out loud (under the stars and full moon, while trying to navigate through cliffy granite slabs by headlamp on an obscure pass in the Palisades). Add it to your endurance playlist and it might do the same for you. Note that it’s effect does not translate to the couch. (Credit goes to my friend and trainer Chris Cloyd for the song recommendation)
For those of you that don’t like to listen to music, try an audio book on your next run. ” Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete” by Steve House , Scott Johnston , et al. relatively recently became available as an audiobook. It’s a worthy listen for those of you runners that self-train and also happen to be interested in various climbing/mountaineering objectives, even if your goal is to make it through the Castle Peak 100k rather than the north face of the Eiger. The paperback has been on my bookcase for years and I’ve never had the chance to go through it cover-to-cover. The audiobook format has allowed me to review key points and finally absorb the chapters that I’ve never had a chance to read. It’s got everything you need to know from training basics, specific strength-training routines, training periodization methods, mental fitness, and nutrition fundamentals. Note, if you don’t think the alpinism bent is right for you, check out their newer book, “Training for the Uphill Athlete: A Manual for Mountain Runners and Ski Mountaineers“, co-authored with Kilian Jornet, which will most likely appeal to ever runner in the Tahoe area, but isn’t available as an audiobook yet.