I probably won't wear the FiveFingers for Hardrock, but I would prefer a lighter shoe to save time. I was reading a study of the effects of running on an incline at http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/93/3/1039
which may be of interest to Hardrock runners.
Anyway it mentions in the introduction another study showing that adding 1 kg to the lower limbs adds up to 7% to energy costs (i.e. 7% slower) depending on position. The worst place for extra weight would be your feet. I find that the Mayfly has too much arch support, so I modified mine by carving out the outsole under the arch with a pocketknife. This reduces the weight by 0.1 ounce (from 4.6 to 4.5). According to my calculations this modification should save me 68 seconds in a 48 hour race. This means last year I would have finished in 47:59:20.
I have also been studying the effects of running a marathon one week before Hardrock vs. the effects of running two marathons. In 2006 (see http://www.mattmahoney.net/2006/
) I did:
July 1, Leadville marathon in 5:45
July 9, Copper Mt. marathon in 4:48
July 14, Hardrock in 48:06:58
In 2007 (see http://www.mattmahoney.net/2007.html
) I did:
July 7, Leadville marathon in 5:45
July 13, Hardrock in 48:00:28
which leads me to the conclusion that each marathon adds 6.5 minutes to my Hardrock time.
I guess I should mention about my slow marathons. I live in Florida, which has no hills, snow, rocks, or altitude (17 ft elevation). Last Nov. I ran 3:26 on a local course (Space Coast). Leadville starts at 10,152 ft, climbs to 13,185 on jeep roads and trails, then returns. It has many smaller hills for a total of 6600 ft of climb. Copper Mt. was on paved bike path and smooth dirt roads. It started at 9700 ft, climbed to 11,200, turned around at 9500 and returned the same way for 3200 ft of climb.
I don't know if the altitude had an effect, or maybe I was just out of shape. But my legs were never sore after any of the marathons. I always climbed Mt. Elbert the day after each marathon just to make sure.
-- Matt Mahoney, matmahoney@...
--- On Thu, 6/5/08, Jason Halladay <halladay@...> wrote:
> Hello Matt,
> You're probably not necessarily looking for suggestions
> on your strategy but
> since you posted it, I'll comment anyway.
> I like your plan of staying at Leadville for a couple of
> weeks before HR to
> get acclimatized. That sounds solid and I wish I could do
> the same. But
> the idea of running a marathon less than a week before HR
> and then running
> any part of HR in five fingers seems like a sure way to
> actually lose time
> rather than gain 29 seconds. With the amount of water and
> snow that's sure
> to cover the course this year, five fingers seem like a
> poor footwear choice
> to me. (In fact, I always wear socks and shoes so five
> fingers aren't
> anything I'm interested in.)
> Go with the additional 2 ounces and wear the NBs.
> See you all in Silverton in just over a month.
> On Thu, Jun 5, 2008 at 2:22 PM, Matt Mahoney
> <matmahoney@...> wrote:
> > June 24, fly to Colorado Springs. Reserved space for
> 2 weeks at
> > Leadville Hostel.
> > July 4, Leadville 5K
> > July 5, Leadville marathon
> > July 8 (about), camp at South Mineral
> > July 11, Hardrock
> > July 15, fly back to Florida (elevation 17 ft).
> > Still trying to decide between New Balance 790 trail
> shoes (7.5 oz) and
> > Vibram Five Fingers KSO (5.5 oz). I wore the
> FiveFingers for the first 26
> > miles of Wickham Park before my feet started getting
> sore, then switched to
> > a more supportive shoe (Nike Mayfly) for the next 61
> miles. The problem with
> > the FiveFingers is I feel every rock, but maybe that
> won't be a problem
> > since the rocks will be buried in snow :-)
> > I'm trying to take 29 seconds off my Hardrock
> time, so every ounce counts.
> > I suppose the Mayfly would work, but they are rated
> for 100 km, so I would
> > need to change at Ouray. Oh wait, I already have 300
> miles on them...
> > If anyone wants to do a few 14ers (shoe testing) in
> the Leadville area let
> > me know.
> > -- Matt Mahoney, matmahoney@...