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May 2024 Racing Takeaways

How to execute in your race and plan your season

Race photos of Treeline Athletes from May 2024

This past month we saw the Spring racing season start to pick up, as it does every year around this time. Some of the hardest months to find motivation to train are behind us, and many of us like to put that winter work to the test as soon as reasonably possible (i.e. when we no longer need to run in snow or freezing rain).

While some athletes built through the winter towards their top priority events, others are simply looking to benchmark where their fitness is as they look towards their biggest goals later in the summer season. Treeline Endurance saw thirteen athletes racing in the month of May. This post is a glimpse into what events they've been to, why they were there, and what we might be able to learn from their experiences.

*Names and some details of athletes have been changed to protect privacy

Events Treeline Athletes were present for this May:



Winterthur 5K - Winterthur,CH

Interest and Purpose

This athlete added this race to the schedule to mark progress between his last 5K PB and his next intended 5K PB attempt in early September. The event didn't have special meaning but timed out well with his schedule. Previously he's run 17:30, and we're chasing a sub-17 at the September event. We've made some significant increases to his low intensity aerobic volume since the last 5K while maintaining an aggressive track workout schedule. Winterthur provides the opportunity to see how the new formula is working, while leaving us a lot of time to make changes and ensure success in September.

Primary Learning

The training is working. Fitness is building. Stay the course.

May the Fourth Be With You 5K - Atlanta, GA

Interest and Purpose

Test piece en route to a primary goal of a large PB in a July 10K

Primary Learning

Pacing at the 5K/10K distance is a precise skill and art. More practice at paces really close to goal race pace will make all the difference in getting the most from ourselves and having our best performance.

HYROX Anaheim - Anaheim, CA

Interest and Purpose

What happens when you combine a Crossfit-style event with 10K-type endurance effort? This athlete has a great enjoyment for both hard strength efforts as well as endurance efforts, and was interested in experiencing this new style of event that's growing in popularity.

Primary Learning

The HYROX culture, at least in Anaheim, CA, takes the sport quite seriously. Mixed feelings about running 1K repeats all out on a convention center floor.

Hawkes Bar Marathon sunrise

Hawkes Bay Marathon - Napier, NZ

Interest and Purpose

This athlete started 2024 with marathons on the mind. Hawkes Bay Marathon was a familiar race that they last ran in 2017. It offered a chances to put the first half of the year's training to the test, but ultimately we were looking to make progress en route to a sub-3:30 goal at the Amsterdam Marathon in October.

Primary Learning

The formula we've got is working really well. We have responded incredibly well in our aerobic training paces, and we'll keep a lot of the same elements for the next training cycle.

Brooklyn Half Marathon - Brooklyn, NY

Interest and Purpose

Brush up some speed for a strong effort at this popular local road half marathon.

Primary Learning

If the training is a bit hit-or-miss, it can be hard to know what the legs are really capable of come race day. High end speed comes and goes fast with training/detraining compared to longer and slower efforts that rely more on aerobic capacity.

Frederick Half Marathon - Frederick, MD

Interest and Purpose

Run a local half marathon as an opportunity to get out and run with this athlete's community.

Primary Learning

What a joy to be healthy and to go for a run!

Capital City Half Marathon - Olympia, WA

Interest and Purpose

This athlete is training for the Chicago Marathon in October, but also working their way towards the completion of all six World Major Marathons. The last remaining race (after Chicago) is Tokyo. Tokyo is a lottery process, but we're currently in a window of time where each run of 13+ miles counts toward another ticket in the lottery. This athlete used Capital City Half both to add a ticket to the Tokyo lottery, and to do a harder workout as we work towards Chicago.

Primary Learning

A little more fitness in the legs than anticipated, and the course of this race was fun for this athlete with some rolling hills.

Quad Rock 25 Mile - Ft. Collins, CO

Interest and Purpose

This athlete had interest in Quad Rock for many reasons. First Quad Rock 25 Mile would be the longest and most demanding trail race this athlete has done to date, making it a worthwhile challenge. They are also running the Never Summer 60K, a far more challenging mountain event in July. Quad Rock offered the opportunity to test some things out with time to make adjustments before the main event at Never Summer. Also, this athlete had interest in the longer Quad Rock 50 Mile in a future year that running the 25 mile race would allow them to more thoroughly assess.

Primary Learning

Gear that works in training can fail in racing, so rehearsing the race day gear setup as precisely as possible matters. Clear learning opportunities for nutrition/hydration strategy refinement. Testing the mental resilience to learn something about how this athlete psychologically handles levels of adversity.

Bloodroot Ultra in Pittsfield, Vermont. Athlete competes in the 50 mile

Bloodroot Ultra 50 Mile - Pittsfield, VT

Interest and Purpose

A challenging first ultramarathon within a drivable distance from home. Do something really big and challenging in the mountains.

Primary Learning: Bloodroot suffers from questionable organization, and mud can be expected to act as a significant handicap. Aid information and course specifics came late. Mental clarity and decision making will be hampered late in an ultra, and creating a system that reduces the risk of this leading to errors, has immense value.

Cruel Jewel 50 - Blue Ridge, GA

Interest and Purpose

Next step up in this ultramarathon runner's journey. A large step up not so much in terms of distance, but in terms of vertical gain that would likely translate to double the longest race time ever previously completed. Accessible to the Atlanta, GA area and still a scenic race destination.

Primary Learning: The joy of waitlists is that you might find out you're running the race 5 weeks before it starts. Vertical gain and loss training is different from road running training, but ultimately the right headspace and team can still lead to phenomenal results.

Collegiate Peaks Challenge - Buena Vista, CO

Interest and Purpose

2024 has been a build to the Leadville Silver Rush 50 Mile from the start. With no trail running experience beyond about a half marathon, Collegiate Peaks 25 Mile acted as a checkpoint about 10 weeks before the main event. Practice all the elements that go into a 5+ hour mountain run, and refine further over the next weeks to be honed for Silver Rush.

Primary Learning

We're in a really good spot. Need to develop the downhill leg resilience more. Keep pushing calorie consuming capabilities.

Don't Fence Me In 30K - Helena, MT

Interest and Purpose

Test the trail legs after a winter ski touring season! With ideas about a possible 100 mile race goal by the fall, recall the components that have gone into successful past trail race efforts.

Primary Learning

This athlete came away feeling that this might not be the season for a full 100 mile effort. Adjusted goal to tackle a 50 mile or 100K by the fall.

Scenic vista at Ultra Trail Australia

Ultra Trail Australia 22K - Katoomba, NSW

Interest and Purpose

Looked like a cool race and a reason to explore the region where it takes place! Continue to develop trail legs, and come away from this one feeling well and positive about the effort, following a tough experience at this athlete's last main event.

Primary Learning

Despite a strong and successful effort, this athlete saw clear potential to strengthen in-run nutrition strategy. A win-win.

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