Tonight’s training run was a little different.

With the Ultra Boucle de la Sarra a little more than a month away the organizing club, Lyon Ultra Run, has organized a series of training sessions specifically focused on the race and the course. The idea is that runners can get a feel for the course, practice on the uphills and downhills, and take some advice from coaches and people who have run the race before.

I have signed up for a few of these training sessions, mostly the ones that didn’t disturb my family time. Tonight, with Jamie on vacation in the Jura with his mum, I had a chance to fit in a training session on a Thursday night. This is something that is not possible when he’s around so I grasped the chance to run on the course, get in some stair climbing, and get my head in the Ultra Boucle de la Sarra game a little.


We met at the chalet on the Piste de la Sarra and our group was about 22 or 23 strong. There were a couple of people that I recognized from the Saint-Fons 6 Hour race but most were new to me. We set off for a lap of the Ultra Boucle de la Sarra course to warm up and I settled in with the near front group.

My descending is still not good and I am tossing up whether to practice it at all. I really think that any few seconds I gain on the descent will be lost on the uphill anyway, so perhaps it is better to focus there for gains. In any case, I ran the rolling section to the base of the stairs easily, made my way up the staircase without too much trouble, walked a little bit at the top until I caught my breath, then ran to finish about five seconds behind the leading group on the warmup. I managed 13:00 for the lap which, considering what sort of distance I will be shooting for, seems about right.

Next up were some exercises and mini sprints at the top of the Piste de la Sarra, then it was on to pyramids on the piste itself. These consisted a sprint down the hill then a run back up the hill in first 15 second, then 30, 45, and 60 second increments. We weren’t running far but we were running hard.

After the second set of pyramids, we stretched and I bid farewell to the group – the training session was over – and jogged back down the hill to Terreaux where I sought out a drink and started the walk home.

Distance: 7.0km

Elevation: 271m

Time: 1:16:29


Image by Christophe.

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