• Dan ADan A ✭✭✭

    Yep; did it before in 2013.  Hard but loved it.  Doing it again this year.

  • From what I have read, do as much hill/mountain training as you can. I have done a couple of 100 ultra"s but still find tds quite daunting. Any tips Dan.
  • Dan ADan A ✭✭✭
    Sounds obvious, but spend as much training time as possible going up and down. Long runs on the flat won't help you much. And I don't mean hills; I mean mountains. Snowdonia, Highlands, Lake District etc as a minimum, but preferably get a few days in the Alps or similar. The TdS climbs can last up to 3-4 hours I promise. Descents will destroy you if you've not done the strengthening work.

    50% finisher rate or less is standard. Mostly from trashed quads. Can't emphasise that enough. I finished it alongside a mate with a 45 min slower marathon PB to me. It's a great leveller where flat speed isn't the key. I had a 90 min lead on him after half a day, but he caught me with a km to go.

    As ever, patience and good fuelling will be decisive factor in finishing. So worth roughing it out though. I've finished 3 UTMBs and CCC & this was the hardest.

    Not as hard as the 80k in June though!image
  • Tried to get into UTMB last year but no Luck, so I thought of trying the slightly easier TDS ,  perhaps not so then !!

    Fortunatley I live on the South Downs so I only do hill running, I know it's not the Alps but for everyday training its not bad and I never do flat running. I am going to Snowdonia in June so I will make the most of it.

    Already sorted out accommodation in Chamonix and arriving on the Sunday.

    As far as the start of the race, do you go off fairly fast to avoid the bottle necks, or is there no point?

  • Hi Alan, just came across your post, I'm also running TDS this year. Starting the hard yards now we're getting in to June. I live near London so less hills to run that yourself unfortunately, but am off to France late June for some course recces. How's your training going?
  • this is a goal of mine
  • Also done this one in 2015 after a failed attempt in 2012. Keep plenty in the tank for after the lowest point at the course at Bourg St Maurice - after a long descent - as the climb to the fort is steep and 1500m. Then you undulate quite significantly for awhile before another steep climb to passeur de pralognan. After a short steep descent it's flattish to the refreshments at Cormet. But a deceptively hard session follows of big ups and downs but maintaining a lot of high altitude which can have its effects.

    It doesn't get easier after this but after a big descent you should be close enough to the finish to  convince the demons to persist on. Col du tricot is seriously steep mind!

    As Dan says plenty of ups and downs in the training, like many I don't live near mountains and with a young family not that many opportunities to get to them. Did some hilly trails in sicilia on holiday, Supported a bob graham round and did some big up and downs in Wales and a roller-coaster day in peak District. Otherwise did my local hills in the most obscure ways possible as though couldn't simulate huge ups and downs at least I could throw lots of climb into each mile with some creativity linking 100-400ft climbs.

    TDS is easier than utmb in distance and therefore time on feet only really. More ascent and decent per mile, probably a bit rougher trail overall. Significantly enough more difficult than ccc to make it a great alternative utmb step up or challenge in its own right 
  • Useful tips, thanks Dan. Definitely trying to piece together some hilly runs and hill repeats; sadly the ascent/descent still looks insignificant compared to those big climbs!
    The climb and descent to/from Pralognan get described as "treacherous"... are they really tricky or is it just a case of going carefully?
  • Dan ADan A ✭✭✭
    Climb up to it is just looonnnggg and steep.  Expect to take 3-4 hours after leaving BSM.
    The descent is short,but you'll be using your hands.  There are (or at least were in 2013) chains in place, so you'll need your hands free.  Worth bearing in mind if you're using poles, which you almost certainly will be or should be.

    A bit of youtube searching will find you plenty of race coverage from that section.  No big deal really if you're steady on your feet and not afraid of heights.  I for one, can't wait.  Off to run the UTMB over three days next month as a warm up.  :)
  • Thanks very much for the tips and guidance. Really appreciate it. Good luck with the training, and enjoy!
  • Hi Martin, training going ok iv'e done three fifty,s in the last nine weeks and i'm off to Snowdon next week to do some proper hills/Mountains.
    Are you staying in Chamony?
  • Nice, you're clocking up some decent mileage Alan! Hope Snowdon is good and weather is favourable.
    I'm going out this week too actually; decided to stay a night in Seez and do the Bourg St Maurice to Cormet de Roselend section, then a few nights in Les Houches and going to run the Les Contamines to Les Houches section. Both reasonably short as standalone runs, but just want to get a feel for those climbs (and descents!) Hoping to scare myself enough with the later stages to stop myself from going off too fast at the beginning!
  • Let us know how you got on Martin.
  • Had a really good time Alan, beautiful weather and amazing scenery. My use of the word "run" above was optimistic... a lot of walking on both sections (in fact mainly walking), and a lot of use of the poles. I'm going to practice more with these over the coming month.

    3hr climb roughly from Bourg St Maurice to top of Passeur Pralognan (starting fresh and no long breaks). Not overly tricky on the ups though some parts are steep, mainly it's just a long slog and I can imagine it being baking on a hot afternoon. Helped me decide that I'll definitely carry more water capacity in my pack on the day; 1L + pot luck refills between stations won't be enough for me.
    Coming down from the pass was tricky, there were no ropes/chains in place, but the rock is easy to grab on to as you make your way down. The tricky bit is relatively short and you're then onto some skiddy scree which is very manageable. Worth chomping down some sweets on the final section heading up to it though so your head and legs are both switched on, you don't want to take a fall there. If it's rainy on the day clearly it'll be important to be extra careful.

    Les Contamines to Les Houches was fun, again a lot of walking. Climb up Col de Tricot was a solid hour though it was a little stop/start as I had a lot of people going the opposite way. Will be longer on the day though I suspect given where it is in the course. Nice section down the other side and crossing the bridge that follows is fun. The following flattish section before Bellevue was a little exposed in places (clambering over rocky sections with a steep drop to the left) and worth taking care given where it is in the course and the fact you may be passing through in the dark, depending on pace. Downhill from there to Les Houches is steep, but at that point you really are looking at the home straight.

    Came away super-excited about the day. I'll be looking to get to Bourg St Maurice feeling good and having fun, and then break the rest down from there.
  • Thanks for the info Martin, sounds great/daunting! 
    My week was a bit more straight forward.  Went up Snowdon four times in 6 days, one day was twice back to back. So better than nothing. Good luck in six weeks!
  • How did you get on at the TDS then Alan?  I did it last year (having already done the UTMB and CCC) and totally agree with all the comments above, particularly that climb out of BSM - I still have nightmares.
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