Here are 3 ways I’ve been training for the mountains in my 60k:

1. Plant-based Nutrition

vegan must GIF

I eat a strictly plant-based diet, because Herbivores don’t get as sore as Omnivores

I went to this intense gym class in my twenties. The goal of the class was to torture its victims by taking individual exercises and doing them for entire songs at a time. So if you were doing sit-ups, you did them for the entirety of whatever song was playing. The day after was always a special torture. I walked like Frankenstein, every muscle in my body was as taunt as guitar strings. Even my soreness was sore. 

Now that I eat a plant-based diet (no animal products: No milk, cheese, ice cream, beef, pork, seafood, or eggs), I experience around 10% of the soreness than I would have on a typical American diet. I still put this through rigorous self-testing!

Every two weeks, I perform at least 1000-1400 non-stop body-weight squats in one session. I turn on a favorite music album and squat every 2-3 seconds until the album ends. I’ve gone from 42 minutes to 55 minutes so far.

In the morning, I’m barely sore. I could do it again the next day if I hated myself more than the typical American. But be warned, doing this many squats creates a build-up of certain chemicals in your body that can overwhelm your kidneys, so proceed with caution. Also, your butt may get ginormous!

2. Befriending a Mountain

The Race director of the Georgia Jewel says runners of the Jewel need to find a mountain and climb it as much as possible. I live 1.3 miles from a mountain. Its elevation gain is around 785, and that’s plenty for a five mile hill-training session.

Timeout! Let’s burn the ships for a moment!

This week, I’m embarking on a 7-day challenge of running the 5.5 mile out-and-back from our house to the nearby mountain. It will be around 5,285 feet total of elevation gain and 38.5 miles for the week. If I fail, I expect a full public shaming from my readers. Don’t hold back guys, really go out of your way to tar and feather me with your guilt!!

3. Morning Strength-Training Routine

Each morning, I perform a simple 5-10 min body-weight workout:

  • 30 push-ups
  • 30 Crunches
  • 100 Squats


This workout won’t transform me to total beefcake, but it engages most of my muscles to further push my body’s adaptation.

This is my plan for specifically preparing my body for traversing mountains. I also add in runs along the actual race course and try to run on a trail at least once a week.

– Nate

Check out my new Facebook group for ultra-runners who weigh over 200lbs, otherwise known as Clydesdales! Find fellow husky runner’s weight-specific gear recommendations, injury mitigation strategies, fueling options, and more!